Markus Persson's indie sensation Minecraft
quietly crossed the 1 million paid user mark this week, less than one month after the online sandbox game went into beta, according to the game's official website
, which has players constructing buildings, tools and other objects out of blocks, has been in development since 2009, and has since become a surprise online hit.
The beta version of the game, which went on sale on December 20, sells for €14.95 ($20). Prior to that, the alpha version sold for €9.95 ($13). Players who purchased the alpha version received the beta version automatically.
Persson, known online as "Notch," last year formed the indie studio Mojang Specifications, which is continuing work on Minecraft
In October last year, the game made news as it passed the 320,000
paid customer mark, shortly after sales in late September spiked to nearly 26,000 a day at the alpha price, or nearly $350,000 in a single day.
As of this writing, the game sold 7,381 beta units in the past 24 hours, generating almost $150,000 in sales.
is up for three awards
for the 2011 Independent Games Festival, and three for the upcoming Game Developers Choice Awards
, both hosted by Gamasutra parent UBM TechWeb Game Network.
In a September interview with Gamasutra sister site IndieGames.com, Persson was surprised
about the game's explosive popularity. "I don't really know why it has sold so well," he said.