Mojang, the company behind the ever-popular Minecraft, has just been snapped up by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. The deal, which was heavily rumored throughout last week, sees Mojang as the ideal purchase as it attempts to build and increase its gaming portfolio, and given that the software giant has nothing it its repertoire remotely close to Minecraft, the purchase does make a great deal of sense.
Amid the deal, Xbox head Phil Spencer described gaming as “the top activity across devices,” and with Minecraft under its wing, the popular franchise will continue to develop.
Although Mojang is the company Microsoft is buying, Minecraft is its flagship export, and the money being handed over is almost wholly just for the title.
Once the deal has gone through and all of the legal formalities taken care of, it appears that Microsoft has big expansion plans for Minecraft. Currently, a Pocket Edition of the world builder does exists, but it’s a far cry from the real deal, and as Spencer also noted in his statement on the Mojang buyout, Microsoft will “continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
So, even with PlayStation being a major rival to Microsoft, the company realizes the existence of PS3 / PS4-owning Minecraft fans, and even though we expect the Windows / Xbox experience to be prioritized at essentially every opportunity, Microsoft won’t be monopolizing what is a thriving franchise.
Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft also known as “Notch,” does not intend to join up with Microsoft, with Mojang sources suggesting that he finds the prospect of being a part of such a major, global company a tad overwhelming. He will still continue to do “cool stuff,” so says the source, but will also be relieved to have offloaded Minecraft with the pressure of the franchise’s growth having taken its toll.
The Lego-like world of Minecraft may be immensely popular and thriving, but it’s not as though there’s a scope for growth, and having put down a cool $2.5 billion to get hold of it, it’ll be intriguing to see what happens next.
What do you make of this acquisition? Do you believe Microsoft made a smart buy? Share your thoughts with us.