When was Minecraft made? Looking back at the early days of the most iconic sandbox game

Minecraft is one of the most popular games today. Unlike its counterparts Fortnite, Elden Ring, and many others, it’s not new. Many of today’s most in-demand titles were released in the last few years. Fortnite was released in 2017, so its still in its prime; Elden Ring was released this year, so of course it’s popular.

That’s not true for Mojang’s hit sandbox game, though, which makes its popularity that much more impressive. It’s been out for a long while, and many gamers today don’t even remember a time before it was released.

When was that?

Minecraft’s release date and details about its early version

The first version of the game was released in 2009; it officially hit shelves that year and quickly became a fan-favorite. There weren’t many titles like it and there still aren’t, even after 13 long years.


The game has undergone several major updates so far. The 1.19 update was just released and the 1.20 update is coming very soon, which means that there will be 20 substantial updates since its debut.

Minecraft has added a lot in that time, but it’s largely stayed the same, especially much of the gameplay. Features have come and gone, but its major aspects are mostly intact, which is how it’s developed such a devoted community.

Many of the game’s best features were not present in its earliest versions. Redstone came around in the 1.5 update, which means that Minecraft did not have any automatic farms in its initial phase.

Horses were added to the game in the following update, so the best mob for mobility was not available when it first debuted.

The following items were added via the 1.7 update:

  • Red, orange, white, and pink tulips
  • Blue orchids
  • Allium
  • Azure bluet
  • Oxeye daisy
  • Poppy
  • Peony
  • Rose bush
  • Acacia trees
  • Dark oak trees

Prior to that, the plantlife in Minecraft was very rudimentary. The Nether update from 1.16 changed that dimension vastly, but it’s been in the game for a long time. However, it was not in the original version, and was added a year later.

Villages, structures, and more were either totally different or completely nonexistent in the first versions of Minecraft.

Villages are very different now (Image via Chunkbase)
Villages are very different now (Image via Chunkbase)

The game has undergone subtle changes with each update, though some of them have been substantial. It has changed a lot with updates 1.16, 1.17, 1.18, and 1.19, and will probably continue to do so with 1.20.

However, looking at how far the game has come since its initial release, it’s a little surprising to see that there have only been 19 real updates so far. Over the last 13 years, Mojang has done quite a bit.

The original game was exceptional, though, which is why it hasn’t been touched very much. Mojang knew they had a hit on their hands, and only ever added to it.

The original version of the game, Minecraft Classic, is available to play to see just how different it used to be.

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