Mojang's breakout hit Minecraft took second place in a Google-issued list of the most popular YouTube search queries of 2014, ranking immediately behind the word "music" in terms of search frequency.
According to Google, the word "Minecraft" was more frequently searched on YouTube in 2014 than the term "movies." Gaming personality PewDiePie also ranked among the service's most popular searches in 2014, trailing queries for Disney's Frozen and for artists Drake and Beyonce.
Google reports that user searches and engagement for gaming-related content are rapidly rising, even though many surveyed users don't necessarily identify as gamers. YouTube videos in the "Gaming" category hit the service's Top 10 Trending list on 25 different days in October of 2014.
"A Google Consumer Survey fielded in October 2014 of people who said they watch gaming videos on YouTube revealed that only a portion of this group (37%) considers themselves 'gamers,'" the report states. "When asked about their motivations for watching gaming videos, viewers mentioned 'entertainment' and 'humor' as often as they mentioned 'learning new strategies' or 'game tips.'"
The report continues: "We also wanted to find out why they watch videos by creators such as PewDiePie and SkyDoesMinecraft. Quite a few fans answered, 'Because they're hilarious!' Some even compared these videos to stand-up comedy. An up-and-coming gaming creator summed up interest with the following analogy: 'You don't have to play soccer to enjoy it on TV.'"