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Mojang Has Enough Cash to Last 10 More Years

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 0 comment

Mojang can live without profit for 10 years.

Wouldn't it be nice to have so much cash stored away under the mattress that you wouldn't have to make another dime for 10 years? That is apparently the status of Minecraft developer Mojang, according to the company's founder, Markus "Notch" Persson.

"Hopefully, we are going to keep making money at Mojang, but if we don't, that's fine," he told Rolling Stone. "We just have 10 fun years, and then, the last year, we'd say to our employees, 'If we don't make any money this year, Mojang is going to be dead.  So you might want to look for new jobs.'"

This comment led to speculation that the company may only have ten years left. That's not the case at all, and Persson jumped on Twitter to explain himself a bit further. The bottom line is that the company is doing extremely well, and has enough money saved up in the bank to stay afloat for the next ten years without earning another cent.

Wowzers.

"That article is weirdly angled," he said via Twitter. "I meant we're saving money so that from the day we don't make a profit, we'll survive another ten years. And I don't see how we'd stop making money any time soon at the rate things are going. So basically, we've got money saved to have ten more years to come up with a new project, without making a single cent in that time."

According to Eurogamer, Mojang (which only employs 36 people) made $332M in 2013 alone, $130M of which was profit, while $131M went to a separate company owned by Persson that deals with the licensing fees. The console version is handled by an external Scottish company named 4J Studios.

To date, the original version of Minecraft has sold over 15 million copies. Mojang is also working hard on Minecraft Realms, which just launched in the United States, and its card combat game called Scrolls.

Add your comment Display 17 Comments.
  • 0 Hide
    anthony8989 , May 9, 2014 7:02 PM
    $332mil over 36 employees is a $9.2 mil average that each employee is responsible for bringing in. The protection of the IP is the bulk of their company's overhead.

    Their business model is damn near flawless
  • 0 Hide
    jimmysmitty , May 9, 2014 7:11 PM
    Quote:
    $332mil over 36 employees is a $9.2 mil average that each employee is responsible for bringing in. The protection of the IP is the bulk of their company's overhead.

    Their business model is damn near flawless


    Since the game itself is not some insane next gen graphics, physics or other feature and kids eat it up they have to easily make money hand over fist.
  • 0 Hide
    anthony8989 , May 9, 2014 8:35 PM
    Hey, if I can sell you a rock for more than it costs for me to pick it up and hand it to you...
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , May 9, 2014 9:09 PM
    Quote:
    Since the game itself is not some insane next gen graphics, physics or other feature and kids eat it up they have to easily make money hand over fist.
    well, they could to make a HD minecraft or another minecraft that make use of Hexagon cube, so the stuff build in-game are "less blocky/more round" in the future. All these have huge potential.
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , May 9, 2014 10:01 PM
    My daughter wanted me to pick up a copy for her today. Didn't see it on steam. Went to check out the pricing and said, uhh. maybe for your birthday.
  • 0 Hide
    canadianvice , May 9, 2014 11:35 PM
    Good on Notch. I'm always happy to see somebody make it, and all the better it's through his (and the Mojang crew's) efforts.

    I do wish MC had a little more content, as I get bored pretty quickly without mods, but overall I'm happy that it's a very solid indie game with a sensible, non corporate-dickhead at the helm.

    I would really like to emphasize that MC shouldn't be criticized for its graphical choices - they were made for a purpose and I think a lot of it was stylistic. Plus, you can get better graphics fairly easily. My personal favourite pack is LB Photorealism.
  • 0 Hide
    ctbaars , May 10, 2014 7:52 AM
    The bugs are getting out of hand.
  • 0 Hide
    jshoop , May 10, 2014 7:59 AM
    if they have so much money they could afford selling the game for less, probably boosting their sales. If enough people buy it for less money, then their profits may even be greater
  • 1 Hide
    Blazer1985 , May 10, 2014 9:45 AM
    Not so sure why we should care though...
  • 4 Hide
    Ad Hoc , May 10, 2014 10:56 AM
    Quote:
    This comment led to speculation that the company may only have ten years left.


    I don't understand how anyone could get that out of what he said. People are stupid.
  • 0 Hide
    canadianvice , May 10, 2014 12:01 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    This comment led to speculation that the company may only have ten years left.


    I don't understand how anyone could get that out of what he said. People are stupid.


    I laughed at that comment with your username considered, but yes, I'd have to agree.

    Woop: Nevermind. I read ad hominem. Hahahaha, evidently your comment was not too far off the mark xD
  • 2 Hide
    user 18 , May 10, 2014 2:30 PM
    Jeez, when did Minecraft get so expensive? I bought it back in alpha for around $13 CAD, but that still makes it one of the most expensive games I've bought in the past 4-5 years. It's been a lot of fun over that time period, and I don't really regret the purchase, but I know I wouldn't pay almost $30 CAD for it.
  • 0 Hide
    Master467 , May 12, 2014 6:34 AM
    Quote:
    Jeez, when did Minecraft get so expensive? I bought it back in alpha for around $13 CAD, but that still makes it one of the most expensive games I've bought in the past 4-5 years. It's been a lot of fun over that time period, and I don't really regret the purchase, but I know I wouldn't pay almost $30 CAD for it.

    Best 20 bucks i ever spent, actually. I've met so many great people in the community, and spent many 1000's of hours playing it, i'd buy again in a heartbeat.
    Anyways, the people who gave them help in alpha and beta get it cheaper, because that's when Mojang needed the dosh to put into developing it. Buying the finished product (Well, MC will never be finished) is always more expensive.
  • 0 Hide
    TyrOd , May 16, 2014 9:23 AM
    So they aren't reinvesting that cash and just sitting on it? Really stupid thing to do as a company.
    It's actually bad news for mojang if their leadership doesn't understand that you have to reinvest money to continue making money. You don't just sit on it and tell that to your employees in 10 years. Notch is just an arrogant POS that has no business running a company if that's his perspective on his employees.
  • 0 Hide
    canadianvice , May 16, 2014 9:41 AM
    Quote:
    So they aren't reinvesting that cash and just sitting on it? Really stupid thing to do as a company.
    It's actually bad news for mojang if their leadership doesn't understand that you have to reinvest money to continue making money. You don't just sit on it and tell that to your employees in 10 years. Notch is just an arrogant POS that has no business running a company if that's his perspective on his employees.


    You have no business critiquing a millionaire when you can't even read properly. Plus, is this the same excellent reinvestment model that started a global recession and ruined the lives of countless people?

    It's also a very different industry. He's an indie developer. He isn't looking to be the next Microsoft. His job is to make games. He's saying they could sit pretty on a pile of cash for 10 years if there's drought. He has no intention of creating one.
  • 0 Hide
    TyrOd , May 16, 2014 10:24 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    So they aren't reinvesting that cash and just sitting on it? Really stupid thing to do as a company.
    It's actually bad news for mojang if their leadership doesn't understand that you have to reinvest money to continue making money. You don't just sit on it and tell that to your employees in 10 years. Notch is just an arrogant POS that has no business running a company if that's his perspective on his employees.


    You have no business critiquing a millionaire when you can't even read properly. Plus, is this the same excellent reinvestment model that started a global recession and ruined the lives of countless people?

    It's also a very different industry. He's an indie developer. He isn't looking to be the next Microsoft. His job is to make games. He's saying they could sit pretty on a pile of cash for 10 years if there's drought. He has no intention of creating one.


    I read it perfectly fine, and obviously the "no business critiquing a millionaire" line is non-sequiter.

    Holding on to 10 years of operational expenses is overkill for any company. It has nothing to do with debt based instruments or investing on the stock market.

    That's something you do when you plan to cash out, not when you plan to run a company for 10 years.

    Investment as in growing your company and hiring new people is how you continue to create cash flow.

    You say "he's not trying to be the next Microsoft" as if somehow it's that simple because he has a lot of cash savings?
    Mojang is a small business and Microsoft is a multinational corporation.

    Small businesses either grow/reinvest or they cease to exist.

    He has 10 years of operational expenses saved, but so what?!
    That doesn't mean he won't get crushed in 5 years unless he grows his business.

  • 0 Hide
    canadianvice , May 16, 2014 11:30 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    So they aren't reinvesting that cash and just sitting on it? Really stupid thing to do as a company.
    It's actually bad news for mojang if their leadership doesn't understand that you have to reinvest money to continue making money. You don't just sit on it and tell that to your employees in 10 years. Notch is just an arrogant POS that has no business running a company if that's his perspective on his employees.


    You have no business critiquing a millionaire when you can't even read properly. Plus, is this the same excellent reinvestment model that started a global recession and ruined the lives of countless people?

    It's also a very different industry. He's an indie developer. He isn't looking to be the next Microsoft. His job is to make games. He's saying they could sit pretty on a pile of cash for 10 years if there's drought. He has no intention of creating one.


    I read it perfectly fine, and obviously the "no business critiquing a millionaire" line is non-sequiter.

    Holding on to 10 years of operational expenses is overkill for any company. It has nothing to do with debt based instruments or investing on the stock market.

    That's something you do when you plan to cash out, not when you plan to run a company for 10 years.

    Investment as in growing your company and hiring new people is how you continue to create cash flow.

    You say "he's not trying to be the next Microsoft" as if somehow it's that simple because he has a lot of cash savings?
    Mojang is a small business and Microsoft is a multinational corporation.

    Small businesses either grow/reinvest or they cease to exist.

    He has 10 years of operational expenses saved, but so what?!
    That doesn't mean he won't get crushed in 5 years unless he grows his business.



    You clearly did not read it as well as you thought. Notch specifically stated it's not his intention to hold up, he's just saying that if the company were to go on a vacation tomorrow and all revenue streams ceased, the global economy was destroyed tomorrow and nuclear holocaust broke out, they would theoretically have enough money available to run without profit for another 10 years. That doesn't mean that's the intention, and Notch has stated quite the opposite. (A point, strangely enough, emphasized in the article)

    That being said, I think it quite adequately addresses the rest of what you've said.
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