Today, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Mojang, the company that created the wildly popular video game Minecraft, for a whopping $2.5 billion. Mojang was founded by three people, all of whom are leaving after their Microsoft payout: Markus Persson (a.k.a. "Notch"), Jakob Porser, and Carl Manneh. Here's roughly how the payout breaks down, pre-tax:
- Notch: 71 percent, $1.75 billion.
- Porser: 21 percent, $525 million.
- Manneh: 8 percent, $200 million.
In the game, players use blocks to create structures, and they need a lot of items to survive against the monsters that go bump in the night. With the help of my co-worker David Sims and this trusty list of Minecraft essentials, I present you with the list of most commonly used Minecraft items and how many of them each founder could buy with their Microsoft payout.
Note: I used the averageish (a rough estimate) price of the item. I did not actually find the price of every single item in all of the land to find an exact, technical average. Forgive me, Internet.
There are two kinds of pickaxes in this world, fictional foam ones for people who like Minecraft and actual metal ones used as a tool in real life. The foam one made by Toys R Us was my personal favorite, but I broke down the prices for both. In the game, the pickaxe is for mining.
- Notch: 87,543,771 foam pickaxes, 43,750,000 actual pickaxes
- Porser: 26,263,131 foam pickaxes, 13,125,000 actual pickaxes
- Manneh: 10,005,002 foam pickaxes, 5,000,000 actual pickaxes
The axe is used for chopping down trees, both in Minecraft and real life. The average axe is about $35.
- Notch: 50,000,000 axes
- Porser: 15,00,000 axes
- Manneh: 5,714,285 axes
Ah, the mighty sword. Used for fighting off monsters during the night, this is a seriously necessary piece of weaponry. There's also a foam version of this handy tool on sale for $19.99 (handsome bearded guy not included.) A real sword, on the other hand, is pretty pricey: around $300 for a long, well made sword.
- Notch: 87,543,771 foam, 5,833,333 actual
- Porser: 26,263,131 foam, 1,750,000 actual
- Manneh: 10,005,002 foam, 666,667 actual
This pixelated item is necessary for breaking up blocks and it can be made from a number of materials: wood, cobblestone, iron, gold, and diamond. A standard real-world shovel with a wooden handle is relatively inexpensive, about $15. That's less than this Minecraft shovel t-shirt.
- Notch: 116,666,667 shovels
- Porser: 35,000,000 shovels
- Manneh: 13,333,333 shovels
A chest is made with eight blocks of wood. David estimates each block is about one foot-by-one foot cubed, and solid. After a call to a couple lumberyards, The Wire determined the average price for such a cube would be $36. We need eight of them, so that's $288 of wood to make a chest. If you were to buy a pre-made wooden chest, this eBay craftsmen made a small version of one for $24.99.
- Notch: 48,611,111 wood to make chests, which makes 6,076,388 chests. Or he could buy 70,028,011 small chests
- Porser: 14,583,333 wooden cubes to make chests, which makes 1,822,916 chests. Or he could buy 21,008,403 small chests
- Manneh: 5,555,556 wooden cubes to make chests, which makes 694,445 chests. Or he could buy 8,003,201 small chests
- Notch: 314,748,201 foam, 1,750,000 real
- Porser: 94,424,460 foam, 525,000 real
- Manneh: 35,971,223 foam, 200,000 real
Gamepedia calls this "one of the most essential blocks in Minecraft," and that it is. This table is used as a workbench to create other things. A wooden crafting table can run between $100 and $600, but many are around $200, so let's go with that.
- Notch: 8,750,000 crafting tables
- Porser: 2,625,000 crafting tables
- Manneh: 1,000,000 crafting tables
The all important bucket allows you to transport milk, lava, and water (though we don't recommend trying to transport lava in real life.) A one-gallon steel bucket is just $2.10.
- Notch: 833,333,333 buckets
- Porser: 250,000,000 buckets
- Manneh: 95,238,095 buckets
Bow and Arrow
For killing your enemies from afar, or for target practice, a standard archery kit is just under $13.
- Notch: 134,615,385 kits, which come with a total 269,230,769 arrows
- Porser: 40,384,615 kits, which come with a total 80,769,231 arrows
- Manneh: 15,384,615 kits, which come with a total 30,769,231 arrows
What would minecraft be without the well, mines? The carts are used for expedited travel and to store items. While they are a staple in the game, minecarts are actually pretty pricey: $495.
- Notch: 3,535,354 carts
- Porser: 1,060,606 carts
- Manneh: 404,040 carts
Your cart isn't just going to float, you need rail tracks. You can find broken tracks or make tracks. They're all important for getting around. Steel railroad tracks are $880 a ton, with a 20-ton minimum order on Alibaba, so that's $17,600.
- Notch: 99,432 orders of rails
- Porser: 29,830 orders of rails
- Manneh: 11,364 orders of rails
Considered "normal food" in Minecraft (though I would consider it kind of fancy,) steak is a staple. In the game, steak is purchased from a butcher in exchange for emeralds. You get about seven steaks per emerald which doesn't seem like that great of a deal in our world. On FreshDirect, beef steak is about $10 a pound (porterhouse excluded.) If we calculate using emeralds, it would be more like $500 a steak (under the assumption most emeralds sell for around $3,500 a carat.)
- Notch: 175,000,000 in regular beef prices, 3,500,000 in emerald prices
- Porser: 52,500,000 in regular beef prices, 1,050,000 in emerald prices
- Manneh: 20,000,000 in regular beef prices, 400,000 in emerald prices
Raw chicken is considered a "bad food" in Minecraft, but it can still keep you from starving to death. You can also use it to tame wolves. Cooked chicken, on the other hand, is a-okay to eat and the game gives it to you when a chicken is dropped in a fire. FreshDirect prices raw chicken at $2.29 per pound, about $13 per chicken.
- Notch: 764,192,140 pounds, 134,615,385 chickens
- Porser: 229,257,642 pounds, 40,384,615 chickens
- Manneh: 87,336,245 pounds, 15,384,615 chickens
Loaves of bread are found in various places throughout the game: chests, dungeons, mineshafts, and villages. FreshDirect's price: about $4.
- Notch: 437,500,000 loaves
- Porser: 131,250,000 loaves
- Manneh: 50,000,000 loaves
Their Own Game
Minecraft retails for $26.95.
- Notch: 64,935,065 downloads
- Porser: 19,480,519 downloads
- Manneh: 7,421,150 downloads