Saturday, May 4, 2013

Minecraft is the third largest city in the world

Sales of Minecraft continue and the number of players keeps climbing. Here's the latest tally:
Minecraft — Pocket Edition: 10 million
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition: 6 million
Minecraft PC: 10.3 million

Total: 26.3 million
Let's remember that these figures are paid sales. We're not talking registered accounts on some free-to-play title here.

We can put these numbers in perspective by comparing Minecraft sales to the largest cities in the world.

It turns out that ranking cities is a bit confusing because there are many criteria that can be used to order them. Wikipedia's entry for world's largest cities describes a number of ways of ranking, so we'll pick a couple which seem to be applicable in this case.

One method is city proper, which is defined as "an urban locality without its suburbs" with the result that this method results in the smallest populations for each city.

Since the PC version is canonical in terms of features, we can consider that to be Minecraft's city proper.

Where does Minecraft PC place in the List of cities proper by population? With 10,368,365 sold it just squeaks into twelfth place ahead of Shenzhen, China:
  1.  Seoul, South Korea (10,575,447)
  2.  Minecraft PC (10,368,365)
  3.  Shenzhen, China (10,357,938)
Minecraft PC sales are larger than every city proper in North America. In the Americas only Sao Paulo, Brazil is larger. In Europe, only Moscow and Istanbul are larger.

Another way to rank Minecraft is to use the total sales of all versions, the 26.3 million figure calculated at the beginning of this article. The total of all versions is perhaps analogous to the concept of a city's urban area.

Where does Minecraft place in the List of urban areas by population?
  1. Tokyo-Yokohama (Keihin), Japan (37,239,000)
  2. Jakarta (Jabodetabek), Indonesia (26,746,000)
  3. Minecraft (26,300,000)
  4. Seoul-Incheon (Sudogwon), South Korea (22,868,000)
  5. Delhi, India (22,826,000)
So when ranked by urban area, Minecraft zooms past many of the other Asian giants and even moves past Seoul into a solid third place.

A couple of other rankings:

List of U.S. states and territories by population:
  1. California (38,041,430)
  2. Minecraft (26,300,000)
  3. Texas (26,059,203)
Minecraft would be the second most populous state in the U.S.

List of countries by population:
  1. Nepal (26,494,504)
  2. Minecraft (26,300,000)
  3. Afghanistan (25,500,100)
  4. ...
  5. Sweden (9,566,945)
Minecraft is the 46th most populous country in the world. Now 46 may not seem like a very impressive rank until you peruse the list and see how many familiar countries rank lower than Minecraft.

The most notable country is Sweden, Minecraft's country of origin. Minecraft easily outranks it by more than a factor of two. Eventually there may be three copies of a version of Minecraft sold for every person in Sweden!

Any way you look at it, there are a lot of people buying and playing Minecraft.


  1. Except for the fact that Minecraft is not a city.

  2. Keep in mind that some people have the game for PC, Xbox, AND PE. That severely limits the amount of people that have bought the game.

  3. I have multiple copies of the game.

  4. Ok tech nerds, how about just being creative with your minds for once and not be retarded killjoys?