In a video posted last night, YouTuber Boogie2988 asks: “Why is Minecraft popular again?”
The question itself is somewhat silly since the crafting game never stopped being popular in the first place. The Minecraft phenomenon that first started back in 2011 still has 91 million monthly players.
Boogie2988 – who is better known for his tantrum-throwing YouTube alter ego, Francis – still has a point that the game has seemingly crept back into the headlines out of nowhere.
A big part of the reason why is that the world’s most popular streamer, PewDiePie, recently started streaming the game for the first time. As The Verge points out:
For the first time since January 2017, Minecraft has surpassed Fortnite as the most-searched game on YouTube. Minecraft is having a moment again, and it’s reminiscent of one of YouTube’s earliest gaming trends known as the “PewDiePie Effect.”
Just to underline the point, PewDiePie has attracted 26 million views so far for his first Minecraft video, which was uploaded only a month ago. Not to pass up a goldmine, he has since released 35 more Minecraft videos.
While PewDiePie doesn’t deserve all of the credit for the success of a game that was already close to pulling in 100 million monthly users, his weight as the world’s single most popular streamer is bringing attention back to the nearly decade-old game that it otherwise would not have had.
Of course, PewDiePie is pretty late to the party. Streamers like Mumbo Jumbo have been making Minecraft videos for five years and building a following of over 4 million people on YouTube entirely around the game. And then there are the countless other fans who craft, build, and stream the game night in and night out just for the joy of it.