Minecraft will officially be joining Microsoft’s stable of games. Both Redmond and Mojang have confirmed that the acquisition of the Swedish game developer has happened after rumours appeared last week. The founder of Minecraft, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson will be leaving the company, although this was already expected as he had already been hinting that we was preparing to move on from the massive blockbuster hit.
Nobody is exactly sure what Microsoft will be doing with the US$2.5 billion acquisition, although some are speculating that the profits from Minecraft alone make the purchase worth it. More importantly, Microsoft has announced that it will continue to make the game available to iOS, Mac, Android, and PlayStation users.
The sale of the company appears to stem from Persson wanting to go back to making small time games, and being in charge of Mojang and Minecraft made it very difficult for him to do so. A post on his personal blog also explained that he had become disillusioned with his fans after the recent outcry against changes to the Minecraft EULA; changes that he had nothing do to with despite being targeted for much of the outrage.
Some pundit are being extremely optimistic about the move, as Minecraft’s development and update history has often been haphazard and chaotic, with updates appearing at random. Many features and fixes that have been requested by the community have never been implemented (most of which are to do with modding the game), although it is difficult to see this changing with Microsoft Studios in charge.
It should be noted that Microsoft has not had the best track record in producing games. Most of its recent triple A titles have been console exclusive, and PC ports have often taken years to arrive; or simply never happen. How this will impact the future development of Minecraft remains to be seen, and fans of the game will have at least some reason to be worried.