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Minecraft Has Generated $80 Million in 15 Months

By - Source: Financial Times | B 19 comments
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Since it first went live in October 2010, indy block-building PC game Minecraft has generated $80 million USD in revenue.

For a just-launched block-building PC game, Minecraft has generated a lot of money in its short lifespan: $80 million USD (540m Swedish krona). Technically the game has been available since October 2010, but the final "retail" product didn't go live until November 2011. Still, $80 million is impressive for a first title from a small developer consisting of only 25 employees, and no publisher in sight.

According to Financial Times, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson is not only the co-founder, but the largest shareholder in Mojang. His earnings are dumped into a separate company, but he reportedly decided to share his $3.7 million with the rest of the company, divided out equally. Much of that $80 million was earned before Minecraft was ported over to mobile phones (and soon the Xbox 360).

Despite a lack of a console port, the game reportedly didn't really take off until younger gamers discovered the indy title, attracted to it's Lego-like mechanics. Up until then, the core Minecraft audience was the hardcore PC gamer crowd in their 20s and 30s.

"The core mechanic is very similar to Lego – the simplicity of placing and removing blocks and you can do whatever your imagination tells you to do," said Mojang chief executive Carl Manneh. "That’s the strength. The side effect is that when you build something, you have the urge to show it off to someone."

Outside the actual game sales, Mojang is likely picking up a few extra bucks thanks to merchandising. Just recently the studio revealed a project with Lego that will bring Minecraft-themed sets to the market. Fans can also purchase shirts, socks, wallets, scarfs -- you name it, it's probably out there. It wouldn't be surprising to see Minecraft figurines on store shelves in the near future including creepers, zombies, chickens all the other blocky Minecraft creatures.

"We’ve been approached by a number of high-profile Hollywood producers and asked to do TV shows," Manneh said. "We may do that. It’s hard when you don’t have any experience and someone comes to throw these ideas around. We have so much to focus on with just the game development and growing the business. But if the right idea comes along and the right people that we’d want to work with, we’d say why not?"

Minecraft for the Xbox 360 is slated to land on Microsoft's network on May 9. Minecraft Pocket Edition for Android and iOS just received an update which finally added the Survival mode, an optional control scheme, better flying controls and pigs. So far 25,022,414 people have registered and 5,368,466 people bought the PC version. Over one million "copies" of Pocket Edition has been sold thus far, making it Google Play's most world-wide downloaded app.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    zanny , March 27, 2012 6:19 PM
    Note, they live in Sweden, so probably 1/3 to 1/2 their revenue went to taxes.
  • 16 Hide
    zanny , March 27, 2012 6:18 PM
    mrmike_49so how much of that $80 mil actually went to the game devs????


    Probably over 90%, since Notch has payment by credit card directly through the minecraft site, which he also owns. Notch by himself has at least a few million, since he had enough to fathom funding Psychonauts 2.
  • 12 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , March 27, 2012 6:26 PM
    LaHawzel"Statistics25,079,091 registered users, of which 5,374,920 (21.43%) have bought the game."The game was ~$20 USD in beta, ~$30 now. Even assuming everyone paid Beta prices, this is still $27 million more than the $80 million reported here. Why the discrepancy?

    I believe the game was ~$10 when it was in alpha and that was released well over 15 months ago so that is probably why.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    mrmike_49 , March 27, 2012 6:09 PM
    so how much of that $80 mil actually went to the game devs????
  • 0 Hide
    plznote , March 27, 2012 6:15 PM
    0_o
  • 16 Hide
    zanny , March 27, 2012 6:18 PM
    mrmike_49so how much of that $80 mil actually went to the game devs????


    Probably over 90%, since Notch has payment by credit card directly through the minecraft site, which he also owns. Notch by himself has at least a few million, since he had enough to fathom funding Psychonauts 2.
  • 20 Hide
    zanny , March 27, 2012 6:19 PM
    Note, they live in Sweden, so probably 1/3 to 1/2 their revenue went to taxes.
  • 11 Hide
    lahawzel , March 27, 2012 6:19 PM
    "Statistics

    25,079,091 registered users, of which 5,374,920 (21.43%) have bought the game."

    The game was ~$20 USD in beta, ~$30 now. Even assuming everyone paid Beta prices, this is still $27 million more than the $80 million reported here. Why the discrepancy?
  • 3 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , March 27, 2012 6:20 PM
    imagine how much it would have made if it had always been the same price as it is now (since it was cheaper in alpha and beta).
  • -2 Hide
    classzero , March 27, 2012 6:24 PM
    I just do not get the minecraft thing. I tried it when it was free (beta). I have seen people use the paid version. I personally cannot justify spending money on this. If I ever get bored to the point of wanting to play minecraft I will download the Unity engine (free) and "create" something for real. Heck even the Unity tutorials are more entertaining than minecraft. It's just not for me, but go ahead and . . . mine?
  • 12 Hide
    trumpeter1994 , March 27, 2012 6:26 PM
    LaHawzel"Statistics25,079,091 registered users, of which 5,374,920 (21.43%) have bought the game."The game was ~$20 USD in beta, ~$30 now. Even assuming everyone paid Beta prices, this is still $27 million more than the $80 million reported here. Why the discrepancy?

    I believe the game was ~$10 when it was in alpha and that was released well over 15 months ago so that is probably why.
  • 6 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , March 27, 2012 6:26 PM
    LaHawzel"Statistics25,079,091 registered users, of which 5,374,920 (21.43%) have bought the game."The game was ~$20 USD in beta, ~$30 now. Even assuming everyone paid Beta prices, this is still $27 million more than the $80 million reported here. Why the discrepancy?

    I believe the game was around 10 or 15 bucks during alpha.
  • 3 Hide
    N.Broekhuijsen , March 27, 2012 6:28 PM
    ClasszeroI just do not get the minecraft thing. I tried it when it was free (beta). I have seen people use the paid version. I personally cannot justify spending money on this. If I ever get bored to the point of wanting to play minecraft I will download the Unity engine (free) and "create" something for real. Heck even the Unity tutorials are more entertaining than minecraft. It's just not for me, but go ahead and . . . mine?

    Then you didn't try the paid version, and what you played wasn't beta if it was free. It was probably just the alpha version on their website, which is a lot worse.
  • -9 Hide
    viciouz2000 , March 27, 2012 6:35 PM
    I have tried the pc version, cracked and have the cracked android version too, never got into it, graphics wise horrible. I havent tried survival mode so it may be a bit better, but yeah, never saw the appeal, 5 mins into the game i got bored. Now is there a destruction mode for the game? is there weapons where i can nuke my building instead of just removing the blocks?
  • -5 Hide
    nforce4max , March 27, 2012 8:19 PM
    ZannyNote, they live in Sweden, so probably 1/3 to 1/2 their revenue went to taxes.


    Government doing what it does best by leaching off the backs of who actually work, create, and innovate. Government taxes to keep the corporate owned fat cats happy. Almost all the government services are run on debt to the banks :s
  • 2 Hide
    maestintaolius , March 27, 2012 8:22 PM
    xbeaterI believe the game was around 10 or 15 bucks during alpha.

    Yeah, I bought it back then, right after they had the login server issues and opened up to everyone for a weekend. I have to admit, that's the better way to deal with a login server outage, as opposed to Ubisoft who just shuts down all access for the weekend or EA who just simply shuts down servers completely. It was somewhere around 10 euro which ended up being like 12-13 USD at the time. Considering the number of hours of play I've gotten out of it building redstone monstrosities and whatnot it's been well worth the price.
  • 7 Hide
    egilbe , March 27, 2012 10:05 PM
    My kids love this game. Glad to see the developers making money off of it. Much happier than with some publicly traded company like Activision taking most of the profits and screwing the programmers.
  • -1 Hide
    Flameout , March 27, 2012 11:37 PM
    ClasszeroI just do not get the minecraft thing. I tried it when it was free (beta). I have seen people use the paid version. I personally cannot justify spending money on this. If I ever get bored to the point of wanting to play minecraft I will download the Unity engine (free) and "create" something for real. Heck even the Unity tutorials are more entertaining than minecraft. It's just not for me, but go ahead and . . . mine?

    it's for kids and people who want to show off
  • 1 Hide
    radnor , March 28, 2012 10:48 AM
    I bought it when it was 15 Euro bucks. Great game. Haven't played for a while now. But it is like virtual legos, it is a great game to create something, albeit virtual.
  • 2 Hide
    MrPintar14 , March 28, 2012 1:27 PM
    Ever since I was a kid I had a dream about being able to live inside of my Lego creations, Minecraft is the closest thing to making my dream true
  • 0 Hide
    xerroz , March 28, 2012 11:57 PM
    Very nice of Notch to give almost $150k to each employee
  • 0 Hide
    aeurix , March 29, 2012 12:01 PM
    My friend and I were talking about the algorithms required to track the states of every block and transmitting the vast amount of packets to/from the servers.. we play and love Minecraft, but we cannot wait for the day when a minecraft-style MMO with sweet graphics comes out. We really think it's a new style of game... kind of Crysis like where you can break down your environment, but being able to build your environment on the fly on a massive scale opens up a world of possibilities. Joining one of those mega minecraft servers (~100 people) unfortunately lags quite a bit as it stands now. Would anyone else be interested in an MMO like that?