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Minecraft dev to found own studio after $3.8m success

Thu 30 Sep 2010 10:10am GMT / 6:10am EDT / 3:10am PDT
Development

Indie game garners 25k players a day, creator courted by Valve and Bungie

One-man Minecraft developer Markus 'Notch' Persson has clarified his plans to found his own studio, despite meetings with Valve and Bungie.

The Swedish programmer made headlines this week when it was revealed that his sandbox building and survival title was earning up to $350,000 a day.

At the time of writing, Persson had sold 278772 copies of the online-only game, at €9.95 each. This equals lifetime earnings of $3,787,748 at the current exchange rate.

The game, currently in alpha, will see an increased price when it moves to beta and then final release.

Despite these earnings, Persson has remained relaxed about his game – shrugging off piracy and even making it free to play for several days following a server collapse.

Once the registration servers came back online, the game saw 25,936 purchases within 24 hours.

However, Persson has lamented the reduced time he is able to spend updating the game following its break-out success.

"Most my time these days is taken up by meetings and lawyers, accountants, banks, potential partners, potential employees, and the occasional interview," he claimed yesterday. "The few hours I do have to develop the game every now and then are mostly spent on looking into bugs and replying to emails."

As a result, he intends to form a full studio. "The status right now is that we're up to four people confirmed, and we're talking to several people.

"All this non-development work will result in a much nicer working environment, with talented people helping out with development, an actual office, and a much better way to deal with support issues, bug reports and feature requests."

Persson and his team are already working on a second, unannounced project.

25 Comments

Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games

86 34 0.4
Congratulations to Persson. It's a fantastic little game with a lot of potential still to be discovered, I've been enjoying the time spent playing minecraft. The worlds that game generates are very good. I'm glad he's decided to set up an independant studio, I can't help but imagine this game would be ruined in someone elses hands.

But you can't help attribute a lot of his success to the community that has gotten behind him and put minecraft out there.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Richard Gardner Artist, Crytek

123 32 0.3
Minecraft is a great game, I'm looking forward to seeing what he/them come up with next.

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Adrian Cummings Founder and Owner, Mobile Amusements

21 7 0.3
Superb!

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Joel Fagerlund Development Director, EA DICE

2 0 0.0
This is awesome. Best of luck to him and his team!

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Neguceanu George Level Designer / Web Design - Promotion, Pixel Toaster Studios

5 0 0.0
Awesome!

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Max Priddy

64 12 0.2
All hail the mighty Minecrack! (just noticed the double entendre in calling it that actually...hurr!)

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer

76 0 0.0
Fantastic story. I think making the game free after a server outage says a lot about Markus.
Best of luck to him and his team as they learn and grow.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stephen Northcott on 30th September 2010 4:28pm

Posted:4 years ago

#7
Who said bedroom coders can't make millions? Its like the 80s all over again. Nice work.

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University

205 0 0.0
I love the idea of the game ((hard right now but it will get better, it is alpha))

I wish him good luck with this

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,196 1,176 0.5
Haven't played MC yet, but I've been looking at the game page and movies for a bit and it's been recommended highly by quite a few folks. I definitely want to, but I have no time for any online gaming these days. Hell, stick it on the DS or PSP at some point and I'll give it a whirl. Hell, I'd actually love to see MC as a retail product on all consoles at some point. It has Play. Create. Share. written all over it, if you ask me...

Anyway, good for "Notch!'!

Still, it's like the dating process isn't it? Markus will be courted by as many bigger companies as possible while they all try and wear him down so they can "go all the way". As long as he doesn't get screwed in the process (or we start seeing Minecraft clones pop up all over the place), it's all good.

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Felix Gladitz

12 0 0.0
Beautiful success story!

Very inspirational and certainly keeps me going - doing what I enjoy! :)

Posted:4 years ago

#11

Stephen Reid Senior Online Community Manager, EA BioWare

1 0 0.0
Minecraft is not online-only. It verifies your copy by connecting to their servers, but when the servers are overloaded (which they have been, understandably) you can play offline.

Posted:4 years ago

#12

Hummy Rashid Studying Orthoptics, University of Sheffield

5 0 0.0
Well done to him!

Posted:4 years ago

#13

Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven

85 12 0.1
A really interesting project. I hope it'll inspire more single developers to try cool ideas.
No matter how much I like some of the ideas behind minecraft, it can't seem to attract me. from a developer point of view I am really interested in this game but as a consumer it doesn't interest me, I can't see why I would want to pay for such a game. I hope there will be more interesting gameplay elements in the future, it's still in an early stage after all.

Posted:4 years ago

#14

Jonny Pickton Studying Diploma in Games Design, Futureworks

5 0 0.0
Very inspiring to hear the type of success dedicated Dev's can achieve.

I love the games that are released into the Independent games market, there is some truly great talent there. It good news that its been recognized for Persson, I hope he sets up his own company without any hitches; cant wait to see the outcome of games he will produce.

Posted:4 years ago

#15

James Taylor Studying Games and Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

11 0 0.0
Inspiring!

Posted:4 years ago

#16

Emily Rose Freelance Artist

87 46 0.5
Minecraft is amazing. If you respect the fans, they will respect you (and tell their friends to buy =p)

Now I just need to fix my directinput error so I can play it on my main rig...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Emily Rose on 30th September 2010 11:51pm

Posted:4 years ago

#17

Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

179 0 0.0
good on him! Its a great game and shows that if you have a passion for something you can go far!

Now if only more people can start doing this then some great games can be made!

best of luck to him in future!

Now im off to play minecraft!

Posted:4 years ago

#18

Jordan Woodward Studying Interactive Games Design, University of Gloucestershire

79 0 0.0
Incredible success story! Good on him, truely is inspiring.

Posted:4 years ago

#19

Charley Wang Studying Engineering, University of Toronto

5 0 0.0
A game with good ideas, and I'm not just talking about the gameplay :)

Posted:4 years ago

#20

Bjorn Hurri Lead Artist, Opus Artz Ltd

1 0 0.0
Playing Minecraft reminds me of being a kid, taking out "the Legend of Zelda"-cartridge from it's gold pack, knowing that I will go on an adventure. Minecraft is full of adventure and exploration. I love that.

Best of luck to him and the team.

Posted:4 years ago

#21

Ben Furneaux Designer, Turbulenz Limited

116 55 0.5
Amazing to see how many people have become addicted to this game and it's still only alpha. Can't wait to see how it grows with a greater budget and resources.

Posted:4 years ago

#22

Luke McCarthy Indie Game Developer

35 0 0.0
I'm really looking forward to see how this game develops in the future. While already brilliant, the concept still has so much untapped potential. The community is incredible (wiki, forum, reddit, youtube, third-party tools) and really adds to the experience even when not playing the game.

When I first heard of the game, I was skeptical. I didn't think it would hold my interest for too long, but I tried it on the free weekend and I couldn't be more wrong. So for anyone wondering if they would like it... just get it already!

It's the scariest game I've played in a long time.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Luke McCarthy on 1st October 2010 2:54pm

Posted:4 years ago

#23

Private VIdeo Games

103 14 0.1
Fairplay to him, great work.

Posted:4 years ago

#24

Daniel Kaplan Biz developer, Mojang

1 0 0.0
Wow thanks for your great support!
And hi Björn! Long time no see :D

//Daniel
Biz developer @ Minecraft

Posted:4 years ago

#25

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