Minecraft Marketplace creators have seen a lot of success this year as more players get into the Bedrock version of the game, which is the universal build of Minecraft that is available on Windows 10, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and mobile devices. Minecraft Bedrock is coming to Switch on June 21, and this will give the creators in the Minecraft Marketplace access to a growing audience of engaged gamers who are spending money.
While the classic version of Minecraft lives on with full support from Microsoft, it is the Bedrock version that is the future of Minecraft as a platform. When this version hits the Switch, players will have the opportunity to sign in with their Xbox Live handle (on a Nintendo device) to enjoy cross-platform play with friends on PCs, Xbox Ones, or smartphones. And if players have purchased content through the Bedrock version on other platforms, those will carry over to the Switch.
For Microsoft, the benefit here is that it has one Minecraft code that it needs to update and maintain, and then it can make additional revenues from the Minecraft Marketplace. And players are potentially more willing to invest in the Marketplace since Microsoft is doing the work to guarantee that content purchases will carry over to future devices.
And all of this is a significant opportunity for developers building content for the Minecraft Marketplace.
“I do think the extra growth will be significant. Nintendo gamers, if you treat them right, will reward you with lots of love and, here’s hoping, high sales,” Minecraft Marketplace partner Jigarbov told GamesBeat. “Minecraft is one of those games that transcends platform boundaries and feels right at home on the Switch, so I think the user base will flock to the well-made content the Marketplace offers.”
One of Jigarbov’s fellow creators echoed that sentiment.
“Having Minecraft, the most popular game in history, with the largest community of creators of any game ever, put on one of the most-sold consoles in the world is an amazing opportunity for growth and the creation of new playstyles and experiences,” Minecraft Marketplace partner Mariana “RazzleberryFox” Graham told GamesBeat. “I am really looking forward to seeing how the Marketplace is going to perform on this platform and what we will be able to do with it.”
But even beyond the potential to sell more creations on the Marketplace, these developers are excited by the prospect of seeing their work on a Nintendo platform. Both Jigarbov and RazzleberryFox say they are lifelong Nintendo fans, and so the Marketplace opening up on the Switch means a lot to them.
“My first console was an NES,” said RazzleberryFox. “Since I was a kid, Nintendo has been the household name for gaming consoles and handhelds, more than any other brand. I owned every single one of them. Being able to release something on a platform carrying this name is a huge achievement for me. It’s literally a dream come true.”
Jigarbov said he always dreamed of “making Nintendo games,” and now through Minecraft, he has.
“Just seeing Jigarbov there on the store list, something I built for sale, on a Nintendo platform is extremely exciting,” he said. “The success of the Marketplace and the multitude of platforms it has been on has been wonderful, especially when I want to explain to someone what I do for a living. Just being able to whip out my phone and navigate to the store, now I’ll be able to do it when I’m travelling with my Switch. It’s a great feeling.”
Minecraft partner relations boss Todd Stevens says this is exactly the kind of response the Minecraft Team wants from its partners when Bedrock expands to a new platform. Because Bedrock is a unified version of Minecraft, creators only have to build and submit their content once, and those creations will appear on all Bedrock platforms from that point forward. So when the Switch version goes live, Marketplace partners won’t have to do anything to see their content on Nintendo’s device.
“We truly believe in our ‘better together’ vision,” Stevens told GamesBeat. “And we are incredibly excited to bring all of our great partner content over to the Nintendo Switch. Many of our partners are big Nintendo fans, so we are incredibly excited to see their creations show up on that console.”
Meanwhile, the Minecraft creators who grew up fans of PlayStation will have to continue waiting to release their content on that platform because Sony doesn’t want the Bedrock version as long as it enables crossplatform multiplayer.