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 cut all ties from him.
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 are 5 gamemodes in Minecraft. 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 excluding the /kill command and has the power to fly around freely. Furthermore, all mobs become passive and all blocks can be mined instantly. In the Bedrock Edition, creating a creative world can permanently disables achievements, trophies, and leaderboard updates for that world, but has no other effects on gameplay. This isn't the case with in the Java Edition.
There are 3 other gamemodes which are called Adventure, Hardcore, and Spectator. Adventure mode is for player-created maps which limits some of the gameplay features like directly destroy any blocks with any tools or placing blocks in order to avoid spoiling adventure maps or griefing servers. Hardcore mode is a Java Edition exclusive variant of Survival which makes the world locked to Hard difficulty and the player cannot respawn after being killed. Spectator mode allows the player to fly around and observe the world without interacting with it in any way.
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, as well as on Windows 10; the discontinued Legacy Console Edition is the solely available edition on older consoles such as the Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Xbox 360; special editions of Minecraft have been made available on platforms like the New Nintendo 3DS and the Raspberry Pi, but have since been discontinued. Minecraft has also spawned spinoff titles: adventure game Minecraft: Story Mode (co-developed by the now defunct Telltale Games), augmented-reality mobile game Minecraft Earth, which ended its services on June 30th, 2021 due to restrictions on outdoor activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and action RPG / dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeons (co-developed by Double Eleven). 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
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 (additionally, many people speculate that licensing issues with the game's composers were involved), so 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.
Main article: List of spirits (Minecraft series)
Games with elements appearing in the Super Smash Bros. series
All content from Minecraft were taken from the latest version available back in 2020, being the Nether Update. Future updates from the game are currently not featured in Ultimate, such as the Caves & Cliffs update.