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Minecraft makes $80 million in revenue but hardly any profit

By on March 26, 2012
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The Financial Times has uncovered numbers from Minecraft-maker Mojang’s financial statements suggesting the company made revenues of $80 million from Minecraft sales in the 15 months since the game launched in October 2010.

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That figure compares to Rovio’s $100m revenues last year.

But there is a big difference. Mojang only made EBITDA of $13.5m. Rovio claims to be “insanely profitable”. (I remember reading a claim of 90% gross profit, not EBITDA in 2011, falling to 80% in 2012, but can’t find it now. The difference between gross profit and EBITDA is broadly marketing, sales and administrative expenses and R&D, which could drop the figure massively, but Rovio still made a 58% margin in H2 2010.)

So what I’m wondering is: what cost Minecraft $66.5 million in the year. The obvious answer is staff costs but a) the FT says that Notch shared a $3.7m dividend with the rest of company and b) that would be a payout of over $2.5m per person.

If you have any ideas what I;m missing here, let me know.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com