Here’s How Much It Cost To Make Minecraft (& For How Much Was It Sold)

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As one of the highest-grossing game franchises of all time, you would assume that it took millions of dollars to make Minecraft. This indie game is a success story for sure, and any success story has numerous plot twists and reveals shocking data. So really, how much did it cost to make Minecraft?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • There is no data to answer how much money it cost to make Minecraft when it was first released in 2009.
  • Software prices are relative to how long it took the developers to create it and how much they charge for it.
  • The original Minecraft took only 6 days to make and was sold for $13 per copy.

The Notch era

Markus Persson, or Notch for short, is the only person behind Minecraft. As mentioned previously, it only took him 6 days to make the original Java version of the game and it was released a day later. After the sales had risen, he opened up the gaming company Mojang Studios with his two previous colleagues – Carl Manneh and Jakob Porses. The company would then tweak the game over 2 years until its official release in 2011

2009 – The beginning

The original Java version was, for lack of a better term, plain. There were no health bars, no mobs, nor tools, and all you could do was build yourself a cobblestone house. Still, a community was formed around it, and they all wanted to learn how to play it.

Notch, after noticing the initial interest from players, started adding different elements to the game, and it was at this time that Minecraft began taking the form of the game we all know and love today. This is where its popularity grew tremendously. Note that this all happened only a year after its unofficial release.

Original Minecraft

2010 – Beta releases

The Beta version was released somewhere in 2010 and it’s when its price first grew. From the initial price of $13, you would now have to pay $20 for a copy of the game.

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2010 also marked the year when Minecraft sold its first million copies. In November 2011, the number would grow to 4 million as Markus tweeted ”4milyay”. It was around this time that the game was officially released at the MineCon convention.

Sales after the official release

By the end of 2012, the sales hit $9 million, while by the end of 2013, they would hit $33 million. Notch was so popular back then that he had a huge following on Twitter and even had The Temple of Notch adventure map implemented into the game. The sales in 2015 broke the $50 million mark.

Selling point

The sales alone point out its popularity, but the thing with fame and success is that it often brings a lot of hate with it, and Notch’s story was no different. Because of this, in 2014, he was barely even working on the game and had passed down the lead to James Berngensten back in 2011.

All of this did not help with the hate – he was still the face of Minecraft since he was the original creator and was still the main shareholder of Mojang so every bit of displeasing by the player base was going directly to him. This was very stressful for him, so in mid-2014, after a tweet from Notch, Microsoft contacted Mojang and offered him $2.5 billion for his 71% share.

Notch Tweet

After you deduct taxes and expenses caused by the sale, Markus had a clean $1.3 billion in his bank account, making him one of the richest people in the world. Although Microsoft and Mojang did not reveal their revenue, it’s estimated that the company made around $3 billion from 2011-2021.

Mojang/Microsoft takes over

After taking over, Microsoft and Mojang expanded the universe and created several new versions of the game and spin-offs, including:

  • Minecraft: Pocket Edition – this edition is targeted at mobile phone users and does not have all the features the PC version has
  • Legacy Console Edition – this edition was targeted at Xbox and PlayStation users. There were a few other releases aimed at Nintendo Users
  • Minecraft: Education Edition: the version is made to be used by schools and other educational establishments
  • Minecraft Dungeons: a dungeon crawler game that does not feature an open world, mining, or building
  • Minecraft Earth: similar in gameplay as the Bedrock edition and released for play on mobile phones, it was shut down in 2021 due to Covid-19
  • Minecraft: Story Mode features a total of 8 episodes. The game was discontinued in 2021, and no episodes are available except on Netflix, where there are only 5
  • Minecraft Legends: the game was released in 2023.

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What happened to Markus after?

Markus wanted to spend his time working on new titles but has instead bought himself a huge Beverly Hills mansion, and after a life mainly focused on partying, he would realize how quickly things can get depressive with such a lifestyle.

His marriage ended in divorce, and after keeping a low profile in the public eye for a while, partying and developing small indie games, he would resurface as he began tweeting his controversial political opinions. This includes but is not limited to sexist, racist, and homophobic opinions.

After these events have transpired, Microsoft would completely remove any trace of Notch from the game. They removed the Homepage splashes that related to Notch as well.

  • ”Made by Notch”
  • ”The Work of Notch”
  • ”110813”

The Future of Minecraft

The future of Minecraft is unpredictable, but if we look at the numbers, Minecraft sales reached an all-time high in 2018, with approximately $500 million in revenue across all platforms. They’ve had another successful year in 2020 with $475 million in revenue whilst the numbers have dropped in 2021 with approximately $380 million in revenue. I expect to see another huge rise in popularity over a couple of years.

My reasoning behind it is simple: Minecraft is a creative outlet game that truly explores the possibility of a virtual, self-sufficient world, which is where we are heading with VR tech and with most of our lives revolving around the Internet already.

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