A Wall Street Journal report days ago all-but-confirmed a buyout of Minecraft developer Mojang by Microsoft, but when will the deal become official? According to Reuters, Monday may be the day Microsoft spills the beans.
To put the deal in perspective, Minecraft is the most popular paid app on both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store, and will be a massive boon for Microsoft if the deal truly is as “done” as it seems. Dave Bisceglia, CEO of indie studio Tap Lab, offered up his take on the situation.
It seems like Microsoft is looking at Mojang and Minecraft as a way to tap into this enormous cultural phenomenon. If you look at iOS, Minecraft has been a top-grossing game for quite some time, if Microsoft could on Windows phones give players a unique and compelling experience that you can’t get on the other platforms, that could be a driver to sell devices to existing Minecraft fans.
Though technically feasible, I’m not sold. Why would you buy a Windows phone for Minecraft when it’s already available everywhere else? Rather, I suspect Microsoft wants in on Minecraft‘s revenue stream, control of an enormously popular IP, and the chance to shape the future of said IP. Additionally, the company can garner some much-needed gamer goodwill if its cash infusion and resources can help bring Minecraft to new heights, or better yet, make more new Mojang titles a reality.
Despite launching on PC originally, 40% of Minecraft sales are now on mobile platforms. It’s unlikely Microsoft would ever make the game Xbox or Windows exclusive, but it’s not difficult to imagine users of those platforms receiving Minecraft-related perks or advantages down the road.