According to Minecraft's Chinese publisher NetEase Games, the game has surpassed the 200 million player mark in China alone. The mod community is thriving as well with over 25,000 Minecraft mods being created by over 2,100 developers in the region. Those mods have been been downloaded 1.36 billion times, making China one of the biggest player bases for the sandbox legend.
Minecraft's Chinese community is working on several projects that recreate some of the country's most recognizable architecture. The game is being used to revive historic icons, like Beijing's Forbidden City, and to provide the public with a more interactive way to experience them. The National Architect & Cthuwork Studio spent over three years recreating the Imperial Palace within the Forbidden city which used over 100 million Minecraft blocks in its construction.
The team spent time doing extensive research before building in the city in the game. They have accurately recreated the palace interior allowing players to truly explore the city in depth. Thanks to 3D printing, their in-game recreation was printed and displayed within the real Imperial Palace for locals and tourists to see.
This is not the first time that Minecraft has been employed as an agent to pay tribute to world heritage sites. Even before the tragic destruction of Notre-Dame in Paris, an independent development studio named Huanling built a cyber version of the famous church in high detail using digital technology and art. The team has revived a breathtaking replica of the original by capturing and simulating the natural light passing through its tangible construction at a meticulous level.