Markus “Notch” Persson’s beguiling game Minecraft, part adventure and part whatever you can possibly imagine it to be, is shaping up to be one of the defining games of the 2010’s. And while the rest of the game development community plays catch up to Mojang’s success, the PC edition of the game that started it all just broke through another milestone: 10 million copies sold.
“Minecraft (PC) has hit 10 million!” said Mojang’s Jens Bergensten on Twitter. He then linked to a picture of a horse, teasing that horse riding may be added to the game when the version 1.6 update becomes available in Spring.
As of January, Mojang had already sold 15 million copies of Minecraft across various editions, including PC, Xbox 360, and mobile versions. The company raked in $240 million in revenue across 2012, two years after Minecraft first rose to prominence during a wildly popular beta test.
Minecraft is about to enter a new phase in its growth. To date, it’s been sold as a traditional video game purchase, but starting soon the studio will open Minecraft Realms, a subscription-based offshoot of the existing game. Minecraft Realms is intended to be a controlled way for parents to let their kids play Minecraft online.
“Our customers are parents who are tired of trying to act as server administrators on behalf of their kids,” Mojang CEO Carl Manneh told GamesIndustry International, “Minecraft Realms will be a simpler kind of service, aimed at families and kids. In the future we aim to offer certain profiles with mods that are certified to work without crashing, but this will still be a safe and easy way for kids and families to play Minecraft online.”
Subscriptions to Minecraft Realms will likely be between $10 and $15.
With MMOs abandoning subscription pay models en masse – The Secret World, Tera, and Star Wars: The Old Republic all went free-to-play within months of releasing in 2012 – Minecraft’s continued success on PC could prove that there’s still life in the subscription gaming business.