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Minecraft convention breaks gaming record

Minecon 2015 sells 10,000 tickets

Minecraft convention breaks gaming record

Ticket sales for a Minecraft convention in London have made the event the largest ever gathering for a single video game, online media reported.

Minecon 2015 drew 10,000 devotees from 73 countries, willing to shell out the GBP129 (AED735) per ticket to pay homage not only to the game they love, but to the bona fide celebrities that have built online reputations from playing the open-world, block-stacking adventure.

Minecraft developer Mojang was bought last year by Microsoft for $2.5bn, having already amassed a colossal fan base and helped to shape the emerging trend of casual mobile gamers over which developers are now competing.

"[Minecraft] seems to be going from strength to strength," said 23-year-old Daniel Middleton, who goes by the handle DanTDM in the Minecraft universe, and has over 6.8m subscribers on his Minecraft YouTube channel.

"Signing autographs, taking pictures ... it's insane," he told Reuters.

Minecraft's appeal is something that is likely occupying the minds of many game developers desperate to duplicate its success story, which began in 2011. The game offers sandbox (open-world) freedom and players can fight duels with one another or with NPCs (non-playing characters). But battle is a mere distraction as the world itself is full of raw materials that can be forged into others to build anything the player's imagination can devise.

Guinness World Records put its stamp of authenticity on Minecraft's achievement. It sent a representative to the event to present an award to Mojang brand director, Lydia Winters.

"The record you have received is for the largest convention for a single video game; that's Minecon 2015; 10,000 tickets sold," The Independent quoted the rep as saying.

"All that's left for me to say is that Minecon, you are officially amazing."

Minecraft has never been story driven. After an introduction to the world and its rules, players are left to make up their own experience rather than being forced down a specific path. But all that is set to change. Winters introduced a forthcoming story mode for the game at the event, to the cheers of the game's record-breaking fans.

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