Minecraft and Microsoft are lately in news, and it comes as no surprise that Microsoft has bought Mojang, for a hefty amount of $2.5 billion. Behind this move, there is more strategic value than monetary at this moment.
Minecraft has sold more than 54 million copies all over the world. Minecraft founders, Markus Persson , Carl Manneh and Jackob Porser are leaving the company, giving Microsoft a chance to build the Minecraft game and community.
According to Mohanj spokesman Owen Hill, the company owners want to get over the responsibilities of running the company, which generated $326m revenue last year.
There were concerns by Mojang players over the accusation of their beloved game Minecraft by industry giants Microsoft, but Microsoft in their statement assured that the game will continue in the right path without any disruption. Mohang has also assured that the purchase will not hamper the non-Microsoft version to be scrapped.
Minecraft is downloaded 100m on PC alone since 2009 (including free downloads) is the 4th non-US based company, Microsoft has bought. Microsoft also claimed that Minecraft has been played by more than 2bn hours in the last two years.
Rest assured Minecraft users will surely benefit from the cloud and mobile technologies which provide much richer experience to the users. Microsoft may also provide much better opportunity for the community to interact. Minecraft is also the top app for iOS and Android in the US.
Last year or so has been exciting for Minecraft as nearly 90% of paid customers on the PC having registered within the past 12 months.
According to ZDnet, there is a lot of strategic decision that goes into the deal. Some of them are listed below:
- Through Mahjong, Microsoft can target a younger demographic. The game is played by many school going kids, who are glued to Minecraft creative world. Getting the opportunity to reach the younger demographic can change Microsoft future.
- Microsoft can target multiple platforms with Minecraft and eventually it will be released for Windows Phone too.
- A very good investment for a Lego-like game which is still growing and has huge future potential. The platform is also a very good platform for robotics and engineering field.
- Microsoft can use its overseas cash that cannot be brought back to U.S for investment according to the current tax laws. Microsoft can now easily use that cash into Minecraft, which is an international asset and is not bound to US only.
- Microsoft can make a Minecraft spin-off for Xbox in future which can further be refined into an exclusive like Halo.
All that good news, Microsoft bought Minecraft, but there are many concerns from current Minecraft players, who think that this could eventually end the golden age of Minecraft, despite the calming assurances given by Microsoft and Minecraft.
There are also concerns for Microsoft monetizing the game and making it costly for players to play. There are always concerns like this, when a tech giant takes over a very popular game in the market but lets hope for a better future for both Minecraft and Microsoft. The acquisition will be concluded by the end of 2014.