In an announcement that is sure to impress others and frustrate others, Microsoft have today confirmed that they will be acquiring acclaimed Minecraft developer Mojang for a not-so-insignificant sum of $2.5 Billion US Dollars. Microsoft hopes their investments in cloud and mobile technologies will allow players of Minecraft to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the Minecraft community. Any changes are likely to take place from 2015, with the acquisition (Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review) expected to be closed in late-2014.
While there is a strong likelihood that any projects from Mojang will now find themselves released exclusively on PC and Xbox platforms, Microsoft remains committed to continuing the make Minecraft available across all platforms it is currently available on: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. As for the future… time will tell if this acquisition was worth it… and if the community will join Microsoft for the ride.
Satya Nadella | CEO of Microsoft
Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year. Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.
Carl Manneh | CEO of Mojang
The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft. As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future.
Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has also provided an extensive statement, available in its entirety below:
Our relationship with Mojang began when we initially talked to the team about bringing Minecraft to the console. Minecraft quickly became the top online game on Xbox Live, with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years. That working relationship set the ground work for other opportunities. We’ve long seen the incredible potential of Minecraft.
At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.
The Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we’ll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward. Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community.
We’re excited to confirm that MINECON will continue next year. We’ll look to create even more ways for the vibrant community of YouTuber’s, innovators, bloggers and players to connect with each other – both in person and online. We will have much more to share in the coming months.
The Minecraft team’s unique vision, creative energy and innovative mindset make them a perfect fit alongside our other global studios. Microsoft Studios includes 343 Industries, Turn 10 Studios, and Lionhead Studios just to name a few. These industry-leading game studios within Microsoft that have had great success with beloved games and massively popular franchises like Halo, Forza, and Fable. We’re excited to welcome Mojang to the Microsoft family and we are thrilled to support the success and longevity of Minecraft for years to come.