Recently (yesterday) there have been talks of Microsoft aiming to purchase the company that created Minecraft as we know and love it: Mojang. The gains for Notch and The Gang? An estimated $2 billion. To put that into perspective, Minecraft costs $27 for the PC – about 75 million copies would need to be sold to match this number.
Economically, this move makes sense for Mojang. Minecraft has no microtransactions, no expansions, no monthly fees – it does not gain money from its existing customers. The game continues to spread, undoubtedly, but consider the fact that fewer than 17 million people have purchased the game for PC since it was first released.
That’s almost half of a billion dollars.
Of course, Minecraft makes money elsewhere. Merchandising, guides, and probably other deals struck with third party companies must generate significant cash flow. Those fifteen dollar foam iron swords seem to be popular, after all.
So why does Microsoft want Mojang? Likely, Microsoft sees some opportunity to turn Minecraft into an even greater profit at the expense of something Mojang hasn’t been willing to do with the game still under their management. This could be something like monthly fees, expansions, or simply more impactful marketing schemes. Regardless, this is at its core a business venture.
This could mean many things for Minecraft, but one thing is for sure: the game we all love will almost definitely not be ruined. When games and companies change hands, fans often become concerned that the new company will attempt to take the game in a completely new and unfamiliar direction. Carl Manneh (CEO) and others of the company have confirmed their policy on generally doing what is best for the game and its community rather than selling out for what will generate the highest income – our worlds are in safe hands.
Now, something of this magnitude may seem scary for longtime players who have grown attached to the game. Rest assured, however, that simply because Microsoft may be purchasing Mojang, they would be absolute fools to recruit a new team to manage and develop it – and the Mojang Gang has shown no signs of falling out of love with their masterpiece. Microsoft will likely simply be calling the major shots, while the Mojang flavor and intimacy remains in Notch’s capable hands.
Nonetheless, most reports of these events transpiring cite that Microsoft and Mojang are close to striking a deal. This means that Mojang is definitely interested in pursuing something with the company, though to what extent we cannot know until it has been set in stone. Both parties have yet to release any public information, and what is known was leaked.
With that said – I will be sure to keep you up to date on this as I discover more information. Stay tuned for more. Until then, happy crafting!
How do you feel about this potential acquisition by Microsoft? Do you fear they will monetize it too heavily, or perhaps ruin the game’s direction and charm? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.