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Minecraft dev explains sales transparency

Releasing figures makes you "genuine".

Publishing sales figures for your games helps users see you as more "genuine", according to the creator of runaway indie hit Minecraft.

Earlier this year, Swedish developer Markus 'Notch' Persson made headlines when he decided to include a counter on his website tracking how many people had bought the game, which then allowed all and sundry to calculate how much cash he was bringing in.

Persson told that he did this not to show off, but as a way of engaging with his customers.

"Personally I like sharing that information, because I'm generally an open guy," he claimed. "But it feels a bit sometimes like it's a bragging page.

"That wasn't the intention, because originally it was for the people who had brought the game could see like a number increase on a webpage or something. I think it's a good sign, if you're actually open with your development and you're also open about the sales, it feels like you're genuine in some sense."

We love nothing more than a good set of numbers to crunch, so couldn't agree more. Alas, it seems Persson is swimming upstream on this issue.

Last month, The NPD Group - the organisation responsible for monitoring game and hardware sales in the US - announced it would no longer be publishing sales data with its monthly charts – a stance that its European equivalent, GfK Chart-Track, has long since held.

Fancy a heads-up on how Minecraft is doing? At the moment of writing it had been purchased 656,653 times at €10 a pop. The price is set to increase to €20 when the game enters its beta phase.

For those unfamiliar with the Minecraft phenomenon, why not dig out Rob Fahey's comprehensive digest for the full story.