Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Year with Minecraft: Behind the Scenes at Mojong by Thomas Arnroth

I don't play Minecraft but my son does.  He also watches Minecraft related videos on YouTube and I'm fascinated by the community built around this game!  Millions of Youtube channel (related views) and channels are built around the game.  Minecraft has also sold over 33 million units since 2011 and the founder, Markus "Notch" Perrson supports pirating of the game.

In the book, Arnroth, a journalist spends a year with Minecraft.  Meeting with the founders in the Sweden studio he gets to know them and really understand the company culture.  Minecraft, for those who don't play, really is like legos in a game.  I'm amazed at the how such graphics can be such a hit but the game itself inspires amazing loyalty and great game play.

The game also encourages thought and creativity among players.  It's built a loyal and vast global community.  Releasing a mobile app was debated within the company but ended up being a huge hit (among the collaborative and so supportive fan base).

I will never fully understand why my son and his friends (and so many others) are as enthusiastic about Minecraft as they are.  But this book is amazing at offering insight into how the game was made and continues to evolve.  Delving into the creators and their lives makes for a fascinating story.  Going into their thought processes and development style is even more insightful.

A must read for gamers, parents of gamers or those just looking for a great story about a cult creating company.  How many companies can create so much in so little time?  The best marketing in the world won't get another company where Minecraft is today.  There is some secret in the founders and how they view games.

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