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Mojang Developing Three Games

Edge Magazine has word on what's going on at Mojang, the developer formed by Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson. Word is in addition to the previously announced Scrolls, they are also working on two other games. There aren't any details on these, but that may change soon, as they have indications from Mojang CEO Carl Manneh that both games should be announced by mid-year, and they may actually be released by then as well.

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11. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 20:38 Dev
killer_roach wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 17:41:
It sounds a lot like he's spreading himself too thin, but, considering the amount of money Mojang has taken in from Minecraft, Notch could pay a staff of 30-40 young devs for the next decade or so without thinking much of it.
No, thats incorrect.
About 4.5 million sales, most of them at the earlier price point, we'll call it $12. 12*4.5 million is about 55 million dollars. Now most of that was for notch himself before he became a company, and I believe that country has about 50% tax rate on personal income when it gets up there. So in reality he only has a bit over 20 million to play with. If notch took the money and ran (either sold the company or just retired) he could have retired comfortably with that, assuming he didn't go nuts on spending and invested it reasonably.

Anyway, if we go with the figure of $100,000 that it might cost per dev to employ them, 40 of them would be $4 million a year. I don't know the cost of the building they are leasing to house the company at the moment, and I doubt it can handle 40 employees, but lets just guess that the building costs, and utilities, and all the various kinds of insurance, and any other possible costs for his company aside from the workers direct costs total up to only $2 million a year. My guess is thats low when talking about 40 employees, but I'll go with it for this case.
Thats $6 million a year, and they'd run out of the $20 million in just over 3 years, not decades.

YES this is a high amount of success for an indie, but once you start scaling up the business and trying to publish a bunch of games, all that money QUICKLY runs out. This is one of the most common problems for small businesses that start to make it, the issues that arise when they want to scale up. And many many studios in the past have failed when they are working project to project and one of them doesn't do as well as they needed to survive (many studio failures still happen even with a recent success under their belt).

Thats why I've stated in the past that I felt he might be expanding the company too quickly in his attempt to scale it up. The defense that people have posted and one I mostly agreed with at the time was that he was only doing 1 other game besides minecraft. Now we find that he's doing THREE other games plus minecraft? Now I'm certainly of the opinion that he's expanding too fast (unless the games turn out to be small casual type projects). The scrolls game doesn't seem nearly as interesting as minecraft, and its also entering a saturated market for that type from what I've seen. He's also gone and gotten himself in a legal situation (regardless of who is right) that could cost him millions to litigate. They also seem to be losing focus on minecraft, when they would do well to pay more attention to it, continue to concentrate on developing it, and start working on more paid content (such as DLC or expansions, or sequels). Since its a proven success, they should be utilizing that more.

Unlike valve, where they have a steady nearly guaranteed income for the foreseeable future with steam, even if they don't develop another game again; mojang does NOT have a steady income stream setup for the future. They need to make sure and have projects going that they know will get money (aka minecraft related ones), before they use up too many of their resources in unproven unrelated projects.

Edit: As well Mojang is paying someone to do xbox port of minecraft. So they are actually involved with at least FOUR other projects that we know about, besides the already released minecraft.

This comment was edited on Jan 13, 2012, 21:11.
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