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3 lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Minecraft’s success

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Remember when Minecraft was the hottest game on the planet?

Remember when we all went crazy for Mojang’s most famous creation and turned it into the most talked-about game in decades?

Sure you do, but here’s the thing:

Minecraftmania is far from over.

The second-best selling video game in history continues to make its mark on new audiences via new mediums, with the latest version -Minecraft Pocket version for iPhone- dominating the US iTunes charts as the most downloaded, paid-for app a whole 10 months after release. Meanwhile in the UK, Minecraft Pocket Version is the most downloaded, paid-for game, and -at time of writing- the third most downloaded paid-for app overall.

Sure, this kind of run-away success is the kind of thing that only comes around once in the proverbial blue moon, but that doesn’t mean app-makers eager for a hit can’t learn a heck of a lot from the single most popular sandbox video game ever released. After all, Minecraft’s popularity did not happen purely by accident, so it’s something I’d encourage anybody who is serious about growing their app business to study carefully.

Here’s just a handful of lessons tech entrepreneurs can learn from Minecraft.

Keep it Simple

minecraft.jpg

You know the old saying, Keep It Simple, Stupid? Well that seems to be Minecraft’s entire M.O, and let’s face it – it’s worked out pretty well for them.

For the unfamiliar (if there any of you left), Minecraft is a remarkably simple game – from the old-school, 16-bit graphics to the limited amount of commands a user has to learn – everything is just about as basic as can be.

This latter point -that there’s very little you have to actually learn to be good at Minecraft- should be a key point to remember here. Need further proof that this Keep it Simple approach to gameplay works?

You can see it right across the gaming industry, and particularly in the world of gambling apps and casino sites.

Look at how big online slot games are. Sites like William Hill’s Vegas Millions generate huge traffic numbers, whilst the amount of real-world money exchanging hands is no small figure.

Over £140K has been won on Vegas Millions in the last 7 days at William Hill Vegas – see all slots games and you’ll see that what they have in common with Minecraft is their simplicity.

Sure, the graphics may be much more sophisticated than Minecraft’s blocky interface, but the number of things you actually need to learn to be good at slots is minimal – spin the reels, win cash.

That’s it.

Make it Personal

Do you think Minecraft would have been as successful if players were only able to engage with pre-built objects or stick within the confines of a world already mapped out for them by the developers?

Probably not, right?

To borrow an old cliche, with Minecraft, the only limit to what you can do is -yes- your imagination. This free-form, no-holds-barred approach to gaming has been one of the game’s biggest selling points.

When users engage with Minecraft, they’re not just playing a game, they’re creating something they can take ownership of.

It’s this ownership, this sense of having something personal to them, that keeps users engaging with the game long after the initial buzz has worn off.

Surely that’s something any would be app-maker can learn from when it comes to creating products with longevity in mind.

Existing Users Are Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset

Have you ever noticed that, despite Minecraft’s unprecedented popularity, you don’t exactly see an awful lot of advertising for it?

That’s because they don’t need to spend millions on expensive TV commercials, billboards, and online ad campaigns–they simply and subtly encourage users to do the bulk of their marketing for them.

Since it was first launched, a huge and incredibly passionate community has developed around Minecraft, with players developing their own little media empires in the form of Minecraft-centric blogs, YouTube channels, and live Twitch streams.

This hasn’t happened by accident.

At the annual Minecraft convention, Minecon, attendees are treated to workshops and seminars on how to grow their audience, a savvy marketing tactic if ever there was one. As tech entrepreneurs, we already know the value of social proof, but here we have a company that are using it as their main form of advertising and created the second best-selling video game of all time in the process.

If that’s not a valuable lesson we can all learn about making a successful app, then I don’t know what is.

The post 3 lessons entrepreneurs can learn from Minecraft’s success appeared first on BestTechie.

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Now I feel like I should try out the game to understand the whole thing completely. So I am downloading minecraft torrent and getting back to the topic later, when I briefly get through the game to understand what't going on there.

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