Report Comment to a Moderator Our Moderators review all comments for abusive and offensive language, and ensure comments are from Verified Users only.
Please report a comment only if you feel it requires our urgent attention.
I understand, report it. Cancel

Minecraft creator: "If you're open about sales, it feels like you're genuine"

By Alec Meer

Thu 25 Nov 2010 8:39am GMT / 3:39am EST / 12:39am PST

Persson resists VC, considers DLC

Markus 'Notch Persson', creator of surprise indie hit Minecraft, does not regret making the game's turnover so public.

Persson hit the headlines in September, when Minecraft's constantly updated user count page revealed that the game was bringing in $350,000 per day at its peak.

"Personally I like sharing that information, because I'm generally an open guy," Persson told in an interview published today. "But it feels a bit sometimes like it's a bragging page.

"That wasn't the intention, because originally it was for the people who had brought the game could see like a number increase on a webpage or something. I think it's a good sign, if you're actually open with your development and you're also open about the sales, it feels like you're genuine in some sense."

However, Persson slightly regrets the low price he selected for the current 'alpha' version of the game (which will rise when it reaches beta and then gold states).

"I think one kind of small problem with Minecraft is it's kind of cheap, and people who want to pay more can't pay more... If I had more business sense I probably would have raised the price a while ago. But I try to , if I promise something, stick to that..."

The Swedish developer, who recently opened his own studio off the back of Minecraft's success, also revealed he was mulling over the possibility of DLC to increase the game's revenues, but was worried about exploiting players. "I'm a bit opposed to pointless DLC, but trying to think about the model a bit more makes some sense. Especially now that we're running a proper company...

"I know I enjoyed some DLC before, when it feels like it's an expansion to the game which wasn't just there. Like when I was playing Mega Man 9, and I have bought content that I have already downloaded, that felt a bit weird. But the Fallout 3 expansions, I enjoyed those. If you do it right, you can do it in a good way, I think."

One source of funds Persson isn't interested in, however, is venture capital. "We're getting other types of interest now, people who want to throw money at us...

"I'd rather have [the games] just be self-funded, because we can run the company we want. If we fail with a game it's because we failed it, not because we had to rush it to meet a deadline."

The full interview with Markus Persson, in which he also discusses the business opportunities on PC following large publishers' abandonment of the platform and future plans for his new studio, is available here.

From Recommendations by Taboola


Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University

205 0 0.0
is any one not seeing the article here or is it just me?

Posted:5 years ago


Martin Egger IT Specialist

1 0 0.0
me too

Posted:5 years ago

Fixed now - apologies for the technical issue there.

Posted:5 years ago


Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

386 316 0.8
Had some trouble actually paying for this. This is a more enjoyable game than for example FF XiV is.

Posted:5 years ago


Alex Kitching AI Programmer, Dark Energy Digital

5 0 0.0
I'm not so sure - I think the price is about right. I bought it and love it, but wouldn't have been prepared to pay more than around 10.00 to be honest.

Posted:5 years ago


Wojciech Mroczek Awesome Content Specialist,

18 10 0.6
I believe that with the price set higher for Minecraft the game wouldn't sell nearly as many copies and would bing much less revenue. 10 is just about as much as most people are willing to risk (yes! risk!) buying a game in early alpha development. I gladly paid my 10, but I considered it more of a donation towards game development rather than anything else. Had the game cost more, I wouldn't even consider the purchase.

Posted:5 years ago


Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University

205 0 0.0
what Wojciech Mroczek was saying

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stephen McCarthy on 25th November 2010 3:58pm

Posted:5 years ago


Youcef Baouchi Freelance Writer

1 0 0.0
I think the price is perfect right now and if he decides to increase it then he's just being greedy. The game is not worth anymore than the $12 I payed for it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Youcef Baouchi on 25th November 2010 4:05pm

Posted:5 years ago


Ben Wilkinson Art Director at Export 2 Reality

1 0 0.0
I think hes referring to theory that certain people (hard core fans) would like to pay more than $10 to get something special but don't have the opportunity.
DLC would be a smart route to go, especially if he lowered the initial purchase price and had variant prices of content based on how badly the player wanted it.

Posted:5 years ago


Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,611 1,686 0.6
Minecraft. DS/3DS would be cool.

Or hell, stick it on a damn DISC for consoles (Ben, you're absolutely right - people DO pay more for MORE content on a physical disc). Remember, not everyone has access to a high speed connection and ignoring that rather large console base means you're not maximizing the potential of the title, I say.

Make it a budget release around $19.99-$29.99 with additional content (maybe get that story mode completed if it's not done already), get some decent word of mouth (which should be easy)

Posted:5 years ago


Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University

23 0 0.0
If anything the current price isn't worth it.
I've tried and tried to like it, but it's just not as good as other sand box games like it. I've played Playstation Mini's with more staying power.

At the end of the day you can play Minecraft for however much it costs, or you can play Dwarf Fortress for free, with the added bonus of watching dwarves do your stuff and get eaten by carp.

Posted:5 years ago


Shane Sweeney Academic

505 603 1.2
Indie developers should always set up paypal donations. I wanted to give the Blueberry Garden developer, Erik Svendang more money but couldn't.

Posted:5 years ago


Krasimir Koichev Producer, Riftforge

35 0 0.0
Notch has 600,000 pre-sales now, that's 6 million euro. Even if he started a small studio, 6 million will last him for a game or two.

Posted:5 years ago


Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 708 0.8
Eagle Dynamics is doing the same on their new A-10 simulator:

<a href="

60 Euros, new version every fortnight up until release. It's already very stable apparently.

No idea how much they make, but I suspect "enough" covers it, as they've been going a fair while now and release all their products digitally. And a 663 page PDF manual. Now THAT'S a manual!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Fran Mulhern on 26th November 2010 10:57am

Posted:5 years ago


Alasdair Gray Junior Account Planner, Five by Five

9 0 0.0
I think the smartest (and simplest) part of this was setting a lower price during the alpha and clearly stating that it will increase in later versions. I wonder how many people would have bought the game during alpha if the price wasn't set to increase later.

Community good will is certainly important for any start up. Transparency is certainly a great way to encourage this and a donation option wouldn't hurt either. The more you can allow your audience to support and feel like they're a part of the game's development, the better.

Posted:5 years ago


Tim Carter Designer - Writer - Producer

640 370 0.6
If the guy "has business sense" he'll keep on doing exactly what he's doing now.

Posted:5 years ago


Login or register to post

Take part in the GamesIndustry community

Register now