Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, who recently defeated the mighty Valve to earn a place in the March Mayhem finals, has opened a brand new "Minecraft Store" with a big range of in-game items for sale.
When Mojang, the studio formed by Persson to handle all things Minecraft, was put up against the behemoth Nintendo in the opening round of March Mayhem, I didn't think it had much of a chance of making it out. I was wrong. Its odds against Namco Bandai in the second round struck me as pretty thin too. Wrong again. I was sure there was no possible way it could beat Epic in round three, and it did, so when it stomped Obsidian's guts out in round four I didn't even pretend to be surprised. But then it ran into Valve in the semis; great, all-powerful Valve, the home of Half-Life, Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead and Portal. Surely, little Mojang's luck had finally run out.
Mojang is in the finals and Notch appears to be rather pleased about being there. So much so, in fact, that he's saying a special "thank you" to supporters with the new Minecraft Store, which is currently offering several new in-game items at special introductory prices. Steve Co. Supply Crate Keys are currently available for just $3 or in packs of 5 for $18, miner's helmets are $21 and Creeper saddles can be had for $42. Other items up for grabs include padlocks, enlargement pills and a response from the support department.
The concept of a "Company Store" selling low-priced virtual novelty items for use in a videogame is certainly a fresh one and I think Notch and the rest of the team at Mojang deserve credit for pioneering this new and unique approach to customer service. Innovations like this are precisely why I like to support indie developers over bloated corporate machines like Valve, who just don't have what it takes to come up with this kind of original idea. Good job, Notch!
The Minecraft Store hasn't been officially unveiled to the public but fans can get an early preview of what's on offer at minecraft.net/store/loot.asp. [Customers are asked to please avoid making single purchases of more than $10,000.]