Minecraft Popularity Resurges

Cave Update and Smash Invite Boost Popularity

Image by Mojang
Minecraft Caves and Cliffs Update. Image courtesy of Mojang, from the Minecraft LIVE 2020 Summary.
Alex hitting Mario with a pickaxe in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Image courtesy of Mojang, from the Minecraft LIVE 2020 Summary. (Mojang and Nintendo)

Minecraft popularity has once again skyrocketed with the new announcement of the Cave Update, and iconic figure Steve being added to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros Ultimate, creating objectively, one of the biggest crossovers in gaming this year. Nintendo has been more silent compared to Microsoft and Sony this year, but recently, they’re resurging with lots of new announcements, including that Steve from Minecraft will be joining Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Masahiro Sakurai, original creator of Smash, announced on October 1st, that Minecraft’s “default character” Steve, will be added to the game.

Steve as a fighter in Smash will be able to place blocks as a platforming tool, to block incoming fire, and to trap ledges. He will also have multiple tiers of upgradable tools that he can obtain via crafting and resource gathering. These abilities will open up many creative possibilities in a fighting game. His inclusion really helped to bring attention to the big announcements which soon followed.

Mojang and Microsoft also unveiled their annual Minecraft LIVE, which is a yearly online show where the developers at Mojang connect with their community content creators, and, of course, show off what’s to come for Minecraft. This usually is a large update coming the following year. For Minecraft Live 2020, the highly anticipated “cave update” was announced, being officially called the “Minecraft: Caves and Cliffs Update”.

Many in the Minecraft community have been waiting for an update to caves, with some even advocating a refresh for years. One such person is Ariff Moreno, sophomore at MECA. He thinks that “it is going to be a great update changing an old part of the game that needed a refresh.”

The show brought many teasers about the new content, showing off the completely new cave and mountain generation, and completely new cave biomes, such as the lush caves. Brand new mobs such as the axolotl and new tools such as the lighting rod, spyglass, and powder snow will be added to the game as well. Mojang has also recently released many “Snapshot” versions of this update, which are essentially beta builds of the game. The new content was well received, with Ariff saying that, “the new building blocks such as copper that really add new detail to bases.”

Ariff claims that what we’ve seen so far definitely met his expectations, stating that, “I was expecting just a new kind of cave to explore and better terrain generation underground, but this brought a lot more” and that he “will definitely try it out” when it releases in 2021.

Are you looking forward to this update?

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