FEB. 20, 2011 • The hugely successful sandbox computer game Minecraft is being adapted to the iOS platform by its developer, Mojang. This new version will be touchscreen. Minecraft iOS Apple platforms is expected to release later in 2011.
Impact: With virtually no marketing budget and a development team composed of a single programmer from Sweden, Minecraft has compiled an astounding 1.75 million sold copies and over 6 million user registrations (both as of April 1, 2011 according to Mojang) with cumulative gross revenues estimated between €20 and €30 million. On the Apple App store there are already dozens of Minecraft related guides and companion apps, including a $2.99 iPad/iPhone “World Explorer” that allows users to import saved Minecraft worlds from the PC game. The Minecraft’s user base already has a significant overlap with the iOS audience. Given the viral nature of game, and kid-friendly graphics and content, there is significant potential for Minecraft to become a breakout hit on the Apple platform. However, the game is significantly more complex than iOS sensation Angry Birds – and is likely to be priced higher – such that we don’t expect Minecraft to reach nearly the same unit sales level even if it becomes a major success compared to typical iOS games.