In a year that saw the launch of a new generation of gaming consoles from both Microsoft and Sony, the 4J Studios retail disc release of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition still managed to claim a spot amongst the top 10 individual game sales of 2013. Roger Carpenter, lead producer of Minecraft on Xbox systems for Microsoft Studios, sent out a tweet on Friday which announced that the physical disc edition of Minecraft on the Xbox 360 was the ninth highest selling title of 2013 as revealed by the latest report of the NPD group.
Earning a spot in the top 10 was an impressive feat for the 4J Studios port of the popular PC titled for a number of reasons. First of all, sales numbers only accounted for copies sold of the physical retail disc of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition which landed in the summer of 2013. That means that digitally downloaded sales via Xbox Live weren’t factored into the final numbers, which would have pushed the game much higher up on the list.
Secondly, the Xbox 360 version first released a full year prior to the game’s retail edition as download title. This would have allowed many to have already purchased the game and thus not need to pick up a game disc. Finally, the physical version of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition actually costs 50 percent more than the download-only version available through Xbox Live. This creates yet another barrier for fans that want to pick up the retail disc.
Despite all these issues, the game still managed to earn its spot in the top 10 highest selling games of 2013. This speaks rather loudly of the continued importance of physical retail discs opposed to an all-digtial media. Clearly there is a large number of gamers out there who either can’t actually download games or simply prefer physical copies.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition is out now in stores or as a digital download from Xbox Live Arcade. 4J Studios is currently working on Title Update 14 for the game which will introduce Adventure mode to the console version of Minecraft.