The exact sales figures for Minecraft have been revealed, and they're pretty damn high.
We already knew Minecraft was making mounds of cash, but just how many copies has the game sold so far? One hundred thousand? One million? Neither of those, but more than one and half as much as the other.
Mojang Specifications, which is apparently the name that Markus "Notch" Persson still refers to as the company forming around Minecraft, announced today that the game has sold 500,000 copies. In its alpha phase. Wow.
Let me put this in perspective. A few weeks before release, Nintendo was bragging that Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker had between 500,000 and 600,000 pre-orders. Though Minecraft actually lets you play right now, and a purchase is not exactly a pre-order, you're still not playing the final product. For any game, let alone an independent game still in development, to sell 500,000 copies is a smashing success. At $14 a pop, that's a lot of early revenue.
A couple of other indie companies I recently reported on were happy when they sold 26,000 and 30,000 copies respectively. Persson created a truly interesting game that has caught the entire industry by storm, but to additionally sell 500,000 units is just incredible. Mojang says it will reinvest its profits back into Minecraft, with Persson recently revealing on his blog that he'll be moving into a new office with multiple employees soon.