The big business of Minecraft
The small Swedish company behind the popular video game brought in $235 million in revenue last year.
If you aren't addicted to it, then your kids or friends probably are. Minecraft, the Lego-like video game, is rapidly gaining fans of all ages.
The story behind the game might be even more compelling than defending your Minecraft home from creepers or zombie villagers.
In Minecraft, players use building blocks -- made of stone, wood and other materials -- to construct landscapes and buildings. Players also have to find food and fight off monsters, including exploding baddies known as creepers.The game is run by a small, closely held Swedish firm called Mojang AB, which has just 29 employees, according to The Wall Street Journal. With more than 20 million copies sold, the company last year brought in $235 million in revenue.
In other words, that means the company's per-employee revenue rate is $8.1 million. By comparison, Activision Blizzard (ATVI) -- the largest U.S. video-game publisher -- had per-employee revenue of $651,000 in 2011, based on data published in its annual report. Activision hasn't yet reported its 2012 earnings. On average, the 10 top tech companies including Apple (AAPL) and Netflix (NFLX) posted a per-employee revenue rate of $593,000 for the first nine months of 2011, according to Mashable.com.
Mojang isn't skimping on profits, either. The company earned about $90 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last year.
Given Activision's price-to-earnings multiple of about 14, Mojang would be worth more than $1 billion if it were publicly traded, the Journal notes.
Unfortunately for investors, it doesn't appear that Mojang -- Swedish for "gadget" -- will go public anytime soon. It's also resisted offers and investments from venture capital firms and former Facebook president Sean Parker.
"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," Mojang co-founder Carl Manneh, 35, told Reuters.
Behind the game is co-founder and creator Markus Persson, 33, who is now working on its next project, a space adventure called "Ten to the C."
As for Minecraft, Mojang's Manneh said he believes it could potentially outsell "The Sims" as the world's best-selling game for PCs and Macs.
"It looks like we are going to outsell 'The Sims' in one or two years if things progress," he told Reuters.
More on moneyNOW
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices have worked their way off the opening lows, placing the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite back above their respective flat lines.
Despite the rebound, the technology sector (-0.1%) continues showing relative weakness with Apple (AAPL 100.37, -1.27) hovering near its early low. However, the Nasdaq has been able to overlook Apple's underperformance thanks to the relative strength in the biotech space. The iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB ... More
More Market News
Stocks drift lower and bonds are hit as investors await the Fed. Prepare for higher volatility this week.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'