In these extraordinary times, we’re reminded more than ever before of the important role games like Minecraft can play in providing an escape from the day-to-day and fostering social connections between friends and families. When schools and businesses first started closing their doors due to COVID-19, we started thinking about the different ways we could help support the Minecraft community.
Like millions of parents around the world, I am trying to balance working and homeschooling my kids full time. It is a challenge, and every little bit helps, so I am proud that we made Minecraft: Education Edition free to educators to help students stay engaged in remote learning through the end of June. We also launched the Minecraft Education Collection in the main game itself, with content from some of our most popular Marketplace partners, free through the end of June. There have been more than 50 million downloads of free educational content since it launched in the Minecraft Marketplace on March 24.
We also partnered with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on a global PSA campaign to share the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 prevention guidance. Through this partnership, innovation company AKQA also released a free “BlockDown Simulator” map in Minecraft: Java Edition to teach players effective strategies for social distancing.
I’ve been so inspired by the many ways in which the Minecraft community has come together to support each other during this challenging time, through university campus replicas, presidential celebrations, graduation ceremonies and more. In fact, this weekend our own Lydia Winters was honored to give a commencement speech for UC Berkeley students in the “Blockeley University” world they created in Minecraft.
It’s been an incredible year for Minecraft with the global rollout of Minecraft Earth, the release of the game-changing RTX beta for Windows 10 through our partnership with Nvidia, and closing out 2019 as the most viewed game on YouTube. We are humbled that there have now been more than 200 million copies of Minecraft sold to date, and 126 million people are now playing Minecraft every month. We are excited to launch Minecraft Dungeons on May 26 with Xbox Game Pass and multiple platforms, and to bring our free Nether update to Minecraft this Summer.