The heads of Mojang, the studio behind Minecraft, say that they’ve been offered deals by almost every major gaming company in the world, yet have rejected them all in favour of staying private and calling their own shots.
Carl Manneh, one of the founders, said in an interview with Reuters:
An exit would be huge, but do we really need that money? In our case, we have the cash flow. We have more money than we need. We are living the dream really.
He goes on to state that one of their strengths is their ability to make quick decisions without having to cut through red tape.
[We can go] into a room and in 15 minutes we’re done. We try to be extremely agile, to release games quickly.
Part of the appeal seems to be making players feel like they are part of the experience, either by having them make suggestions for future updates or allowing people to put videos on YouTube to show off their creations, which is something Mojang always seems to have encouraged. They have even given potential fans permission to pirate their games, in the hope that when they can afford it, they buy a legitimate copy.
To date, Minecraft has sold over 20 million copies, making a tidy fortune for both its owners and the 25 person staff.