Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft is considering purchasing Mojang, independent developer of “Minecraft”, for $2bn. In the past few days the rumours have been confirmed and Microsoft have in fact acquired the independent studio for $2.5 Billion!
This will come as a shock to anyone that has followed Mojang or Minecraft throughout their development as the founder, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, has frequently stated his disapproval of the way that big companies are organised, going as far as to cancel an Oculus Rift VR version of Minecraft after the company was acquired by Facebook. Throughout his career he has also criticised Microsoft numerous times claiming that Windows 8 was an attempt to “ruin the PC as an open platform” after Metro was revealed to be closed source. Finally, in 2012, he stated that “The more studios that can remove themselves from the publisher system, the more games that will be made out of love rather than for profit.” Markus is the majority shareholder in Mojang and despite his previous statements of disapproval the sale has been confirmed with the added comment “that I will be leaving Mojang AB as soon as the sale is finalized.”
The future of Minecraft…
So what does this mean for Minecraft and future games from the once-indie studio? It would be safe to say that Minecraft will start receiving more frequent updates most likely focusing on the PC and Xbox version opposed to the PlayStation edition. At a stretch we may begin to see development of Minecraft: Pocket Edition for Windows Phones and pushing further paid DLC . With regards to new releases the future development of new titles and IPs is unclear. On one hand it would be most beneficial for Microsoft to push Mojang to release at least a single game or two every few years as the company would garner a huge amount of hype for any sort of new development (Scrolls, for example, which turned out to be a fairly average game ) but on the other hand Minecraft was created initially to test a landscape creation algorithm showing that experimenting with code and ideas can be better than writing out a full design doc with a complete plan and target demographic.
All that we can do for now is wait and see what the future holds as our beloved game is now in the hands of the industry giant, Microsoft
Notch has spoken out with regards to Microsoft’s interest and has said that it was actually his idea to sell. “[He] reached out to Microsoft a few months ago based on a positive working relationship while working on Minecraft for Xbox.” (Bloomberg). Notch is still planning on leaving the company once the transaction has been completed.
Let us know your view on Minecraft being sold to Microsoft…