The Minecraft universe (マインクラフト, Minecraft) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters, stages, and properties that hail from the video game franchise created by the Sweden-based developer Mojang Studios. Since its development versions in 2009 and official release in 2011, Minecraft has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon and is the single best-selling video game of all time, spawning a litany of spinoffs, merchandising, and media and becoming a staple of popular culture in the subsequent years. Originally an independent property, the franchise and its developer have remained under the ownership of Microsoft since their acquisition on November 6th, 2014.
Minecraft began development around May 10th, 2009, when independent game developer Markus "Notch" Persson started expanding on one of his personal projects, a base-building demo named RubyDung. He took heavy inspiration from Infiniminer, an open-world, block-themed mining game released earlier that year, lifting its blocky aesthetics, mining gameplay, and first-person perspective, and developed a tech demo named Cave Game, of which he uploaded a short gameplay video to YouTube. He soon renamed it Minecraft: Order of the Stone (a reference to the webcomic The Order of the Stick), then simply Minecraft.
Coded in the Java programming language, a pre-alpha version of Minecraft was publicly released on May 17, 2009. The game's great popularity allowed Notch to work on it full-time, updating it based on feedback. To facilitate this, he founded a video game company, Mojang Specifications (eventually renamed to "Mojang AB" and later "Mojang Studios"). Minecraft entered beta testing on December 20, 2010, then was officially released on November 18, 2011. Later, on December 1, Notch stepped down from his position as lead designer, leaving programmer and designer Jens Bergensten to take his place. In 2014, Microsoft purchased Mojang for US$2.5 billion, thus acquiring the Minecraft intellectual property; Notch soon left Mojang, and the company eventually cut all ties from him due to becoming a controversial figure in recent years.
Minecraft is an open-world sandbox game about survival and creativity, with a block-based world and blocky characters. Worlds are generated pseudo-randomly based on seeds (integer sequences), allowing players to have a different experience for each playthrough, while specific worlds can be recreated and revisited by saving their seeds. Worlds may come with different biomes, affecting the types of scenery and mobs the player may see, and also come with different dimensions to explore (three by default: the Overworld, the Nether, and the End). The player takes on the default appearance of a generic character named Steve or Alex, but can be customized to the player's liking using custom-made textures, known as "skins." As the name implies, the primary gameplay mechanics of Minecraft are mining (digging up blocks to obtain materials) and crafting (using said materials to create new objects, such as weapons or armor). The game also allows players to play online with other people through custom servers, or on Minecraft Realms (a subscription-based private server service). Online play is a notable and popular part of Minecraft, and because of this, the game is continually updated and re-released with new features.
There have been numerous editions of Minecraft, available on various platforms. The Java Edition, the original edition of Minecraft, is available on home computer platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X (now macOS) and Linux; the Bedrock Edition, rewritten in the C++ programming language, was originally available on iOS and Android and has since been ported to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows 10; the discontinued Legacy Console Edition is the only available edition on older consoles such as the Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Xbox 360; and special editions of Minecraft have been made available on platforms like the New Nintendo 3DS and the Raspberry Pi, but have since been discontinued.
Five game modes are available in Minecraft: Survival, Creative, Adventure, Hardcore, and Spectator. The modes that form the majority of the gameplay are Survival and Creative.
In Survival mode, the focus is to gather resources and become stronger while building a home base. By day, the player normally encounters passive mobs, such as animals that can be tamed and farmed for materials. At night, the player may encounter more dangerous mobs such as Zombies, Creepers, Spiders, Endermen, and so on. While never explicitly stated during gameplay, the goal is to kill the Ender Dragon, who lives in the End dimension; doing so rolls the game's "credits", a surreal dialogue between two higher beings that explicitly breaks the fourth wall. However, there are no limitations on accomplishing this goal, and upon doing so, the player simply returns to their spawn point.
Creative mode focuses on building creations with a wide array of different blocks and materials. In this mode, survival is no issue, as the player is invincible to all standard forms of damage, and has the ability to freely fly. Furthermore, all mobs become passive and all blocks can be mined instantly. In the Bedrock Edition, starting a Creative world permanently disables achievements, trophies, and leaderboard updates for that world, but has no other effects on gameplay.
Adventure mode is intended for player-created maps, and limits certain gameplay features for visiting players, such as directly destroying any blocks with any tools or placing blocks. This allows creators to produce narrative worlds, in the vein of a traditional adventure game, without interference from other players. Hardcore mode is a more difficult variant of Survival, exclusive to the Java Edition, which locks the world to the most difficult settings and prevents players from respawning after death, forcing the map to be deleted if all players are killed. Spectator mode allows players to fly around and observe the world without interacting with it in any way.
Minecraft has grown to be the single best selling video game of all time, with over 238,000,000 copies sold as of 2021. This beats the previous best selling single video game Grand Theft Auto V at 160,000,000 copies, as well as all paid versions of Tetris at roughly 200,000,000 copies. Minecraft is also a juggernaut in terms of merchandise, with popular items being apparel, toys, plushes, and other novelty items.
The game is also recognized for its calming music, which was originally composed by Daniel Rosenfeld, also known as C418. The game's soundtrack was released into two albums; Minecraft – Volume Alpha in 2011, and Minecraft – Volume Beta in 2013. Moreover, a third album is considered to be finished by its author, but the album's release is to be determined. Until the Nether Update in 2020, he was the sole composer for both the Java Edition and the Bedrock Edition. Later updates have included music by Lena Raine (Celeste) and Kumi Tanioka (Final Fantasy, Super Smash Bros.). Gareth Coker (Ori and the Blind Forest) has also contributed songs to the Legacy Console Edition.
Minecraft has also spawned spin-off titles: adventure game Minecraft: Story Mode in 2015 (co-developed by the now-defunct Telltale Games), augmented-reality mobile game Minecraft Earth in 2019 (which ended its services on June 30th, 2021 due to restrictions on outdoor activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic), action RPG/dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeons (co-developed by Double Eleven) in 2020, and the upcoming game Minecraft Legends in 2023. Additionally, Minecraft has found success as a learning tool through Minecraft: Education Edition, a specialized branch of the main game.
The popularity of Minecraft has led to many third-party companies basing their own games upon it, or crossing over with the Minecraft franchise in some way. For example, Square Enix's Dragon Quest Builders series is a mix between Minecraft's blocky design and survival genre and Dragon Quest's characters and role-playing genre. The Nintendo console versions of Minecraft include the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack, which comes with custom graphics and worlds based upon the Mario series.
While no Minecraft content appears in Super Smash Bros. 4, according to Daniel Kaplan, former Production Director for Minecraft, talks regarding the game being represented in Smash began as early as 2015, either during the development of Smash 4's DLC or Ultimate's planning stages. It is unclear whether these negotiations were started with the intention of having Minecraft content appear in that game, or if said content was being negotiated for later usage.
The Minecraft universe was introduced in Ultimate as DLC for Challenger Pack 7 which was released on October 13th, 2020, with one fighter, a stage, music tracks, and several Spirits. Three Mii Fighter costumes released separately alongside the new update.
Main article: Alternate costume (SSBU)/Mii Fighter
The following Mii costumes are available as downloadable content, as part of version 9.0.0, within the seventh wave of Mii Fighter outfits along with Challenger Pack 7 and Steve. They were released on October 13th, 2020.
Main article: List of SSBU Music (Minecraft series)
Minecraft received 7 music tracks in Ultimate, 6 of which are new arrangements. Music from the original game was unable to be used due to "various circumstances" including their style being deemed too relaxing, the songs are instead taken from spinoff titles such as Minecraft Earth and Minecraft Dungeons as well as minigame themes from the "Legacy Console" version of Minecraft. Additionally, many people speculate that licensing issues with C418, the game's original composer, were involved, as he retains the rights to the songs he composed.
Main article: List of spirits (Minecraft series)
Games with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series
The Minecraft universe has games represented throughout the Super Smash Bros. series with a total of 3 games. The latest game represented in this universe is Minecraft Dungeons, released on May 26, 2020.
All content from Minecraft pulls from both the Java Edition and Bedrock Edition up to the Nether Update in addition to the Legacy Console Editions. Content from future updates such as the Caves & Cliffs update is not reflected in Ultimate.