A way of life: The business of Minecraft, and how Microsoft’s looking to shake things up
A year ago, Microsoft announced its plan to release a Marketplace program within the computer game phenom Minecraft that lets assigned creators sell their own maps, mini-games, and aesthetic changes.
So far, according to Fast Company, Microsoft has paid $7m to Minecraft creators since the program launched last June — providing enough cash flow for some creators to quit their day jobs and make Minecraft ’tent full time.
What a world…
Microsoft acquired Minecraft’s developer Mojang back in 2013 for $2.5B, so the business isn’t exactly making dividends for the computing conglomerate just yet.
BUT, with over 25m Marketplace downloads since its release, and roughly 74m actively playing Minecraft as of last December, the company sees its potential and is pushing full steam ahead.
Soon, they plan to increase the number of creators — only 45 have received invites thus far — and roll out some nifty new tools for them to mod with in the process.
But, as the marketplace grows, Microsoft faces some hurdles…
Like maintaining the safety of its predominantly young demographic. They also run the risk of alienating Minecraft ‘players.’
Different from creators, Minecraft players have long been skeptical of monetization schemes within the universe — when the Marketplace launched, complaints flooded forums accusing Microsoft of exploitation for pricing content that people have created for free for years.
With the Marketplace, some players worry that Microsoft may remove popular mods from other free download sites and charge for them instead.
Confused? Google it. The world of Minecraft is friggin vast, newbs.