Minecraft is the most popular game of all-time, out-selling its nearest rivals by tens of millions of units. While that is special itself, what makes the Microsoft-owned property unique is the ecosystem that has grown around the game. So much so that even Minecraft mods are seeing more downloads than even the best-selling AAA games.
The Betweenlands is a mod that runs on Minecraft: Java Edition and brings new features to the standard game, such as biomes, mobs, game mechanics, and more. It has now passed 20 million downloads since it was released in 2016.
And this is just one example with other mods also seeing download numbers in the millions. What makes something like The Betweenlands interesting is that it is more popular than most top-selling PC/console games.
Amazingly, The Betweenlands is not even the most successful Minecraft mod. There are many other mods with more downloads than 20 million. For example, the Just Enough Items mod has just under 220 million downloads. In fact, The Betweenlands is not even in the top-twenty most downloaded Minecraft mods.
And to think, Microsoft took something of a risk when it bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014. By then, Minecraft was already several years old. While it was hugely successful, it was not unreasonable to think the peak was already passed or close. After-all, it is extremely rare for a media property to have continued long-term success, just as a franchise like Angry Birds.
However, Minecraft has gone from strength to strength. The franchise passed 100 million unit sales in 2016 and has now sold over 230 million copies.
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