Minecraft dev to found own studio after $3.8m success

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.

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Latest comments (25)

Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games9 years ago
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.
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Richard Gardner Artist, Crytek9 years ago
Minecraft is a great game, I'm looking forward to seeing what he/them come up with next.
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Adrian Cummings Founder and Owner, Mobile Amusements9 years ago
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Show all comments (25)
Joel Fagerlund Development Director, EA DICE9 years ago
This is awesome. Best of luck to him and his team!
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Neguceanu George Level Designer / Web Design - Promotion, Pixel Toaster Studios9 years ago
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Max Priddy9 years ago
All hail the mighty Minecrack! (just noticed the double entendre in calling it that actually...hurr!)
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Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer 9 years ago
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

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Who said bedroom coders can't make millions? Its like the 80s all over again. Nice work.
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Stephen McCarthy Studying Games Technology, Kingston University9 years ago
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
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 9 years ago
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.
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Felix Gladitz9 years ago
Beautiful success story!

Very inspirational and certainly keeps me going - doing what I enjoy! :)
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Stephen Reid Senior Online Community Manager, EA BioWare9 years ago
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.
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Hummy Rashid Studying Orthoptics, University of Sheffield9 years ago
Well done to him!
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Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven9 years ago
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.
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Jonny Pickton Studying Diploma in Games Design, Futureworks9 years ago
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.
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James Taylor Studying Games and Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology9 years ago
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Emily Rose Freelance Artist 9 years ago
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

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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology9 years ago
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!
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Jordan Woodward Level Designer, Rebellion Developments9 years ago
Incredible success story! Good on him, truely is inspiring.
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Charley Wang Studying Engineering, University of Toronto9 years ago
A game with good ideas, and I'm not just talking about the gameplay :)
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Bjorn Hurri Lead Artist, Opus Artz Ltd9 years ago
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.
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Ben Furneaux Principal Designer 9 years ago
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.
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Luke McCarthy Indie Game Developer 9 years ago
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

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Private VIdeo Games 9 years ago
Fairplay to him, great work.
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Daniel Kaplan Biz developer, Mojang9 years ago
Wow thanks for your great support!
And hi Björn! Long time no see :D

Biz developer @ Minecraft
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