Microsoft owns ‘Minecraft.’ Now what?
By now you may have heard about Microsoft’s recent decision to acquire Minecraft developer, Mojang. But if you haven’t, here’s the gist: Microsoft will soon own the Minecraft brand, and the Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios. Microsoft has agreed to buy the Swedish game developer for $2.5 billion by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.
But why? And more importantly, what happens now?
Minecraft is one of the most popular games on the video game market, drawing a wide array of both hardcore gamers and casual gamers alike. The game has more than 100 million downloads on PC alone since 2009, according to a Microsoft news release.
Minecraft is available on most platforms including PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and Playstation. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said mobile gaming isn’t going anywhere.
“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” he said. “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”
But there is one place where Minecraft is not yet available. Have you guessed by now?
The Microsoft Windows phone. The smartphone, which will soon go through a thorough rebranding, has been struggling since its debut in Oct. 2010. The mobile operating system has gone through several major updates, with the latest being Windows Phone 8.1. This update introduced numerous features to the software including Cortana, a voice assistant similar to iOS’ Siri.
IDC reported a volume decline of 9.4 percent for Windows Phone from 2013. As for its market share? It grew, but not by much. It’s third under iOS and Android, which make up a whopping 96.4 percent of the market.
Basically, Microsoft purchased a popular video game brand with a huge loyal community to help its struggling Windows Phone. Was this Microsoft’s plan all along?
It certainly seems like it.
But now, Mojang founders have decided to take their skills elsewhere. In a recent article, The Wall Street Journal said that without the Mojang founders, Microsoft could have a hard time trying to nurture the Minecraft community. Many Minecraft fans have already expressed disapproval at the Microsoft acquisition stating that the tech giant could ruin the game by taking away its simplicity.
So, is this a good buy for Microsoft. Absolutely. Is this a good buy for Minecraft?
We’ll have to wait and see.