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

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 GamesIndustry.biz 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.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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