In news certain to delight indie games fans, Minecraft has done something that has not been seen in a long time -- knock a Call of Duty game out of the top two on the Xbox 360's most-played list.
To put this in perspective, the only thing that knocked Call of Duty: Black Ops out of the No. 1 spot from its release in 2010 was the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011. And those two have run No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, ever since. Until Minecraft elbowed Black Ops out of the way last week.
The figures are according to Major Nelson's regular listing of the top Xbox Live activity. It counts numbers of unique users, worldwide, that are playing the game while connected to Xbox Live -- so it's not just multiplayer figures (although one can assume that's the bulk of Call of Duty's total here.)
The last time I could find something other than the two most recent releases of Call of Duty holding the top two was in 2010, after the release of Halo: Reach (Halo 3 was a steady No. 2 before that, to Modern Warfare 2). Whatever the case, the idea that Minecraft -- a downloadable title, no less -- did that to a position that has been dominated by a retail big-budget first-person shooter since forever, is rather damned remarkable.
And, oh yeah, the 360 version was the most purchased Arcade title -- by a mile, one expects.
LIVE Activity for week of May 14th [Major Nelson]