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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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25. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 15, 2012, 11:11 Mr. Tact
 
Hmmm, looked at this again and realized Lego said they would have a "go/no go" in 1-2 weeks. That was on Dec 12th. Now maybe the holiday season delayed their decision, but I'd guess that's a bad sign for anyone hoping to buy a Minecraft themed Lego set.  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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24. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 14:24 Dev
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 06:03:
Well, by making "3 new games" I hope they arent talking about those crap games he made in 2-3 days...what a disaster.
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 08:36:
Weren't those made in some kind of coding competition? Pretty sure they were never intended to be products per se.
Yeah I believe so, which means they likely aren't those competition ones because they won't be released until later.
Unless they are trying to polish up and finish up the coding competition ones for full release.

Anyway, if they are small scale projects, then 3 additional projects is likely not excessive for mojang.

The whole NDA thing though I think indicates these products are being done for someone else.
 
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23. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 08:36 Mr. Tact
 
Weren't those made in some kind of coding competition? Pretty sure they were never intended to be products per se.  
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22. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 06:03 xXBatmanXx
 
Well, by making "3 new games" I hope they arent talking about those crap games he made in 2-3 days...what a disaster.  
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21. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 00:57 Dev
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 00:18:
Good point, hope they realize it. Thanks for the Lego news, pretty damn cool.
NP, I was browsing the first page of blog entries from notch, and he had it there.
I thought his blog was worth a browse, I've been checking it every month or two.
http://notch.tumblr.com/
 
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20. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 00:18 Mr. Tact
 
Good point, hope they realize it. Thanks for the Lego news, pretty damn cool.  
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19. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 00:16 Dev
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 14, 2012, 00:07:
Haha! That's great about the lego idea support. They're insane if their process doesn't pass the idea onto production.
I agree, however they should probably only make it available online. I doubt putting minecraft legos in target is going to make much sales.
 
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18. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 00:07 Mr. Tact
 
Haha! That's great about the lego idea support. They're insane if their process doesn't pass the idea onto production.  
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17. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 14, 2012, 00:03 Dev
 
BTW, I found this amusing and cool:
http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/4038
Lego apparently put up to a community vote if they should sell minecraft lego sets (with notch's blessing). They hit the voting threshold within 48 hours (the fastest any other project hit was 57 DAYS).

Okay, we get it. You have a passionate community who wants to see Minecraft themed LEGO sets. It just took three server outages to prove it to us

There's apparently a 1% royalty for any community approved and published Lego projects, which in this case is being donated to charity.

This comment was edited on Jan 14, 2012, 00:15.
 
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16. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 23:32 Dev
 
Jensen wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 23:03:
So, about $90M USD

These numbers aren't exact,but probably within 100k sales per category. And it's not like their sales numbers are waning... $275k in sales in the last 24 hours.
Not quite doubling it to $90 (and then you forgot to cut it in half to $45 million from tax) doesn't substantially change my points. That also assumes that notch makes all his earnings available to the company. If he's smart, he'll hold some back for himself in case the company fails.

One single game is generally not a reliable income source for the foreseeable future for a dev studio, especially not when they are doing all sorts of other projects, and nothing really announced in the minecraft universe. As it stands currently, that income can probably last at least a couple more years, but without further action in the minecraft series, sales of it will start dwindling at some point (I'm not saying that point is now), and if thats the only source of income they are relying on then, they will be in trouble at that point, especially if they've spent all their reserve. In other words, if a company wants to scale up, they need to plan for the future. We saw how a company with $100 million with APB had their financial planning to be broke with $0 on launch day, that does NOT work with a MMO. There's expenses and the money doesn't drop in the bank on day 1. If they had held back even a couple million, they might have been able to make a go at it (although from the sounds of it they had a lot of other internal problems).

Even blizzard with WoW is working on making a replacement MMO, since they can see the writing on the wall with subscriptions starting to drop. Notice how also in recent years they started more seriously working on starcraft and now diablo? When I talk about valve having a reliable basically guaranteed income source for the foreseeable future in steam, its NOT based on any particular game. They don't need to ever dev another game. They are making bank off selling other people's games, which is actually far more than they make selling their own games. IMHO, steam has kickstarted a renaissance in PC gaming, especially with indie gaming, and there's no sign that it will stop anytime soon. I'd love to be able to invest in valve.

This comment was edited on Jan 13, 2012, 23:45.
 
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15. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 23:03 Jensen
 
Dev wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 20:38:
http://www.minecraft.net/stats
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.
800K sales at 9.95 Euro
3.35M at 14.95 Euro
500K at 19.95 Euro
average exchange rate is probably a bit over $1.3 per Euro
So, about $90M USD

These numbers aren't exact,but probably within 100k sales per category. And it's not like their sales numbers are waning... $275k in sales in the last 24 hours.

This comment was edited on Jan 13, 2012, 23:18.
 
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14. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 21:43 Mr. Tact
 
Ok, I wasn't going to say it... but you guys talked me into it. The clearest sign Mojang has no clue what they are doing... the hiring of Lydia Winters (Minecraft Chick).

This comment was edited on Jan 14, 2012, 00:08.
 
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13. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 21:08 Dev
 
This quote was interesting when I went and RTFA:

"I think that comes with the new games we're creating," he says. "They will have a big impact on Mojang over the next year. I can't talk about them, because we have NDAs with companies.

IF they have contracted to do games for other companies (otherwise why would there be NDAs?) and those other companies are substantially funding most of those other games in advance, then perhaps three other games is not excessive.


MisterBenn wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 21:01:
They need some way to leverage that such as becoming an indie game outlet as well. Indie games are surging due to the proliferation of the electronic marketplace and Steam channels most of the profit at the moment. Mojang has enough brand, capital and (currently) indie credentials that they could rival them if they tried...
IMHO, $20 million is not nearly enough to become a steam rival. I bet EA has spent more than that on origins. There are also other significant indie portals besides steam, for example Desura. Lately some indie games I've bought are only on Desura and not on steam.

This comment was edited on Jan 13, 2012, 21:16.
 
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12. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 21:01 MisterBenn
 
It will be interesting to see how Mojang fares in the coming months and years. You certainly can't base a business around all your indie releases being as big as Minecraft. It's a bit crude to call that a fluke since there is a genius concept behind it that noone else had thought to create... but at the same time to even have a second idea that stirs up its own culture in the same way is amazingly unlikely. I'd admit Notch was truly a genius if he achieved it again.

Regarding spreading Mojang thin, it's probably true even if it's one person per game full time. They seem to be set up as a straightforward small developer, with a dev team and a consultant providing business/marketing/sales analytics etc. They need one of these follow-up games to do a lot better than your average indie game otherwise they'll lose cash with all the infrastructure they have. They're gonna have to find steady, strong sales from somewhere otherwise the Minecraft money will steadily evaporate.

The best resource that Mojang has right now is its brand recognition. They need some way to leverage that such as becoming an indie game outlet as well. Indie games are surging due to the proliferation of the electronic marketplace and Steam channels most of the profit at the moment. Mojang has enough brand, capital and (currently) indie credentials that they could rival them if they tried...
 
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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.
http://www.minecraft.net/stats
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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10. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 19:45 jacobvandy
 
Mojang is a lot more than just Notch now, surely you guys know that?  
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9. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 19:15 panbient
 
Ruffiana wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 15:03:
So here's to hoping that he's got a good plan and have enough success to continue doing what he's doing for as long as he wants to.

Yeah the next big plan will be called Mojang-con.
 
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8. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 17:41 killer_roach
 
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.

Minecraft's absurd levels of commercial success affords Notch a lot of room for error... he can try a few things out and let them succeed or fail long before having to chart a new course with that sort of a financial cushion.
 
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7. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 16:37 Julio
 
I'm guessing he's developing Fallsout, Skirim as two of the titles. Personally I saw no value in his game, but we'll see if he's a one hit wonder or not.  
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6. Re: Mojang Developing Three Games Jan 13, 2012, 15:56 Creston
 
Ruffiana wrote on Jan 13, 2012, 12:32:
Might be spreading yourself a bit thin there Notch. Hard enough to develop a new game with your full attention. Supporting and expanding on a live one while developing a new one would be very challenging.

But three new games and 1 live game? That's just reckless.

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. How many people did he hire at Mojang??

Creston
 
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