A successful business plan: Minecraft

hello! This is my first review, and today I wanted to review something unusual.
Instead of reviewing the merits of a game, I will review the economical side of one instead.

The game I chose to be subject is a little Indy game called Minecraft. It's a simple game, where the base premise is to remove blocks and add blocks, on an infinite map (infinite until your computer runs out of harddisk space that is). This sounds horribly dull, but is in fact a very fun way to pass the time.

The reason I chose this game is because the developer (one man named Markus Persson) is already a millionaire thanks to minecraft, and the game isn't even in beta yet. He made this money by allowing users to prepurchase the game, and in return gives customers a sneak peak into the alpha game (read: the unfinished alpha game, and the full game when it comes out).
To explain, I have isolated a few key points in his market strategy:

1. Price:
Prepurchasing the game only costs 10 euros (he is swedish), in comparison to the 20 euro price the game would cost when in beta or beyond. 10 euro is about the price of a movie-ticket nowadays. I believe this is important in getting people to try it, since 10 euro is no big loss if the buy isn't what they expected.

2. Updates:
When you own the game, you get all the most recent updates. So you get the unfinished product, but as the game nears beta, more stuff gets added. I feel this is a very important cornerstone because the game sales usually spike after a decent-sized update.
Persson usually maintains a weekly update. Thanks to this weekly update, interest in the game, that would grow stale quickly, remains lively.

3. Community:
Mr. Persson is very involved with his community, replying to as many tweets as he can and maintaining a presence in the minecraft chat room. Oftentimes he will also reply to suggestions and requests. This involvement creates an atmosphere of a small community where every input counts, although the game has over half a million registered users.

4. Portability:
The game runs in a java applet in your browser. Alternately, you have the option of downloading a client, so you can play on a laptop. This means you have access to the game wherever and whenever you feel like playing. This is important for a game you can play for 15 minutes or 15 hours (well, in extreme cases).

so to summarise:
1. low price, to get people to try your game while paying for it.
2. frequent updates, to keep public interest high.
3. keep in touch with the community
4. easy access to your game (think of how many people played farmville, even though it wasn't any fun)

I hope you found this review interesting, and I'd be glad to hear your comments on how I could improve.

This is actually a pretty good system. It's very similar to the system Mount & Blade used when it was being developed. You made a one time purchase of the game while it was still in development, and you would get free access to all future updates including the final product when it was released. It seems like it worked pretty good since they were able to make the War bands expansion for it.

I've never seen someone review a game but not really review the game itself. I like your style. I've been trying to learn more about it and I really want to play it. I love indie games like this. From the screenshots, it reminds me of that multiplayer game where you mine ore, silver, and gold to get points for your team. And it had lava that could flow around. Anyways, nice review.

Someperson307:
I've never seen someone review a game but not really review the game itself. I like your style. I've been trying to learn more about it and I really want to play it. I love indie games like this. From the screenshots, it reminds me of that multiplayer game where you mine ore, silver, and gold to get points for your team. And it had lava that could flow around. Anyways, nice review.

thanks :D
i think the multiplayer game you mean is infiniminer (or something like that). It's where this game got it's inspiration.

i researched about this game i heard it rips off another game called ''infinimer'', then i saw gameplay footage of the game and thought ''wtf? this piece of crap is what everybody is talking about? i'd have to be autistic to like this game''

really? 20$? I can actually buy a genuinely good game for that.

I held off buying this, I kept thinking "Meh, it's not as spectacular as they say."

Then I constructed a walled fortress with a ladder leading to my under construction floating sky fortress.

I take back everything not utterly positive I said about the game. Though I wouldn't so much call it a game as a means of entertaining oneself to a great extent.

Considering the cost and the amount of time I've already sunk into it, it was more than worth it.

 

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