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