By Sai Morar
The international business world is a fast paced, high stakes arena but if an entrepreneur has the right mix of know-how, instinct and a grasp on the market, he can take a venture from humble start up to the very pinnacle of success, and cap the venture off by partnering with some of the biggest brands in the world.
Sound farfetched? That’s exactly what I did with my company and all it takes is an innovative contribution that’s specifically tailored to meet consumer needs, in this case, Minecraft.
For those who may have slept through the last decade, internet sensation Minecraft is an interactive game about building fantastic structures and mutual adventuring with community members, and with a mind-blowing 91 million users, it’s a format ripe with opportunity.
I realized I could make a game studio through Minecraft, create content and make money from it. It was challenging, exciting and, ultimately, a massive success. Now, I have almost 7 years in with Minecraft and have become an official partner, selling my own company to a video game streaming service in Hollywood and taking that company after acquisition to become an almost one hundred million monthly active user multiplayer network.
Identifying opportunity is the first order of business and it soon became apparent that Minecraft and their extensive community was a potential goldmine if I could present both a new way for the users to play and allow them to connect with each other in ways they had previously been unable to.
This wild cyber frontier had to be approached shrewdly, but patience and instinct are key attributes in business and I went at it slowly but steadily.
This required building an entire game development unit, and we painstakingly assembled a groundbreaking crew—we had people covering everything from community management to game design engineers who first created a microgame within Minecraft.
One of the biggest challenges was to enable users to play together across half a dozen wildly disparate ecosystems—IOS, Android, Xbox One, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch and Amazon fire—a significant task which my company’s world class development team met head on. We strove to design a solution which worked seamlessly for all of those platforms, starting from how people connect to the specific content and execution of my microgame play within Minecraft.
Another major challenge for the team was to scale growth to accommodate over 25,000 concurrent users with the launch of the partner cross play program. Their success in finally enabling all these platforms to participate together in unison a created a high voltage buzz that caught the attention of the tech industry top dogs and influencers.
No one in the Minecraft community had experienced this before and the user reaction was equally enthusiastic. It was precisely this momentum which carried my small London-based company into the imaginations of a multitude of gamers and the roll out was decisive, garnering avid interest on both sides of the industry, users and innovators—it was a resounding success that was as swiftly as it was exciting. The final step was launching, in tandem with Minecraft, a large scale marketing push for the new Cross-platform Play.
While it took seven years of painstaking strategizing and execution of my ground-breaking concept, it was worth every struggle along the way.
Becoming an official partner with Minecraft / Microsoft for their multiplayer experience marketplace was tremendously gratifying, as was selling as the global top 5 products to Minecraft's millions of users. The system has generated earnings of over $5 million dollars over the course of my career in Minecraft and allowed me to go from Director of Business and Product Manager of a humble start up to a seat at the table alongside the world’s top tech forces— proof positive that, like the song says, “you can get it if you really want it.”