Minecraft Sells 400,000 Units While Still in Alpha

by VGChartz Staff, posted on 14 October 2010 / 9,128 Views

Minecraft, the awesomely addictive procedurally generated isometric sandbox architecture/adventure game-type thing that never ends, has sold its 400,000th unit, and then a few thousand more for good measure.  Some time between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, on Wednesday October 13th, it exploded past the 400,000 unit milestone with just over 7,000 sales in a 24 hour period.  This is all without a publisher, without a single advertisement, and the work of one person, Markus "Notch" Persson.  Some say he's a programmer; some say he's a mad scientist.  Some of his fans on YouTube casually refer to him as a God of a new universe.

At 9.95 Euros a pop, that's a little over 4 million Euros, which translates to a little over 5.5 million U.S. dollars.  When I last checked in with Minecraft, a month ago, it had sold over 150,000 units.  So the game is accelerating, and sold 250,000 units in just this past month.  One of the greatest indie success stories in recent years is unfolding before our eyes, speeding up and heating up, and it's not even in Beta yet.  When it finally does reach Beta it will include full multiplayer in Survival Mode, allowing players to cooperatively mine for resources, build shelters together, fight zombies, and argue over interior design.  In other words, it's quickly becoming the cross between Diablo and Animal Crossing that we've always dreamed of.

As Minecraft becomes more and more successful, more people start to ask what it is, and you might be one of them, but... well, it's tricky to explain.  At the game's own website, Notch describes it as a "game about placing blocks while running from skeletons. Or something like that.."  And well, he's right.  The quickest way to explain it is probably to call it a game with zero content and infinite gameplay.  There's no actual goal (so far anyway, but a few will be coming eventually), but players quickly create their own.  Some people are making 2D pixel art out of the blocks:

While others are creating Minecraft Interstates as far as they can across the map (which generates itself forever in all directions as you explore):

Some people farm, some people sail the open seas, some make custom skins for their characters, and others are content with riding pigs around forever.  It's the first "sandbox game" that actually lets you dig up sand at the beach, build a giant sandbox, build a sandcastle in it, smelt the sand into glass with a furnace you built yourself, rebuild it into a giant glass pyramid with a moat of lava, and then blow it all up with TNT while riding a pig.  It really makes you rethink the phrase "sandbox game."

So what's next for Minecraft after 400,000 sales?  Now we wait for Halloween, when the game will get a new free update that adds fishing, watches, jack-o-lanterns, four new types of terrain, and portals to Hell.  Seriously.


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28 Comments

wick (on 16 October 2010)

I was curious about this game so I picked it up on Friday morning. I haven't left the house all weekend and have barely slept. This game is nicotine and crack all rolled into one.


Naum (on 16 October 2010)

Not often I'm proud the be Swedish but this is one those things :-)


Jthechosenone (on 16 October 2010)

one of the best games ive ever played. if not thee best.


Nybbas (on 15 October 2010)

seriously this game is stupidly addictive, dont try it if you have anything important to do in the next week/month....


MagnusBot (on 14 October 2010)

He's definitely investing that money into his company now, but I actually hope he doesn't expand the design team too much. These indie games like Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft are the brainchild of just one or two people with a grand vision, and I think that's a big part of what makes them great.


Crystalchild (on 14 October 2010)

the only thing this game lacks, is a Beast that is hunting you the entire Night, and of course it should have infinite Health. because any other Monster can be killed quite easilly if you place some blocks here and there and let them work as 'run-around-shields' lol :D


Silver-Tiger (on 14 October 2010)

@SuperAdrianK: Ohh, I despise the creepers. Do you know how often they destoyed my home and my walls? DO YOU KNOW HOW OFTEN?!


Kage848 (on 14 October 2010)

Ok I have also bought this game. I can't even put into words how great this game is....If your think about getting it take a look at my let's play and you will buy it within 30min. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K-uBrGXKW4


SuperAdrianK (on 14 October 2010)

creepers are one of the most amazing ideas made in Minecraft!


Baalzamon (on 14 October 2010)

@Hemuli: I figured that, I just quickly went and looked at who's making it, I did figure he was the most involved.


The Ghost of RubangB (on 14 October 2010)

100 KB. No DRM. Best use of cubes since the original Q*Bert or Tetrisphere. You don't need 100 million dollars, celebrity voice actors, cutscenes, sex, violence, and washed up Hollywood plots. You just need a good idea and a pickaxe. And now that all you Minecrafters are here, go upload some screenshots of your houses over here: http://gamrreview.vgchartz.com/screens/47724/minecraft/ and then link to them over here so we can all see them: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=117157&page=1


KillerBread (on 14 October 2010)

best game i have ever played


Hemuli (on 14 October 2010)

This game is so awesome! Definitly one of my top three games this generation. It is though a little too scary for me! I don't really like though the description "zero content and endless gameplay". I would say it has endless content, but I guess it depends on what you see as content. @Baalzamon: It has mostly been developed by Notch. He has however with the success of this game started a small team.


Salnax (on 14 October 2010)

It's pretty embarrassing how these single digit teams create more original games than multimillion projects.


blunty51 (on 14 October 2010)

This guy needs to show Wii 3rd party devs how to sell a game with no advertisement


radishhead (on 14 October 2010)

Guys, if you're reading this article and you're not sure if you should buy Minecraft or not - just go for it. It's one of the best games that I've ever played, and Notch deserves every penny.


hagelt18 (on 14 October 2010)

Wow this guy must be rolling around in money. I hope he invests his money in a development team and gives his genius a work engine that could really take his work far. It would be interesting to see what he comes up with.


VGhippy (on 14 October 2010)

But...but...but...but PC gaming is dying! ;-)


Baalzamon (on 14 October 2010)

Ok, so I was looking, and there is a total of 4 people that make this game. They probably don't, but assuming they split it perfectly even, that's 1 million Euros per person, after tax, that's considerably over $500,000 US dollars for each person already...holy crap! This guy really is going to become a multimillionaire from this game alone.


880user088 (on 14 October 2010)

GRIEF !!


Crystalchild (on 14 October 2010)

i am also a customer, and i dont regret the Buy. I never start it myself, but when my brother starts to create, and i see that he is building great things, i wait without patience that he's done, to get on it, lol. (and if he plays to long, i simply throw him out, cuz it is my Computer, my Minecraft Account, my Room and whatsoever. :D)


goddog (on 14 October 2010)

great game... its what legos on the computer should have been


ChrisIsNotSexy (on 14 October 2010)

How can he be god if hes not me?


MagnusBot (on 14 October 2010)

Technically, in Dwarf Fortress, you can SUGGEST to your dwarves that they do that, and they may or may not get around to it if they're not too busy having parties in statue gardens, butchering kittens or beating each other to death for absolutely no reason.


Killiana1a (on 14 October 2010)

I am one of those 400,000. Great game deserving of every sale.


Silver-Tiger (on 14 October 2010)

This game is easily the most addictive game ever created. I'm playing it at the moment.


Krzyzowiec (on 14 October 2010)

"It's the first "sandbox game" that actually lets you dig up sand at the beach, build a giant sandbox, build a sandcastle in it, smelt the sand into glass with a furnace you built yourself, rebuild it into a giant glass pyramid with a moat of lava, and then blow it all up with TNT while riding a pig. " Dwarf fortress


Rath (on 14 October 2010)

We're currently making a MCU for a project and our lecturer posted a video of minecraft. Somebody had made a 16 bit arithmetic logic unit (thats basically a binary calculator) in minecraft. It was amazing. I have to say though, the game looks like it would bore me.


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