With the Better Together update last year, Minecraft added the first elements of cross-play for the popular sandbox game. For the first time, Minecraft players on Xbox One will be able to play with those Nintendo Switch when the feature rolls out, bringing the previously separated playerbases together. Cross-play is also supported with other platforms such as PC and mobile. One system that has not gotten in on the action yet is the PlayStation 4. Microsoft and Sony are reportedly still talking about adding cross-play someday, but it hasn't happened yet. Now, Minecraft boss Helen Chiang, in one of her first interviews since getting appointed to head of Minecraft, has said she hopes that one day the entire Minecraft community will be united--wherever they are.
"All of our players are playing across a number of different devices and platforms, and it shouldn't matter where they're playing," Chiang told Popsugar. "What's important to us is that they have the opportunity to play it together, because it makes it so much more of a rich experience. That's the journey we're still on..."
Chiang added that in addition to uniting more playerbases, Microsoft wants to bring Minecraft to more parts of the world as part of its effort to make the game "available to anybody, anywhere in the world, any way that they want to play." It is a bold ambition, but we're not surprised, given that Microsoft paid $2.5 billion to acquire Minecraft.
Also in the interview, Chiang revealed that Minecraft--many years after release--set a new record in December for monthly active players: 74 million. It is not immediately clear how "active" is defined in this context, but whatever the case, it is a massive figure. She added that part of what help drive that figure is the regular new updates that keep players coming back, and, as mentioned, increasing availability around the world.
Chiang also told the publication that Minecraft has now sold 144 million copies across all platforms it's available on, of which there are more than a dozen. She was promoted to head of the Minecraft team after the previous person in the role, Matt Booty, ascended to a higher-level job at the Xbox team.