Shortly after the announcement, Redmond announced that Helen Chiang would be the new head of Minecraft. Chiang has worked at Microsoft for nine years and has overseen numerous operations during her tenure. She has worked with the Minecraft team for the past three years and knows them well.
In a telephone conversation with PopSugar's Chelsea Hassler, Chiang discussed her new role and revealed interesting details about the Minecraft franchise. When asked about future plans, she revealed the game's monthly active users by issuing the following statement.
We just recently set a new record in December for monthly active users, so now we're at 74 million monthly active users — and that's really a testament to people coming back to the game, whether it's through the game updates or bringing in new players from across the world. That's really our goal, to keep building the community that we have.
The report by PopSugar also mentioned that Minecraft has sold over 144 million copies across all devices. If accurate, this is not only a testament to the popularity of the title, but also the aggressive post-launch support Minecraft has received over the years. There's always a new event or content pack in the works.
Minecraft's popularity isn't limited to Microsoft's platforms like Xbox and Windows though, recently Nintendo revealed the best-selling Nintendo Switch games and Minecraft took the top spot in Japan, which has been notoriously difficult for Microsoft in the past. Here's hoping that under Chiang's leadership the franchise will continue to reach new heights around the world.
The game's appeal stems from the fact that it allows for unparalleled creativity. The experience can be customized to be an educational tool, a quest-based adventure, or just a survival game. There are also numerous mods and other downloads available which add detailed stories and worlds. Entire cities have been recreated in the game and certain players have even gone as far as to build working calculators in Minecraft.
The game has also become a highlight on YouTube as many channels such as The Yogscast feature it regularly in their videos. Minecraft's visibility is one of the main reasons why many people try it out to begin with. At this point it's safe to say that the game is a cultural phenomenon and an established community. However, just like any community, it still needs guidance. Given her experience, Chiang seems to be the right person to illuminate the future of Minecraft.
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