Untangling Web 2.0

An aspiring information professional shedding light on the Web 2.0 phenomenon

Minecraft – Lightweight, cost-effective, scalable?

on May 13, 2013

Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things’. Click on the clip below to view Minecraft’s explanation of where Minecraft can take your imagination!

On the social front, Minecraft is all about utilising the precepts of Web 2.0 to create a community of gamers. Another game that takes advantage of community solidarity is Dragonvale.

The last pattern of Web 2.0 as outlined by Tim O’ Reilly, involves Lightweght Models and Cost-Effective Scalability.

This pattern speaks to me and here is what I think it is saying – in business you can make things easier on yourself – do more with less, start small and invest small. Create a product or service in which your users spread the word and create more business for you, and then work your way up as demand grows. This means that if for some reason your project isn’t successful, you aren’t left with an unthinkable amount of debt and your dreams crashing around you.  Minecraft shows us this pattern in action.

minecraft image

Minecraft image [Image] (n.d.). Retrieved from http://hd-wallpaper.com/minecraft-logo-wallpaper/

Minecraft scales with demand. As more people join Minecraft, the more the game and the broader systems need to be developed, and the more it needs to be available on other platforms. Minecraft moved from PC, to smartphone apps, to Xbox 360!

Minecraft outsources where possible. In early 2011 Minecraft started operating through Amazon Web Services. This keeps employee numbers down to less than 30 employees because additional staff are not needed to maintain hardware – the epitome of a lightweight model if you ask me!

Minecraft scales its pricing and revenue models. The amount of money you give Minecraft depends on your level of engagement with the game. You can install the Minecraft Pocket Edition Lite smartphone app for free, purchase the Pocket Edition for $7.49 or spend around $20.00 for the PC and Xbox versions.

Minecraft markets virally by allowing users to log in via Faceook, Twitter and Tumblr. But that’s not at all. Minecraft’s users are taking viral marketing to a new level. Type in Minecraft on YouTube and you will see video after video of examples of what people have created using the game. There are even tutorials as well!

Minecraft has designed for scale. Including the Web 2.0 element in a game is definitely the way to go these days. The value of the game increases as the user base increases. More interactivity with other players is key!

So what do you think? How well do you think Minecraft demonstrates this week’s pattern? And will this sort of business model be the future of all businesses one day?

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4 responses to “Minecraft – Lightweight, cost-effective, scalable?

  1. lockinelu says:

    hi there,

    minecraft is a very great example of this pattern! I actually played the game since its still in beta version… it can be seen that Mojang keep updating the game by adding new stuff and function to attract new players as well as keep old players continue playing! Do you minecraft, lol??

    nice post btw 🙂

    —Tse-Yen

    any comments made to my blog are appreciated 🙂
    http://tseychen.wordpress.com

  2. I would have to agree with you here! Minecraft is a great example of scalability. Having moved from an already existing small application on the PC to nearly all platforms (including mobile). Minecraft which I don’t think intended to become as popular as it originally did has met the demand of increasing user’s. Minecraft keep’s this principal in place by outsourcing it’s data servers which keep’s the development team small only having to manage the application itself!

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