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Cost and Budget

Page history last edited by Lucas Gillispie 11 years, 11 months ago

In the world of education software, Minecraft is incredibly cost-effective.  If you are interested in starting your own Minecraft program here are some numbers to assist you with a planning budget:


Minecraft Licenses


Minecraft is a one-time purchase, per user.  There are no recurring subscription or maintenance fees.  For education institutions, the best way to acquire licenses for your students is through MinecraftEDU.com.  MinecraftEDU offers individual licenses for $18 each or in groups of 25 for $335 (as of June, 2012).  This represents a significant savings over purchasing the licenses directly from Mojang.  Mojang has been incredibly supportive of the education community through their partnership with MinecraftEDU.  


When purchasing through MinecraftEDU, what you're actually purchasing are gift codes that are redeemed for a full account.  Once your purchase is finalized, MinecraftEDU will send these codes so that you can begin creating accounts (see tips for account creation here).


Minecraft Servers


If you want your learners to have a mutliplayer, collaborative experience, then you'll need a Minecraft server.  This is software that runs on a computer, generates a virtual world, and manages connections from Minecraft players.  There are two ways to accomplish this:  host the server on a computer on your network or pay for hosting as a service.


Hosting Your Own Server


Generally speaking, with Minecraft servers, better processing and more RAM will produce better results.  The more simultaneous users on your server, the greater the load on the server's resources.


In Pender County Schools, we are operating two servers, Mac Minis with the following specs:


Mac Mini with Lion OSX Server

Intel 2Ghz i7 Processor



Cost:  $1099


By hosting your own server, you can use the standard ("vanilla") Minecraft server software, MinecraftEDU's education-friendly server ($49), or a modified server such as Bukkit.


Hosting As A Service


A quick Google search will reveal a variety of options for external hosting of your Minecraft server.  Most of these providers charge a monthly fee depending on the maximum number of users that you want to be able to connect simultaneously.  These fees range from $20 to $60 per month for the ones I've looked at.  Note that when paying for hosting as a service, you may experience some limitations in what servers and/or server modifications you can use.


Recurring Costs


If you retain ownership of the Minecraft accounts your school/district purchases, they can be "recycled" as needed, so it's not necessary to re-purchase accounts.  If you host your own server, there are no recurring fees either, typically.

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