I suppose its not surprising really, considering that Minecraft has gained so much popularity – faster than any other property I can recall. Minecraft has sold over 54 million copies and allows players to build structures with retro Lego-style blocks, as well as explore a large map and battle others.
The deal was announced by Xbox chief Phil Spencer.
Mojang quickly assured fans that “everything is going to be OK”.
Many analysts speculate that the deal is designed to attract more users to Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices. After all – Minecraft is a top-selling app on both Apple’s iOS store and and Android’s Google Play, and has recently been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Mojang’s founder, Markus “Notch” Persson, has previously criticised Microsoft, and commented to Reuters that the market for Windows phones was “tiny” and not worth developing apps for. Mojang released a statement stating that “Notch” had decided that he “doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance”. In the end Notch stated “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity”.
The game has a bit of a cult following. Many fans are reacting angrily and see this as a corporate take-over for a once indie game.
“Makes me sick, and sad,” wrote one user on a popular Minecraft forum. “It would kill the gaming community,” EvilBatsu added.
Others expressed concerns about whether fans would be able to exhibit their skills.
“Not only will it cost more money to play the game it will cost people their jobs too. Many people play Minecraft and upload it to YouTube as their career, but if Microsoft takes over there will for sure be copyright issues.”
However there are some enthusiasts who view the buyout as a positive – that it will allow for more upgrades – thus expanding the game universe.
If you remember – last month, Amazon bought Twitch, a site which allows users to watch other people play video games, for $970m. It’s buyout season folks – whenever anything gets big, corporate giants are going to eat it up and devour it. I remember buying the game early on in development. It had a certain charm, and it still does. I can understand other fans concerns as I have many as well. Good or bad, we will eventually see what Microsoft has in store for Minecraft.