You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Is Minecraft shutting down? Here's what's actually happening after server shutdown rumours swept the internet

The i logo The i 15/01/2020
© Provided by The i

The gaming rumour mill is in full swing, with talk that best-selling sandbox videogame, Minecraft, is shutting down in 2020.

Despite its apparent simplicity, the Lego-like game has struck a chord with players since its 2011 release, thanks to its boundless potential for creation, innovation and re-invention.

a large clock tower towering over a body of water © Provided by The i

One of the best-selling games of all time, it has sustained a loyal following and to date claims to have around 100 million active players each month.

From recreating whole fictional realms in minute detail to coming up with staggering works of their own, Minecraft players have continually pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved in the game.

a bedroom with a red background © Provided by The i

It has become the perfect game for the internet age – with master crafters taking to YouTube to show off their great works and developing impressive followings as a result.

However, if recent mumblings are to be believed, that could all be coming to an end soon.

Read more: Minecraft Earth: release date, beta details, safety features, and everything you need to know

Minecraft players have built some truly incredible things over the years. Picture: Mojang

Why did Story Mode disappear?

Minecraft fans were recently thrown into panic mode by reports that the server would be shutting down in December 2020, making this the final year for the game's block-based communities to thrive.

Concerns that Minecraft was beginning to wind down started in June 2019, when the game’s Story Mode was pulled.

Read More: New PlayStation: Everything we know about the PS5 - and all the latest rumours

This narrative-led game mode was handled by developer Telltale Games (Minecraft itself was created by Mojang), the popular studio behind popular episodic games like Sam & Max and The Walking Dead.

Unfortunately, the studio has experienced serious financial difficulties in recent times.

By 2018, it had let go of all but 25 of its staff and cancelled most of its projects. The studio filed for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Many of its titles have since been acquired by LCG Entertainment, who have also elected to retain the “Telltale Games” name, although the studio itself is, to all intents and purposes, dead.

Does this mean that Minecraft is shutting down altogether?

The short answer is no.

There were reports across the world that the end is nigh for Minecraft and that the rest of the game will soon be following Story Mode into the abyss.

As it turns out, these stories originated with prank website Channel45News. The tale then got picked up by a few legitimate news outlets who didn't realise it was bogus, instigating a brief panic across the Minecraft-verse.

However, Microsoft's community manager took to Twitter on Thrsday 2 January to clear things up: "Hey folks, I can confirm that Minecraft servers are NOT shutting down in 2020. It’s just a stupid hoax. Feel free to pass this along."

Is Minecraft likely to end any time soon?

By all available signs, Minecraft is nowhere near death's door. Far, far from it in fact.

Last May, Minecraft celebrated its 10th birthday and Microsoft took the opportunity to announce that the game had sold 176 million copies to date - possibly making it the best-selling game of all time, beating out the last Grand Theft Auto by around 60 million copies.

At the same time, a new Minecraft game was also announced - a Pokemon Go-esque augmented reality version called Minecraft Earth which will see players working together to build things out in the real world.

Minecraft also remains the most popular game on YouTube, with Minecraft-related content responsible for around 100 billion views on the video platform.

With a tireless community and a whole new way to play about to arrive, it would appear that reports of Minecraft's demise have been greatly, greatly exaggerated.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The i

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon