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Lovely, insightful article.

Tiny nitpick; I think his characterisation of Minecraft is missing the cult aspect:

> (And before you say 'Minecraft', let's give it another decade. :-).

And immediately after:

> Imagine free-to-play games as practiced by a private company that makes games with long term retention for passionate players in a tightly knit community.

Now simply snip the very first part of the first sentence:

> > Imagine <snip> a private company that makes games with long term retention for passionate players in a tightly knit community.

.... that's Mojang, right?

>.... that's Mojang, right?

Not really. Mojang could and should do a lot more to leverage Minecraft. I get the impression that Notch unexpectedly wound up with a huge infusion of cash and didn't know what to do with it besides hire a few friends and make an MMO based on programming microchips, complete with its own assembly language.

The amount of torture they put the Minecraft Coder Pack guys through is atrocious. There is no reason why MC should not be "source available" with some creative licensing and host a Steam Workshop-esque mod management center, play Valve and take a cut of each purchase.

All the community has to go on is the Twitter accounts of Mojang's employees and /r/minecraft. Minecraft is awesome, but it's painful to think of the potential that's wasted there.

As a involved member of the Minecraft community. I can tell you that there is work being done on a Minecraft API, but I have no clue on a ETA. Also, I don't think they really have any plans on how to monetize things.

I believe he's talking about individual games having long term retention for passionate players.

Mojang has that with the "old model" of creating multiple titles for its community. He's predicting that Minecraft won't be played in a few years, and there's a good chance that their next games won't be as big of hits, therefore it their playing the 'game' of trying to create hits.

A decade is really tough. Something like WoW has massive resources dedicated to it to continue rolling out content and is probably the best example of longevity in a popular title. It will hit the decade mark in about 2 years time and while they certainly would have had some players who have been with them the whole time the churn over time would be massive.

Wonder what the best example of longevity in a game that doesn't have an element of near constant play required to have the full experience would be?

AFAIK Starcraft and Quake 3 are over decade old and still played. I assume that this days their player base is far smaller than in early days, but they still have tournaments. However they probably did not bring a lot of money for producer in later years because everyone who wanted them already bought them. Quake live if pivot to free to play model but I have no info about its profits.

I'm sure Carmack has been dismissive about Quake Live, saying it is unprofitable.

My source is recollected keynotes I've listened to.

Imagine if Mojang was run by someone who could actually finish a single project properly

isn't never finishing it an effective way of maintaining a community?

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