Microsoft today announced that the Xbox Live Arcade port of the popular indie PC game Minecraft has broken digital sales records for the platform. Minecraft has sold more downloads in its first 24 hours than any other game in Xbox Live Arcade history. The sequel to Trials HD, Trials Evolution, achieved the same milestone when it launched on the Xbox Live Arcade less than one month ago.
Markus "Notch" Persson, Minecraft's creator and a developer at Mojang, gave fans a hint at Minecraft for Xbox 360's success, tweeting earlier that the title sold well enough to become profitable in one hour. This is more good news for Mojang, the Swedish game development studio behind Minecraft, which is making so much money that Notch no longer considers it to be an indie studio. This is yet more proof that the age of smaller, more creative games has arrived.
Speaking of creative games, after teasing Minecraft's record-breaking sales, Notch had a short Twitter interaction with Polytron, the development studio behind the award-winning 2D/3D puzzle-platformer Fez. Polytron was curious as to how Notch had gotten hold of sales numbers from Microsoft, who is evidently very stingy with its numbers. Polytron seems rightly miffed at what seems to be preferential treatment:
@notch how did you get those stats from MS? we still dont know exactly how much fez sold almost a month later. you get stats in 24 hours?
@Polytron What? Really? I thought it was standard procedure! That sucks.
@notch standard procure is: you find out how much you sold when you get your first check 3-4 months later.
@Polytron Well, then I don't know. Perhaps there's something special in our contract, or we're just lucky. :/
@notch you're also getting free updates, which is something every other developer on the platform is told is simply not an option.
@Polytron we had to fight for that, and we got a limited number of them. Not sure why they don't like it.
The Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft is now available in the Xbox Live Arcade for 1600 Microsoft Points, and Fez is available for 800 Microsoft Points. Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of people who has already jumped into Minecraft for Xbox 360? Leave a comment below and let us know.