Mojang mulls over Minecraft movie

Keep an eye on the big screen, folks: Game developer Mojang has revealed a Minecraft movie could be in the pipeline.

The lineup for the Minecraft Movie

The lineup for the Minecraft Movie

Company chief executive Carl Manneh explains – in addition to clothing (including socks), Lego kits and other merchandise following later this year, the team is open to the idea of branching out further with the franchise.

We’ve been approached by a number of high-profile Hollywood producers and asked to do TV shows. We may do that. It’s hard when you don’t have any experience and someone comes to throw these ideas around. We have so much to focus on with just the game development and growing the business. But if the right idea comes along and the right people that we’d want to work with, we’d say why not?

It’s not surprising that the Minecraft developer is having talks with these people – in the leadup to the game’s launch on Xbox 360 in a couple of months, it seems an appropriate time to look at how the game’s doing in the PC realm. Short version: Pretty bloody good, thanks for asking.

According to the Financial Times, 25 million gamers have downloaded the blocky world-builder, which sees developer Mojang bringing in more than $80 million (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation). Compare that to fellow Scandinavians Rovio, whose smash hit Angry Birds has earned the company around $100m last year. A crucial difference: Minecraft is available on one platform, while Angry Birds has popped up on virtually every games machine known to man.

Carl Manneh, chief executive at Mojang explains that the game’s broad appeal – particularly among younger gamers – is the secret to its success:

The core mechanic is very similar to Lego – the simplicity of placing and removing blocks and you can do whatever your imagination tells you to do. That’s the strength. The side effect is that when you build something, you have the urge to show it off to someone.

Some more details: Mojang – based in Sweden – has 25 employees these days, including full-time consultants. And the game’s creator Markus “Notch” Persson is still a lovely guy: After receiving his $3.7m dividend as the company’s largest shareholder, he then turned around and paid it all out to the rest of the company. And this is why people want to work with him.

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