Mojang Studios- The Success Story Behind the Creators of Minecraft
Mojang Studios is a Swedish video game company based in Stockholm. The studio is best known for creating the sandbox and survival game Minecraft, which many of you, including myself, have already played and helped make one of the best-selling games of all time.
Markus Persson, an independent and tenacious video game designer, established the Mojang studios in 2009 with the Mojang Specifications for the creation of Minecraft.
After the initial release of the game, Markus Persson and Jakob Porser incorporated the company as Mojang AB in late 2010 and later appointed Carl Manneh as the company’s CEO.
Minecraft became highly successful, giving Mojang sustained growth. In November 2014, Microsoft purchased Mojang after Persson offered to sell his shares in the company. Pearson, Porser, and Manneh subsequently left Mojang, with Jonas Martensson replacing Mannel as the company’s CEO. In May 2020, Mojang was rebranded as Mojang Studios.
The organization will have 600 employees as of 2022. Apart from Minecraft, Mojang Studios has developed famous games such as Crown and Council, Caller’s Name, and Further in the Minecraft franchise.
Mojang Studios – Company Highlights
|Startup Name||Mojang Studios|
|Founded in||2009; 13 years ago|
|Number of employees||600*|
|Key People||Jonas Mårtensson (CEO)Helen Chiang (studio head)|
The Rise of Mojang Studios
In 2009, independent Swedish video game designer and programmer Markus Persson established Mojang Studios. Persson developed an early interest in gaming and spent a lot of time playing pirated games on his father’s Commodore 128 home computer, including Bard’s Take. During gaming, with the help of his sister, he started learning programming at the age of eight.
Persson describes himself as a loner in school who spent most of his spare time with games and programming at home. Years passed, and Persson began working as a web developer after graduating. During this time he developed Wurm Online, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, with the help of his colleague Rolf Jansson in 2003.
As the game began to generate revenue, they incorporated the business under the name Mojang Specifications AB in 2007. They had previously used that name during the game’s development.
Jansson renamed the business Onetoofree AB and later Code Club AB after Persson left the project after a year but wanted to keep the name. Persson joined Midas, later known as King.com, at this time, where he created 25–30 games. In his spare time, Persson enjoyed making video games, so when the company asked him to stop, he left.
In May 2009, Person started working on a clone of Infiniminer, a game developed by Zachtronics and released earlier that year. Persson released the first alpha version of the game, which is now widely known and adored as Minecraft, on May 17, 2009, and the first commercial version on June 13, 2009.
Persson reused assets and some of the engine code from an earlier personal project. He re-used the name Mojang for the release after it was made available.
The magic of Minecraft became apparent after a month, and it generated enough income for Persson to take time off work. By May 2010, he was able to completely resign from his day job.
In September 2010, Persson got in touch with Jakob Porser, a former colleague from King.com, and asked for help starting a company using Mojang specifications. In response, Porser resigned from his position, and Persson continued working on Minecraft. Mojang AB was then quickly incorporated.
With a room full of geniuses, you can invent and work wonders, and that is exactly what happened with Minecraft. Porser would go on and develop Scrolls, a digital collectible card game. Carl Mannel, Persson’s previous employer, was hired as the CEO because Persson and Porser knew they had to concentrate on game development. Other significant early hires include Daniel Kaplan as a business developer, Markus Toivonen as an art director, and Jens Berger as the lead programmer.
Mojang Studios – Growth and Revenue
In January 2011, Minecraft reached one million registered accounts, and ten million six months later. A new version for mobile devices is currently being developed by Mojang as a result of the game’s exponential success. However, there were difficulties because the game’s Java-based framework was incompatible with mobile devices, so the version was later developed in C++. Another version, originally created for the Xbox 360, was contracted out to the Scottish company 4J Studios, which also used C++.
For the launch of Minecraft, Mojang hosted Minecon, a special convention event that took place in Las Vegas on November 18–19, 2011.
Minecon was such a huge success that it has since become an annual gathering for everything Minecraft-related. Persson handed over control of the game’s lead design to Bergensten in December 2011 after the game’s full release.
In order to maintain their independence, the Mojang studios decided against being acquired or becoming a publicly traded company, which is thought to have had a big influence on Minecraft’s popularity. By March 2012, Minecraft had sold five million copies, generating 80 million US dollars in revenue. In November, Mojang Studios had 25 employees and collected a total revenue of 237 million US dollars in 2012. Mojang reported 300 million US dollars in revenue in 2013, of which 129 million were profits.
Mojang Studios Under Microsoft
2014 marked five years since the creation of the popular video game Minecraft. For the average person, the game brought joy and excitement, but for Markus Persson, it was all about expanding the studios and elevating them.
Markus Persson tweeted in June 2014 that he was worn out from the pressure of owning Minecraft and inquired as to whether anyone would be interested in purchasing his shares in Mojang.
Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, and Microsoft are just a few of the parties that showed interest in this offer. The head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer, urged the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, to buy Mojang in order to pursue a fairly ambitious vision for the company’s gaming division.
In June 2014, Microft approached Mojang Studios about a potential acquisition. Shortly after, it made its initial offer. Microsoft on 15 September 2014 , agreed to purchase Mojang for 2.5 Billion US dollars and at that time Markus Persson, Porser and Manneh were the only shareholders of whom Markus Persson owned 71 % of shares.
On November 6, the acquisition was officially completed, and Mojang joined the Microsoft Studios division. Markus Persson received 1.8 billion US dollars as part of the acquisition, while Porser and Manneh received 300 million and 100 million dollars, respectively.
After that, each employee who stayed with the business for six months received a bonus worth about $300,000 that was deducted from Persson’s share.
In May 2019, the tenth anniversary of its original release, the browser-based version of Minecraft, known as Minecraft Classic, was made available again for free. Minecarft became the most popular video game of all time after ten years, selling 147 million copies.
Mojang Studios announced its rebranding on May 17, 2020, Minecraf’s eleventh anniversary, and unveiled a new logo in an effort to reflect its multi-studio structure. Later that month, Minecart Dungeons was made available for Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. The upcoming action-strategy game Minecraft Legends was announced by Mojang Studios in June 2022.