Minecraft and 2D Boy Enjoy Financial Success from Android Releases

Minecraft and 2D Boy Enjoy Financial Success from Android Releases

Jan 20, 2012

Minecraft Pocket Edition may not be a full representation of the PC Minecraft experience, but the game is selling rather well so far. Over 700,000 copies of the game have been sold, according to one of the >Pocket Edition‘s developers, Daniel Kaplan. As well, the app is currently selling about 5,000 copies a day. Specific platform numbers were not given.

Obviously, the question with these sales numbers is just how many were sold when the game was part of the 10-cent sale back in December? Those likely are inflating the numbers, but the thing to keep note of is that other than that, the game’s regular price is $6.99. If the number includes iOS sales, then considering the app has been hanging around the top charts on both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad charts, and the game has been $6.99 for the rest of its existence on Android, that means that Mojang has pulled down quite a lot of revenue from this game. Having name recognition helps, but still, this is a mammoth success for Mojang and for mobile gaming.

This shows that premium prices are not entirely dead. People will buy games at higher prices compared to the rest of the market that prices frequently at points of $0.99 and even free. Can a developer just starting out hope to price a game at this high price point and hope to succeed? It’s far less likely, unless there was a massive pre-release hype, a groundswell of support among those in the know to drive sales.

More likely is that established indie developers might be more confident to launch on mobile and on Android, knowing that success can be had from selling at a higher price point, assuming it’s a known quantity. As 2D Boy have also shown, the Android version has done well, pushing 70,000 copies since its release. As 2D Boy’s Ron Carmel says in his post: “the Android Market is no longer the tiny upstart it was a year or two ago.” It is increasing as a real financial opportunity for developers.

Minecraft – Pocket Edition Review

Minecraft – Pocket Edition Review

Oct 10, 2011

It is time to rejoice all ye Minecraft Junkies, for this electronic dope is finally out on Android 2.2 devices. That’s right, Xperia Play owners are no longer the only people who get to build in this marvelous land. While the excitement for this game is through the roof, there are a few caveats that need to be kept in mind before hitting that purchase button.

Let’s start with the fundamentals of what Minecraft is, just incase someone has been living in the Arctic Circle with no internet for the past few years. This game generates random worlds and allows players to freely construct whatever their minds desire. Anything from the Starship Enterprise to mansions complete with outdoor water slides are constructible with cubes of various materials, and the only limiting factor is the imagination. This game is the definition of open world creativity.

The game runs rather well, and the touchscreen controls are relatively solid. There are times when looking around becomes hindered by the game trying to decide if it should break a block or look towards the sky. A virtual d-pad provides the movement, holding a finger on an object will start to break it, and materials are quickly accessed via quick keys at the bottom of the screen. The UI is intuitive, well-put together, and stays out of the way, thus allowing the player an unobtrusive view into their play land.

This also maintains the sounds and looks from the computer game, which means everything is constructed of square blocks that carry a pixellated look. Breakable cubes make up trees, mountains, oceans, and beaches. The only sounds are those of breaking various items or slapping down a cube. The whole package is simple yet effective, and it is nice to see that the mobile version stays faithful to its computer roots.

Now for the downside, and that is players looking for a full port of the computer version are in for a rude awakening. Survival mode is missing, there are no enemies to battle, not all the building materials are available, and playing online is limited to a local WiFi connection. This version brings only the building aspect to the table, and even that is roughly a year behind from the desktop version. Anyone hoping this is a cheaper version of the full Minecraft experience will be let down. Yet, there is still hours upon hours of fun in just crafting a world to one’s own design.

Minecraft – Pocket Edition is just that, a smaller version of the full game to play anywhere an Android-based phone or tablet goes. It is not the full experience, but crafting worlds that are limited only by blueprints created from the imagination will suck away hours of time, and I would know as I’ve lost 10+ hours to this dang game. This is a solid purchase for anyone addicted to this Mojang creation. Those that are still hesitant need to give the demo a look, but be careful as once the addiction sets in, it is incurable.