Online business strategy: Minecraft server

Building a Minecraft server as a business

Principle

You may remember Minecraft as a cool old-school game.

But that’s 100% wrong.

Many, many gamers are still playing on Minecraft.

Mostly on big mini-games server such as Hypixel, Hive, Mineplex and others.

But…

Nostalgia is a big factor to take into consideration.

Most of these players played on good old Player Versus Player faction servers.

Proof?

I mostly played there myself

I even had my own server at a point!

The goal of a faction server is that your players build factions.

Factions are composed of dozens of players whose goal is to build the biggest base of the whole server while other factions are trying to take everything of them.

Faction is a big war of territory, a zero-sum game like a battle royale which explains its popularity 

Players build their base, it gets stolen by someone else, they build another one and so on.

It’s a zero-sum game. You win everything your opponent possess when you claim his territory. However, you lose everything you have when your based get claimed by someone else.

Plain and simple.

Why does it work? Why do players enjoy this gameplay?

It’s thrilling.

Adrenaline goes up and down in a second. Knowing that anything can change within seconds creates a strong hormonal cocktail which is very addictive.

It seems like a real war, except that you don’t bet your life.

How you make money

Minecraft is an amazing game as you can create your own server, build your own rules, items and include a load of plugins to customize the game as you want it to be.

Of course, it takes time to learn all the tricks, all the strategies and everything.

Plus, you need to have a bit of experience in marketing if you want to push the experience further!

Indeed, in these additions you can create shops which translates dollars into in game items.

The recent EULA changes make sure that you cannot sell any “Advantage” to your players in exchange of real money.

We will comply to this one.

Of course, we are playing the game ethically.

So, what do we sell to our players?

Cosmetics and collectibles.

That’s what makes the success of many games. League of Legends, Fornite, Dota… Those games don’t offer you any advantage when you pour your money in them.

You only get cosmetics or collectibles.

Those items don’t give any advantage to the player.

However, they are rare, stylish and searched by the other players of the server.

By selling collectibles and cosmetics item to your players, you do not create any gap between premium players and lambda players.

You do not advantage anyone, which keeps the game completely balanced.

Note: Most games are not balanced due to Pay-2-Win systems. Take 90%+ of mobile games, if you pay, you get a load of advantages compared to what non-payer players get.

Another advantage of selling digital goods to your players is that you get 100% of the money.

What does it cost you to give a player an item?

Nothing. It’s your server. You have the hand on this! You choose whether you create a new cosmetic item or a new collectible item. You can create a handful of them or a load. You can sell them 10$ or 1,000$ dollars. It’s up to you to manage this part!

Bonus point: You can create as much item as you want if you hire a modder to code new items for you. This strategy makes your server more unique as you are the only one to possess these items on it. However, your players will need to download a launched to benefits the from the new items.

You make money on a Minecraft server business by selling digital goods to your players.

Basically, a player stumble onto your website, log in and click on the shop section. There he looks at all the purchasable items. He chooses one. It’s a rank on your server. Meaning that whenever the player speaks in the chat, his rank will appear before his pseudo.

Sample:

[King]”PlayerUsername”: Hello !

This rank gives some unique perks to the player.

He can store several homes, write in different colors, use a nickname and more.

These perks appear in the description right into the shop.

Here, the player chooses to buy the rank.

He pays you 30$ through PayPal.

You get your money.

The website tells your server to change the rank of this player from [normal] to [King] which adds all his new perks automatically.

You have nothing else to do than to manage the server and sometime update the website with special offers, articles and ideas for your players.

This business works with minimal time input.

Most of the job is to create the server, set up the website and connect the server to the website.

Once that is done, your sole job is to attract new players to your server.

Which can be done with advertisements or though the help of your friends.

This business is for you if…

  • You already played Minecraft
  • You know how to manage a community
  • You are into websites
  • You are a creator
  • You are in extrovert
  • You have friends who play Minecraft
  • You don’t mind pulling many hours to build your server
  • You want to have a self-sufficient business
  • You are young
  • It’s one of your first businesses
  • You have it easy to make friends
  • You know coding basic’s

Applicable steps

  1. Define a theme for your server – Pirate, antique, futurist, steampunk…
  2. Name your server
  3. Build a spawn
  4. Rent a server
  5. Configure plugins
  6. Open the server to players
  7. Find players
  8. Grow the server
  9. Make adds
  10. Reward the players for advertising your server
  11. Set up a website
  12. Create a shop
  13. Connect it to your server
  14. Set adds for your shop in your server
  15. Get more players on your server

Once the server and the website are set up, all you have to do is to recruit new gamers to play on your server. A server without players will not generate any money and is super boring to manage.

How to recruit players

  • Ponzi scheme
  • Reward players to advertise your server
  • Advertise
  • Give responsibility to your players
  • Write your server IP address wherever you can – YouTube comments, social media, forums…
  • Create groups for your players
  • Cold call potential players
  • Create a forum
  • Reward new comers
  • Ask popular website/youtuber/influencer to speak about your website
  • Gift the best players
  • Build a discord server
  • Use SEO to rank your website on google
  • Ask everyone around you to come
  • Join Minecraft communities and give your IP

Why it’s an amazing idea?

Most Minecraft server aren’t fun to play on.

By bringing your originality plus your expertise you can easily create a server better than existing ones.

You don’t need extreme knowledge on any subject to get started. As long as you know how to play Minecraft you can build your own server.

The initial investment is near zero. You only pay the monthly rent of your server which is under 10$ per month when you start.

Better, you can even build your server on single player or host a server on your computer to ensure that everything works as you want it.

Another good point is that working on a Minecraft server doesn’t look like work and it isn’t. While managing plugins can be annoying, it surely isn’t as complex as coding. Anyone with enough will can learn how to manage the most important plugins in less than a week. Once you understand how one works, then you can move onto another one.

A Minecraft server is also good as a side project because it doesn’t require your full attention. All you need to do is to find a way to get as many players as possible on your servers, being nice I already gave you the blueprint somewhere above.

If you enjoy Minecraft, are good at communication and are young, a Minecraft server is a good business idea for you.

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