We all know that video games aren’t just fun, and occasionally even educational – they’re also big business.
Already in 2009 video games were outselling films in Britain, a trend unlikely to have reversed since then. Today there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about one of my favourite video games, Minecraft. I like Minecraft because it is a social, mostly cooperative, constructive, non=gory game. Yes, there are creepers, zombies and the kids occasionally smash and grab, but this is more like LEGO than it is like Call of Duty.
I knew it was one of the biggest games around, but the economics of it are staggering! 29 people, working in a side street of Stockholm, generating $90M in pre-tax profit! The article from the Wall Street Journal was drawing the comparison with Zynga, with 3,000 employees and less than double Minecraft’s profitability. Amazing to think that a group of young people and a good idea are generating that kind of value!
I had the great pleasure of seeing Jordan Casey last Saturday – a 12 year old Irish games developer who now has his own games company, Casey Games. This is a young man who got inspired by Club Penguin, and is now developing games and selling them, one of the youngest iOS developers on the Apple platform! I’ve asked him to say hi to our Fire Tech Campers this spring and summer and we are working to set that up so our kids can see just what is possible, at any age! He’s not only a CEO, he’s also a philanthropist, and an all-around nice kid, it seems. I look forward to working with kids on their video games – what energy, what creativity, what potential! – and we can harness it to teach kids how to code. Amazing.