In a Reddit Ask me Anything thread with Notch, creator of Minecraft, fans pieced together that the total revenue for the indie title might be near $33 million so far. This is without subtracting the Paypal cut, but it's still a large chunk of change regardless, especially for a game still in "Beta."
According to Notch, the sales during alpha testing add up to around 800,000, while the recent beta has managed to rack up over 1,000,000 new purchases of Minecraft, and sales are not slowing down.
It is important to note that after this news started spreading, Notch commented on Kotaku's version of the story specifically, stating:
"Wow! It's funny because not only did I not answer exactly how much it's made (I only said it has passed 1.8 million sales), but also that it's public stats."
This is true. We do not know the exact statistics on sales (other than what Notch has provided), and the data for how many copies have been sold is publicly available on Minecraft.net. In fact, that number is currently sitting pretty at 1,824,758. 9842 of those transactions were made in the last 24 hours as of this writing. What is important is that during all of this amazing exponential growth, this seems to be the first time someone has taken the statistics and made a reasonable guess at what Mojang is pulling in.
Despite what seems like an enormous pool of money for the small production team to swim in, updates are few and far between. Although some understand that the amount of behind-the-scenes work and planning required to hold together an indie game company (which is simultaneously working to release another ambitious title soon, titled Scrolls), some fans are not satisfied with the update release schedule and the long-term forecast for the Minecraft in general.
The last batch of added/tweaked content, Update 1.4, contained many welcome new features, including pet wolves, ladder hanging and cookies, but it took a month for that update to come out. Achievements were promised, but didn't make it in time to be included. Update 1.5 is shaping up to offer more fun additions, such as the sorely missing achievement system, as well as weather.
Speaking of the slow release schedule, Notch had the following to say when a Reddit user asked what major game developers could learn from smaller groups like Mojang:
"Don't tell people when you take a break. ;)"
Minecraft is currently available for the PC and Mac, and coming soon for Android and iOS.
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