Earlier this week, Dream SMP fans were dealt a Creeper-sized blow as the popular Minecraft server was shut down after just three years.
While the fandom knew that Season 1 of this roleplaying web series was coming to an end, the community was shocked by the announcement that the server would be shut down following the finale, which came just a couple of days before the final stream.
Here’s everything we know about the Dream SMP server shutdown, the reasons for its closure, and the reaction of fans and creators alike.
What is Dream SMP?
Started by Twitch streamers and YouTubers Dream and GeorgeNotFound in 2020, Dream SMP was a survival-multiplayer Minecraft server, with a light overarching storyline for roleplaying purposes. Aside from a few predetermined plot points, it was largely improvised by Dream, GeorgeNotFound and other popular Minecraft creators who later joined the team, including TommyInnit, Tubbo, Technoblade and Quackity.
The storytelling element and charismatic streamers led to it quickly becoming one of Minecraft’s most successful web series’, gaining huge popularity during the pandemic with hundreds of thousands of people tuning in to the live event streams. With dramatic events such as characters switching allegiances and betraying their friends, political intrigue, faction wars and even an insurrection, there were constantly-evolving storyline sagas to keep viewers entertained. Dream SMP was so popular that it spawned fanfiction and fan art in their thousands, and the popularity of creating Dream SMP-themed music actually led to Spotify creating its own genre in 2021.
What happened to Dream SMP?
The Season 1 finale, where some of Dream SMP’s major characters gathered to kill the Ender Dragon - was scheduled to be live streamed on Monday 10 April 2023. However, rumours had been circulating around the end of the server for good, with Dream admitting that he wasn’t sure if there would be a Season 2, and players such as TommyInnit alluding to there not being a Season 2 scheduled.
This was confirmed by other members of the Dream SMP team, which shocked and saddened the community. In an emotional final stream, whilst trying to hold back tears Dream SMP member Tubbo confirmed that the server would close following the finale that day.
The reasons given for the eventual end of Dream SMP were numerous, but a few key aspects likely led to its demise. Firstly, over the course of three years some of the server’s key players left to work on other projects, with some even creating their own servers, such as Quackity's QSMP. There was already a list of players who had confirmed that they would not return for a Season 2, whether due to being canonically dead, artistic differences, or just the desire to explore new avenues.
Additionally, one of Dream SMP’s core players, Technoblade, sadly lost his battle with cancer in June 2022 aged just 23. This understandably had a huge impact on the community; known for his kindness and humour he was extremely popular with fans, and had over 11 million YouTube subscribers at the time of his death. Dream himself wrote in a YouTube post, “I would not be half the person I am without being inspired, challenged, and uplifted by you." This loss would have undeniably had an impact on the team’s desire to keep creating content, especially since some of the planned Season 2 plot points would have erased Technoblade’s legacy.
Finally, Dream revealed that while there were initially plans for a Season 2 in the works, he also admitted “I lost my vision". Given the vast amount of work that undoubtedly goes into creating such an intricate web series, it seems that this was the final nail in the coffin for the Dream SMP server.
What has the reaction been to the Dream SMP server shutdown?
After the announcement of the Dream SMP server shutdown, fans of Dream SMP flocked to Twitter to express their heartbreak and gratitude. Members of the team also shared the impact that the closure would have on them. Team member Tubbo said, “I think the saddest thing about all of this is the fact that there are so many memories which will never be able to be replicated again.”
One of AFK’s prominent Minecraft content creators and Dream SMP server member, Captain Puffy, shared her thoughts on the Dream SMP shutdown:
"It's crazy how such a simple Minecraft Server changed my life. It became so much more than a Minecraft world; not just to me, but to the whole fandom. The impact that Dream SMP had throughout the past 3 years is simply mind blowing. It's truly bittersweet and feels like the end of an era, but also I'm excited for the next chapter.
“Without Dream SMP, my life would be completely different - it changed my life in a way I will never be able to put into words. I'm forever grateful to everything, everyone and the life it’s given me, but I also can't wait to see what's next."
There’s no word yet on what’s next for all the Dream SMP creators but with the server having become a gaming culture phenomenon, the millions of fans of Dream, GeorgeNotFound and co. are likely to be waiting to hear more about their next projects with excited anticipation.