An XBox 360 Minecraft game is seen at a GameStop store on Septemeber 15, 2014 in Miami, Florida. Microsoft today announced it will acquire video game maker Mojang and its popular Minecraft game for $2.5 billion. / Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Over 70million copies of Minecraft have been sold worldwide

To the untrained eye, Minecraft is as a headache-inducing video game for children. But to the 10,000 fans descending on London for the game's official convention, it’s worth a lot of their time and money.

Often described as a virtual Lego, the game enables players to create unique worlds by breaking and placing blocks, and protect these realms against nocturnal baddies after nightfall.

Initially released as a game for adults in 2009, Minecraft has since sold over 70 million copies; merchandise is easy to find on the high street; and it has earned almost 12 million ‘likes’ on Facebook.

A Minecraft fan pose as a Creeper (left) from Sheffield as a Licker from Resident Evil (Image: Getty Images)

For £129 a ticket, thousands of members of the Minecraft community will be able to take part in a US-style convention at the ExCeL Centre in London, which will feature panels with developers, contests, tournaments, and a party on Saturday night.

YouTubers who have used them game to make themselves into internet celebrities, including Stampy, The Diamond Minecart and Captain Sparklez, are among the game's stars to be appearing at the convention.

Read more: How Minecraft is much more than 'Lego online'
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Fans will also be given a first-look at a new “story mode” which will add a narrative dimension to the game, Wharf has reported.

The convention will be the first since Microsoft bought up Mojang, the game’s developer, for $2.5billion (£1.6billion) in November 2014.

Mojang’s chief operating officer, Vu Bui, told The Guardian: “It’s impossible for us to have an event big enough that our entire community can attend, but even to have 10,000 people who really care what we’re about, and to meet and talk to them in real life, is really special,”

“We want Minecon to feel like a world where the real world and Minecraft co-exist,” said Bui. “I think people will be blown away by a couple of things we’ve created this year.”