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Indie Success Story

Develop has a lengthy Q&A today with the creators of the runaway indie hit Minecraft. It’s an interesting read for a lot of reasons as it talks about how the game was born and how Mojang is dealing with its amazing success.

This a bit from the developer, Markus Persson, is one that I think makes the indie game scene special.

With regards the numbers and the money… One thing I’m trying very carefully these days to point out is definitely the luck factor. Because, sure, Minecraft did well but there are tons of other people who make interesting games and they don’t get the mass of users and don’t really take off. Timing issues count against them, or they talk to the wrong people or press or whatever so there’s a big aspect of just luck. I’m a bit afraid that people might start doing indie games because they think they can become rich.

I think they know that, for the most part. Not that an indie developer wouldn’t mind Minecraft type success but I don’t think too many indie game makers go into it expecting that.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

7 thoughts to “Indie Success Story”

  1. I haven’t played it either, Kyle. I played that FortressCraft knock-off on XBLIG and if that’s any indication…I’d rather play with a Lego set.

    I understand the appeal. Somewhat. No, wait, I really don’t. I don’t get the appeal of making digital scale models of Mount Doom, City 17, or a giant Mario at all. I guess people like the building aspect of it, but there again. Legos, Lincoln Logs, Knex, Capsela, et. al. let you do the same thing but IRL.

  2. Nah, I think the building-GIANT-CATHEDRALS aspect of Minecraft gets too much press, but the real beauty of the game is really just exploring, fighting dudes, collecting resources, and making a odd little hovel you call home. I played that game for like 30-40 hours (not bad for 10 bucks), and I sure as heck didn’t spend 20 hours of that building some shitty, lopsided castle.

    It’s just a fun thing, and seeing as right now you get to play it for a few weeks if you buy the Humble Indie Bundle, it’s relatively risk free. Surely you can justify spending a cent (cheapskate!!) to try out this important, game-changing (haw) game. Even if you hate it, I think you owe yourself to try it.

  3. I think I might do that, Qxan. I do think that this is an important game and one that will likely be HUGELY influential in the coming years so it definitely deserves a look. For one penny.

  4. To be fair, the fortresscraft knockoff on xbox live is pretty horrendous. Minecraft is a MUCH more polished and expansive experience/game, and it actually has real gameplay as well (actual mining, monsters, fighting, health, armor, etc), which fortresscraft entirely lacks (or lacked, at any rate, when I tried it a month or so ago).

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