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Minecraft Grosses ~$33M

Gamasutra offers some calculation based on a Reddit comment by Notch where the Minecraft designer says the indie sensation sold 800,000 alpha copies and another million more since, for an estimated $33 million in gross revenue before PayPal fees, taxes, etc. Here's what he says about where this "huge wad of money" is: "It all ends up in an account somewhere, and I try not to look at it. I get a normal salary these days for day to day stuff, but there's a big pile somewhere." Thanks Joao.

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39. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 15:49 Mr. Tact
 
As far as how lucky Notch was, it's a debate that can't be settled.

I would say he's fortunate in that doing what he liked and was interested in, lead to making enough cash to support him for the rest of his life (assuming he doesn't lose his mind and burn through the cash). I'm sure we all wish we were that fortunate. Good for him, I wish him no ill will and I have no issue with having given him my $21 for the game.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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38. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 14:54 Beamer
 

As soon as you figure out how to build a perpetual cart system the game becomes a lot more enjoyable since you can focus on creating things more and worrying about how you're going to get around less. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of depth to the game other than MAKE STUFFZ and eventually you get kinda bored of that. It was an ok little game, almost like adult lego on the internet. I enjoyed it mildly for what it was and consider the money well spent.

I'm surprised, but I echo this entirely.
It's fun at first, but there's no real game. At least with legos the game, for me, became about using them as action figures and sets. You can't do that in Minecraft - it's more akin to model airplanes you put on display than legos you play with. It eventually gets hollow and empty to me.
 
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http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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37. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 13:42 Verno
 
As soon as you figure out how to build a perpetual cart system the game becomes a lot more enjoyable since you can focus on creating things more and worrying about how you're going to get around less. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of depth to the game other than MAKE STUFFZ and eventually you get kinda bored of that. It was an ok little game, almost like adult lego on the internet. I enjoyed it mildly for what it was and consider the money well spent.  
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Playing: Dragon Age Inquisition, Far Cry 4, This War of Mine
Watching: The Fall, The Walking Dead, Leon
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36. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 09:14 Mr. Tact
 
Sepharo wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 18:37:
I was hooked after the first video I watched on YouTube. Happened to be a "How to survive the first night" guide (missed out on the earlier alphas and creative phases). As soon as I saw him turn wood into sticks, and sticks and rocks into a pick and start digging in an infinite world, I had my credit card out

Riker wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 19:21:
I tried to get into the game and found nothing worth my time, but it's great that he's made that kind of success for himself.

Both of these comments are dead on. It's one of those things some people will love, some people will hate, and most people will just shrug their shoulders at.

I'd had been hearing people mention this game for a long time before I finally went looking around to find out what it was in the first week of March this year. I watched that same video Sepharo mentioned. I went ahead and got the game and I have enjoyed it.

However, my creativity isn't quite high enough to get the continuing enjoyment that others can. Frankly, I've probably spent more time watching "Let's Play" video series of Minecraft on youtube than I have actually spent playing the game. I've watched LOTS of videos, off the top of my head I'm going to guess 100+ hours of them.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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35. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 09:03 Beamer
 
Luck is at least 33% of success. At least.

I'd say it's at least 33% dumb luck (including being born into the right family in the right location with the right finances and the right family friends), 20% intelligence (which, really, is determined by luck, isn't it?), 13% drive and 33% charisma/people skills that let you make yourself valuable enough and likeable enough to the right people. Even part of that last one is luck, as if you're born more personable or better looking you've got a huge advantage.

Hard work is really overrated. It's certainly a part, but merely working hard doesn't get you anywhere.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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34. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 08:03 Veinman
 
I played this game for the first time last night. I'll be buying it. It readily consumed my evening. It's fascinating, and I am hoping that as I build my character up (armor, etc) waiting out the nights won't be so boring.  
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33. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 7, 2011, 02:37 Trainwreck
 
Luck is nothing. Excellence is everything. Never forget you are in control of your own destiny.  
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32. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 21:44 Dev
 
Notch's problem is that of a huge number of small businesses (aka indies) in all areas of life.
They have issues scaling.

They are fine when they are super small, then when they start to become successful they can't figure out how to scale it up properly. Like a mom & pop restaurant needing to open a 2nd location, or a small printing company that can sell services for a good price because of their small volume printer now needs to invest in a $500,000 printer to handle the volume and they don't have anywhere near that much to invest.

Notch's was doing the game entirely on his own, now the company is trying to spread out, do too many projects (and weird ones at that, ones that probably won't go anywhere but he feels obligated to his friends). He's no longer getting his hands dirty in the code as much, but has he hired enough programmers and delegating and running the company well? Perhaps he needs to hire a COO to do that for him. At a certain point in scaling up, ONE person cannot handle all the hats and jobs he was doing when the company was very small. The test is, can he delegate and let others do that job, and either step out of the way or do more overall than hands on work (which is entirely different from his previous experience, not everyone has the skill set to do that regardless of how successful they did as a one man operation)
They also probably need to concentrate on this one game, getting it released, doing expansions, etc. If they want to do another project they need to have two separate teams, not siphoning people off one team. If notch is no longer excited and interested in finishing/polishing minecraft, he needs hire and give it over to people who ARE.

Unfortunately, since he's the guy with the money and in charge, if he's not getting good advice and not doing a good job at scaling up the company, it could easily drive the company under. That $33 million is probably only $15 mil after taxes, and a bunch of that just went into a brand new big HQ and equipment, if they are spending money like water, its going to hurt them.

I bought minecraft and I hope it succeeds and I hope they scale the business up, but I've been seeing missteps beginning with the company for a few months now that could lead to the downfall of the company.

This comment was edited on Apr 6, 2011, 21:53.
 
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31. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 19:22 Golwar
 
You won't get my soul ... eh money, Notch!
*runs for his dear life*
 
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30. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 19:22 Ventura
 
How about putting that money into a bigger team that can bring updates faster. Or at least put most of the already made creature mods into the vanilla game. This game has tons of potential but updates are slow and haven't been adding much.

In full agreement. Minecraft is almost too good for its own good, because it deserves a level of development that it just hasn't been getting of late. Very little has been done to the game in 2011, what with Notch having taken one break after another. The only feature request he seemed to consider very seriously was the wolves, and even then that was just because Peter Molyneux wanted it.

They've made a mistake starting on this Scrolls crap they're planning. As far as I'm concerned everyone on the team should be on Minecraft.

I get the feeling, from having followed Notch for a while on Twitter, that he's over it. He seems to rarely discuss Minecraft these days, which to me means that his heart just isn't in it anymore.
 
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29. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 19:21 Riker
 
Wowsers, good for him... that's pretty impressive. I tried to get into the game and found nothing worth my time, but it's great that he's made that kind of success for himself.  
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28. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 19:15 Stormsinger
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 16:45:
Rattlehead wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 15:23:

Indies proving the PC market may not make you filthy billionaire, but they can make you just a millionaire.

Good news both for indies and the PC market since it proves it is very, very viable for an indie.
There are hundreds and hundreds of indie games out there on Steam that don't seem to amount to anything. Minecraft is and always will be a fluke. Everyday I boot up Steam, I see the advertisement for some unknown indie game that's been released, close it, and never hear of it again.

I'm not saying there isn't a market, but there are tons of indie games out there that amount to nothing. Just my 2 cents.

Dude, most new companies, projects, products, fail. Somewhere around 97% of them. When something succeeds, it should not be considered a fluke. A fluke means it was pure luck. What separates luck from success is hard work. Don't ever forget that.

OTOH, you can work your ass off for your whole life, and if you don't have some luck, you'll still die poor. Don't ever forget that luck is a -huge- factor in life...
 
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27. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 19:00 TurdFergasun
 
i'd rather support the indie dev in the first place. i'll take my chances creatively and ethically before i pump a giant conglomorate with more of the same money thats causing all this bad behavior on their parts.  
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26. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 19:00 nin
 
As soon as I saw him turn wood into sticks, and sticks and rocks into a pick and start digging in an infinite world, I had my credit card out

That was me, also. I think youtube really helped advertise the game, with so many people uploading their creations.
 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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25. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 18:37 Sepharo
 
Halo wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 16:35:
I've squeezed more fun out of MC than other games. I was happy with where it was at, any updates are a bonus to me.

Same here.

Vulkan wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 17:48:
Edit: And yes, I'm one of those silly people that couldn't find what the point to this game was. Bought the alpha on a whim when I didn't have anything to do, and now that I *do* have other things to do I can't do them because I can't stop playing this blasted game.

You played it and didn't get the point or didn't get the point until you played? Just curious about the conversion. Or are you playing it obsessively and still don't get it?

I was hooked after the first video I watched on YouTube. Happened to be a "How to survive the first night" guide (missed out on the earlier alphas and creative phases). As soon as I saw him turn wood into sticks, and sticks and rocks into a pick and start digging in an infinite world, I had my credit card out
 
Avatar 17249
 
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24. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 18:37 Nameless Again
 
Thhrpt. Every game that's been released in the last 15+ years has been a beta version. Hence all the patches. Anyone here remember the big uproar regarding having to patch PC games on 0-day, circa 1995? I do... There actually was rigorous QA back in the day, especially where consoles were concerned.

Damn kids! (shakes cane violently)
 
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23. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 17:48 Vulkan
 
Vazz wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 15:34:
How about putting that money into a bigger team that can bring updates faster. Or at least put most of the already made creature mods into the vanilla game. This game has tons of potential but updates are slow and haven't been adding much.

Notch only needs to add proper mod support to the game, which might be tricky due to its reliance on Java.

My dream mod support for the game would be a situation where mods will work the same withing a single or multiplayer setting, that mods can coexist with each other by intelligently patching in the necessary changes to the original file instead of the mess of replacing source files with modified ones, thus overwriting mods that modify the same source files, this could be accomplished via a simple built in mod loader. The client would also have an option within the menus to automatically allow servers to send temporary mod patches (Disabled by default, some sort of community driven signing or white listing process would be a good idea here to prevent abuse) and some sort of cache for downloaded art and sound assets so clients don't have to redownload them each time they connect to a server.

Minecraft as it is now is a nice game, especially for those people who have ample amounts of creativity. However it kills me that it could be so much more if Mojang would expand by grabbing people off the community, who are doing a better job at fixing flaws and adding gameplay features than Mojang itself.

Edit: And yes, I'm one of those silly people that couldn't find what the point to this game was. Bought the alpha on a whim when I didn't have anything to do, and now that I *do* have other things to do I can't do them because I can't stop playing this blasted game.
 
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22. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 17:22 Cutter
 
Really? I have a hard time believing this.
 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's deadů Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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21. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 16:47 WyldKat
 
Since I bought Minecraft, and rather glad I did as it's provided more fun than many other games as of late, I've sort of been following Notch as well. From his Twitter posts and interviews on YouTube he seems a very humble person. He seems to have the attitude of,"I just want to code." instead of becoming a rockstar celeb developer. It reminds me of devs back in the old days really.  
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20. Re: Minecraft Grosses ~$33M Apr 6, 2011, 16:45 Steele Johnson
 
Rattlehead wrote on Apr 6, 2011, 15:23:

Indies proving the PC market may not make you filthy billionaire, but they can make you just a millionaire.

Good news both for indies and the PC market since it proves it is very, very viable for an indie.
There are hundreds and hundreds of indie games out there on Steam that don't seem to amount to anything. Minecraft is and always will be a fluke. Everyday I boot up Steam, I see the advertisement for some unknown indie game that's been released, close it, and never hear of it again.

I'm not saying there isn't a market, but there are tons of indie games out there that amount to nothing. Just my 2 cents.

Dude, most new companies, projects, products, fail. Somewhere around 97% of them. When something succeeds, it should not be considered a fluke. A fluke means it was pure luck. What separates luck from success is hard work. Don't ever forget that.
 
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