Microsoft is hoping to extend the profitability of Minecraft by launching a new in-game market in which PC and mobile users can purchase downloadable content to use in their own game. This new digital store called “Minecraft Marketplace” offers the opportunity to third-party creators to benefit from the massive userbase of the game, which is now calculated to have sold over 122 million copies.
In the Marketplace, users will find packs that include story content, landscapes, in-game activities, or textures, and they will be able to pay for them using a new virtual currency that can be purchased using real money. An amount of $1.99 will give us 300 Minecraft Coins, which is the minimum price for any package. Spending $4.99 will provide us with 840 Coins, and $9.99 will give us 1720 Coins.
All the downloadable content will be reviewed by Microsoft before it is put on sale, just like any company willing to sell their work needs to go through a vetting process. When the Marketplace opens this spring, there will be nine third-party creators allowed to produce new packages: Blockception, Blockworks, Enejia Silverleaf, Imagiverse, Noxcrew, Polyamps, Qwertyuiop The Pie, Razzelberry Fox and Sphax. However, any other business with a license to create content is welcome to join the program, and Microsoft promises to add new creators to the list every month.
This could prove to be a very lucrative initiative for third-party creators, who will get a hold of 50% of the revenue from any in-game purchase, while the rest will go to Microsoft and the platforms holding the version of the game. The Redmond company is also making sure that it keeps obtaining a profit from its acquisition of Minecraft creators Mojang in 2011 for $2.5 billion.
The new Minecraft marketplace will be available in the PC and mobile versions of the game, including Windows, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. That leaves out the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles versions.