Monday, September 15, 2014 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Minecraft to Join Microsoft

Microsoft:

The Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which includes the studios behind global blockbuster franchises “Halo,” “Forza,” “Fable” and more. Microsoft’s investments in cloud and mobile technologies will enable “Minecraft” players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the “Minecraft” community.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion.

Mojang:

Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance. Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big.

As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that.

There are only a handful of potential buyers with the resources to grow Minecraft on a scale that it deserves. We’ve worked closely with Microsoft since 2012, and have been impressed by their continued dedication to our game and its development. We’re confident that Minecraft will continue to grow in an awesome way.

Markus “Notch” Persson:

I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

I have no idea what to make of this.

Update (2014-09-19): Josh Centers:

Minecraft is the most mind-blowing game I have ever played. It’s part sandbox game, part world-builder, part exploration game, part farming simulator, and part role-playing game. It has a “conclusion” of sorts (that you must discover on your own), but it never truly ends. You can play alone or with others, and you can even run your own Minecraft server and invite just your friends to play on it. It’s all too easy to spend thousands of hours in Minecraft, and millions of people already have.

3 Comments

Seems obvious to me. Microsoft have decided that if Apple go hi-hi-res with their retina screens and operating system, the only way Microsoft can differentiate is to "bet the whole company on red" and go lo-lo-res.

Imagine Windows Explorer with folder icons that have a resolution of 8x8.

:-)

"I have no idea what to make of this."

Minecraft is the biggest thing that happened to games since Pokémon. Everybody plays the game, and if Minecraft is managed well, it can remain one of the most important, widely played, influential franchises for at least another decade.

Games are extremely important to Microsoft, both because they are one of the main drivers for selling new Windows PCs (and thus Windows licenses), and because of the Xbox. Microsoft has tried to create games vaguely like Minecraft in the past (Viva Piñata, Kodu, Project Spark), and they've more or less failed.

Sony already owns the Little Pig Planet franchise, and Nintendo is starting to enter the "creative games where you make stuff, rather than just consuming stuff" field with Mario Maker for the Wii U. I think a lot of companies assume that these types of games are going to be increasingly important. I also think they're right.

Put these things together, and 2.5 billion starts to look like a great deal.

I have no clue what Microsoft intends to do with Minecraft, but if they're going to make Minecraft Windows-exclusive (which I don't think they will, btw), this alone will cost Apple a ton of iPad sales.

Jason Sims: “Microsoft Studios no longer includes Bungie (makers of Halo) — to correct their own press release. Bungie left in 2007.”

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