Every few months Minecraft makes a few extra headlines with reports of its success, like in November 2011 when the game surpassed 4 million units sold. This trend continues today with more highly positive news about the growth of blocky indie title.
According to The Financial Times, Mojang's annual filings reveal that they've earned $80 million in revenue thanks to the Minecraft franchise. Most of that money comes from sales of the core PC game (over 5 million units sold), but the brand has expanded into the mobile market, first beginning on the Xperia Play, later expanding to iOS and Android devices as a top-selling app.
Minecraft is poised to continue the growth trend with lead designer Jens "Jeb" Bergensten continually adding to and improving the PC version of the game, with the Xbox 360 exclusive version of the game launching in May for 1600 Microsoft Points ($20). That version was advertised at E3 last year during the Xbox 360 Keynote to support Kinect but as we learned last week, that is sadly no longer the case (another example of broken E3 promises) but it's possible it could be updated into the game post-launch.
While Minecraft could have helped bridge the gap between simple hands-free motion control games and gimmicks to a more core gaming experience, that's not to see Minecraft won't offer an amazing downloadable experience. With a re-designed HUD, a user-friendly interface and split screen play, Minecraft is expected to be a big hit on XBLA.
Stepping out of the digital realm, Minecraft also has its own LEGO sets on the way, although they're rather basic and cost more than the game itself. Since Minecraft is essentially the LEGO game that LEGO couldn't ever create themselves, this is yet another natural avenue for the brand to expand.
What does all of this success mean for Swedish developer Mojang and Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson? More games!
Scrolls has been in development with most of Mojang's staff for quite some time, and several other unannounced projects are currently in the works. Notch has recently gone on record teasing another new game, a space-based adventure, that he's working on himself, and Mojang aims to grow as a third-party indie publisher with Cobalt marking their first release as a publisher.
Some of our own users have inquired as to whether or not we'd see a Minecraft sequel and that's certainly a long-term possibility if the game were to be re-programmed for scratch with a more advanced game engine, the game is constantly growing as it is with more content and a vastly improved back-end. Just recently, the engine was improved to double the height of the in-game world.
Minecraft is a shining example of a game growing through its community and word of mouth, and it emphasizes how developers can digitally distribute their own content at affordable prices - without DRM mind you, something that Notch has long been an advocate against.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes if you play Minecraft.
Source: The Financial Times
Header image edited from screenshot by Freodom.