Minecraft, minimalism for record profit

Swedish Markus Persson aka « Notch » and his company Mojang have done nothing like the others. Between May 10, 2009 and November 18, 2011, 2 ½ years, they have expertly combined minimalism and addiction to create the best-selling video game in history: Minecraft.

Funded by micropayments, Minecraft immerses the player in an open and dynamic virtual world made of blocks and modifiable at will. The goal is to survive as long as possible in an ever-changing world whose dimensions are limitless. Launched with a single developer, then 16 employees in 2012 and 28 in September 2014, Mojang has sold 100 million copies of the most profitable game ever until Microsoft bought the company for USD 2.5 billion on September 15, that is 8 times the USD 291 million turnover of 2013 including USD 115 million in profits.

Often nicknamed the “virtual Lego”, Minecraft has achieved a synthesis between player’s freedom and an enthusiast online community’s participation. Observing the future of Minecraft’s success story after the departure of its founders will be relevant to know whether such an acquisition was symptomatic of another dot-com bubble.