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Here's What The Founder's First Working Name For Minecraft Was

Minecraft is an institution. It almost feels as ingrained in video game history as any mascot title. Millions of people play it. Billions upon billions of YouTube views prove the game has an audience outside of playing it. Yet few know that Minecraft wasn't the original name for this global phenomenon. Crazy, right?


It's true. Minecraft may feel like its dozens of years old at this point — just based on the sheer popularity of it (and maybe the retro graphics, too) — but it's actually less than ten years of age. Further, it wasn't originally called Minecraft at all. When the game was first being developed in Java for the PC, the developer behind the game (Markus "Notch" Persson) actually called it Cave Game.

This name didn't stick around for all that long, as the name Minecraft soon took hold and, well, the rest is history. But for a very brief period of time, Cave Game was the game about mining and building, and the Cave Game tech demo was used to show off the work-in-progress title that would eventually become Minecraft.


It's hard to imagine how different things would be today if Cave Game had stuck as the name of Persson's project. Perhaps it never would have caught on as it did, leading Microsoft to purchase Mojang and the rights to Minecraft outright. Maybe Cave Game would've been passed over and forgotten thanks to its more generic moniker.

Thankfully, that's not what happened at all. Minecraft made Markus Persson a very rich man, and continues to make Microsoft oodles of cash, too, as the company announced recently that it's now reaching more than 112 million monthly players. And we don't see any signs of Minecraft slowing down, either. More and more people are being introduced to Minecraft every day, and they keep coming back for more.

And Cave Game? It's now the answer to a trivia question. So keep it in your pocket: you might get to use it someday.