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Microsoft Businesses Games

Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion 330

jawtheshark writes The rumors were true. Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, is being sold to Microsoft. Of course, the promise is to keep all products supported as they are. From the article: "Microsoft said it has agreed to buy Mojang AB, the Swedish video game company behind the hit Minecraft game, boosting its mobile efforts and cementing control of another hit title for its Xbox console. Minecraft, which has notched about 50 million copies sold, will be purchased by Microsoft for $2.5 billion, the company said in a statement. The move marks the tech giant's most ambitious video game purchase and the largest acquisition for Satya Nadella, its new chief executive. 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,' Nadella said in a statement."
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

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  • by goarilla ( 908067 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:37AM (#47907977)
    I've never "played" minecraft, but I guess they are buying this at this insane price for the marketing and data
    mining possibilities.
    • Re:Ads (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:44AM (#47908067)
      54 million sold already. Lets assume they can sell the same amount for Minecraft 2. If they priced it at $10 they would make half a billion. They can probably make more money off DLC on the existing game. And make money off DLC for Minecraft 2. Then there is stuffed creapers and toys. They are still loosing money at 2.5 billion. Was good deal for Notch.
      • Re:Ads (Score:5, Funny)

        by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:46AM (#47908083)

        I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that goarilla was actually just making an atrocious data-mining pun.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why would they sell Minecraft 2 for only $10? The current version is $26.95 USD on the PC and $20 on the console. I can easily see MS charging $40 - $60 for a game that is bound to be popular. Hell, the new SIMS game will run you $60, you can bet MS is planning to milk this. Plus they can then release Minecraft 3 two years later and do the whole thing again :p

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          The mobile price is under $10. A $60 price would sell less copies than a $10 version. Also $10 makes the math easy. :)
      • Re:Ads (Score:4, Informative)

        by PIBM ( 588930 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:00AM (#47908955) Homepage

        They purchased mojang. That usually includes the cash on hand and monetary assets. Recent estimates I've seen were talking of 1.5B in tangible assets for Mojang. Thus, it's a 1B premium, meaning that they value the profits per year for the following years at 150-160M, which is very easy to reach with that license.

        Minecraft has sold more than 100 million copies, every of them having the possibility for paying for a minecraft realm monthly to share their creations. A lot more people can buy the game. Then, if it start fading away, they will be able to grab a lot of money with minecraft 2.

        Finally, they can also use this license to push their devices for which there was no minecraft before. Optimized for Windows Phone!@

        This is not an insane amount at all, compared to the twitch buyout or such..

        • Why would Notch leave 1.5B in cash in Mojang. He has like 40 employees and pays the rent on 1 building. Minecraft is the 1.5B tangible asset. Mojang could sell Minecraft to another developer for 1.5B. After selling Minecraft away there isn't a way for Microsoft to make another billion off Mojang.
          • Re: Ads (Score:3, Interesting)

            by loufoque ( 1400831 )

            Minecraft is a simplistic game any software developer can code in 6 months.
            It has zero value.

            What they bought is the community.

        • Re:Ads (Score:4, Informative)

          by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @03:33PM (#47911925)

          Mojang had 1.5 billion SEK in cash at the end of 2013, or about 220M USD at 2013 exchange rates. Their turnower for 2013 was 2 billion SEK or about 300 million USD.

          Source: http://www.allabolag.se/556819... [allabolag.se]

      • Re:Ads (Score:5, Funny)

        by HetMes ( 1074585 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:18AM (#47909177)
        Yes, I too believe I can make a better estimation of the value of Mojang in 3 seconds than an entire specialized Microsoft department over the course of a few months.
      • Minecraft is already well established, there's no need to bother with gimmicks like DLC or any need to pay for development with an upfront purchase price. Such an approach would be a waste of the game's convenient addictiveness.

        After corporate meddling pisses off most of the core Mojang developers enough to jump ship, Microsoft will drop in a new default resource pack, maybe add another boss or two to the game, and sell it as "Minecraft 2.0". Realms will be the only multiplayer option, and the game will be

      • Re:Ads (Score:5, Interesting)

        by GNious ( 953874 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @12:24PM (#47909819)

        They are purchasing this to get Minecraft on the Windows Phone-no-longer-called-Phone platform, in the hope that people will buy their devices to play Minecraft on.

        Yes, I'm not actually bullshitting you on that one.

    • Re:Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:56AM (#47908233)

      It's no secret that Mojang is developing a pay to play kind of add-on called Realms. The idea is that people who want to have a Minecraft server for themselves and their friends can pay Mojang to host the server and take care of the technical details.

      There are probably somewhere between 10 and 100 million Minecraft players. Suppose that 1% will subscribe to Realms at $4.99 a month (currently €10). That would yield between 500k and 5M in monthly revenue, or about 6M to 60M in yearly revenue.

      Minecraft would probably be worth a few hundred million dollars in a sane market.

      • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

        Unless of course....

        Because you purchased the name, you can develop Minecraft 2, DLC content for the original or a sequel, and the players
        who already purchased Minecraft will likely purchase a sequel..meaning....it's worth the purchase.

        Clones don't do so well, because those who are interested in that kind of game, I will make a broad assumption here, won't hide it, probably own Minecraft,
        and the clones can't compete with the current modding community. So it's hard to take off.

        But owning the name Minecraft,

        • Re:Ads (Score:5, Funny)

          by Raumkraut ( 518382 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:42AM (#47908767)

          Because you purchased the name, you can develop Minecraft 2

          And so a whole new generation of gamers will learn the pain and heartache of a loved name from their childhood getting ruined by a poorly-thought-out corporate-developed sequel.

          • And so a whole new generation of gamers will learn the pain and heartache of a loved name from their childhood getting ruined by a poorly-thought-out corporate-developed sequel.

            At least Star Control 3 wasn't a poorly thought out corporate developed sequel. The melee was so well thought out that there was an A.I. override built in and advertised in the manual to make the A.I. ships act suicidal. That takes planning.

      • Yeah, but you're missing out on a few things like the value of the name Minecraft.

        Minecraft has spawned a lot of merch, as an example of brand value. Shirts, hats, toys, blind bags, key rings, foam swords and pick axes, etc. etc.

        That 2.5 billion isn't going to pay off right away. But it will pay off.

      • Re:Ads (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:24AM (#47909233)

        There are probably somewhere between 10 and 100 million Minecraft players.

        I can personally testify that I have met more than 10 Minecraft players just myself.

      • Minecraft is fairly vulnerable though. The kids are eagerly exploring different block games--these same kids loath Microsoft for some reason. My son who is 11 starts dropping the Microsoft hate one day and I play the devil's advocate explaining all of the cool stuff Microsoft offers. Still hates Microsoft. He got this from hanging with his friends online. These kids have no loyalty to games unless they get something from it that they cant get somewhere else. When my son hears of Microsoft buying Minec

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > at this insane price

      I don't think 8x their current yearly profit is insane. Especially given the additional marketing opportunities.

      For instance, you still can't buy a Minecraft backpack at Target.

      There is plenty of money to be made.

      In a day where whatsapp is being paid $19 billion? Microsoft got a dream deal.

    • I've never "played" minecraft, but I guess they are buying this at this insane price for the marketing and data
      mining possibilities.

      I see what you did there.

    • I can't wait for the SQL: Data Minecraft!

  • An end to XBox? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I wonder if this is a step towards becoming a software company since they haven't done so well in the device industry... especially in Japan.

    • Re:An end to XBox? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:13AM (#47908459)

      Japanese people buy Japanese brands out of national loyalty.
      They only make exceptions for "luxury" brands (like Apple).
      Everything released by a foreign company where there is a Japanese equivalent product will fail.

      • by Guspaz ( 556486 )

        I once checked out the TV section of a Yodobashi Camera (and if you're ever in Japan, you really must visit a Yodobashi Camera, it's like every store of the floor is the size one or two BestBuy stores, except there's half a dozen floors or more). The brands of TVs on offer was very different from what you'd see outside of Japan. In most of the world, Korean brands like Samsung and LG are quite popular, but in that TV section (of what are probably the largest electronics stores in Japan), there was not a sin

    • Re:An end to XBox? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Xest ( 935314 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:16AM (#47908491)

      I doubt Microsoft cares how it does in Japan nowadays, Japan stopped being a relevant indicator of the health of a video game industry entrant about 10 years ago. Since then both the US and subsequently Europe became bigger markets by far, and even markets like Brasil and China are arguably more worth spending your time on now than Japan if you're in that industry. Japan's two decades of economic stagnation have really hit it's relevance to the industry hard in this respect - the struggling Wii U and Sony's precarious overall financials (The PS4 is doing well though thankfully) have only exacerbated the problem.

      Despite their mis-steps this generation they actually did well last generation in the end in large part because they were pulling in over $1bn of pure profit from Xbox Live subscriptions alone within a few years of the launch of the 360. This couple with the highest attach rate by a decent margin coupled with higher profits-per-game than the Wii last generation allowed them to be more profitable despite not shifting anywhere near as many consoles as the Wii did.

      Whether they'll keep doing well is anyone's guess, but the XBox division is currently a massively different beast compared to how it started last generation with it's RROD writeoffs and massive initial R&D expenses on the system.

      There were rumours of them selling it off and such but I can't see them getting rid of it now that it's finally been a healthy net profit centre for a good few years now - it would seem odd to invest 10 years on profitably making your way into a key target area for Microsoft - the living room - only to then give up when you've achieved your goals of decent market penetration and real actual profit, still, stranger things have happened so I guess we'll see.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:39AM (#47908013)

    Minecraft is the only game out there that uses Java, but the Xbox 360, iOS and such versions do not use Java, so what I expect to see is the Java version gets dumped and work continues on the non-Java versions, which would benefit everyone.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <marktNO@SPAMnerdflat.com> on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:45AM (#47908079) Journal

      .... everyone, perhaps, except perhaps people who run it on a Mac, or almost certainly Linux will be left in the cold.

      By "everyone", please admit to what you are really trying to say.... everyone who matters. Or more correctly, everyone that *YOU* think matters.

      • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:53AM (#47908183)

        Last I knew, Microsoft was still the second largest developer of software for Mac (after Apple, of course). There's always hope in that direction *if* there's a market for it.

        • by praxis ( 19962 )

          Last I knew, Microsoft was still the second largest developer of software for Mac (after Apple, of course). There's always hope in that direction *if* there's a market for it.

          Java runs on far more platforms than just Windows and OS X. If Microsoft ports Minecraft away from Java, what are they chances that they support those platforms?

        • Remember when Microsoft bought Bungie?

          Bungie was a developer for the Mac platform that brought us many excellent games, such as Marathon and Myth in the 90's. It was working on a game called Halo, that was supposed to leverage all the Mac features to create a hugely amazing game.

          In 2000, Microsoft bought Bungie, and the delivery date for Halo slipped. Turned out that the reason for the slip was that all dev work on the Mac version halted, and MS put all Bungie's efforts into porting it to XBOX. It then came out as an XBOX exclusive title (the launch title).

          Eventually, Bungie left MS in 2007, but had to leave the Halo franchise behind.

          This is pretty much what I expect to happen 14 years later with Minecraft, with the exception that Minecraft already exists (like Myth II did at the time of the Bungie buyout) and so isn't likely to be the killer app at the center of the deal.

    • by readin ( 838620 )

      Minecraft is the only game out there that uses Java, but the Xbox 360, iOS and such versions do not use Java, so what I expect to see is the Java version gets dumped and work continues on the non-Java versions, which would benefit everyone.

      What about people who develop mods for the game? I would like to see modding made easier - a sale to Microsoft doesn't give me much hope.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I honestly am hoping the community rallies behind one of the many clones out there.

        Minecraft is an awesome idea terribly implemented. A properly implemented clone with such amazing features as multithreading (so you can run a decent sized server with a heavy mod load), error recovery, sane entity management, and an actual API for modding would probably do quite well right now as people will be looking to jump off the Microsoft driven wagon.

        I honestly don't care if it's written in Java. Java isn't really the

        • by Dins ( 2538550 )

          I honestly am hoping the community rallies behind one of the many clones out there.

          I've been playing 7 Days to Die with my son recently, and even though it's still in alpha, I can highly recommend it for those who like the survival aspect of Minecraft (i.e. night is coming, build your base before you die to hordes of zombies). The graphics are much improved over Minecraft and the crafting is more in-depth. Plus it has a great overall feel to it. Kind of feels like you're playing The Walking Dead when you're playing with others.

      • As long as they dont kill forge with heavier obfuscation it should be okay.

    • Minecraft is the only game out there that uses Java

      What on earth are you talking about? Lots of games use Java.

      Minecrafts sister game comes to mind: http://www.wurmonline.com/ [wurmonline.com]

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      Minecraft is the only game out there that uses Java

      You forgot DripStat [dripstat.com]. Hook up your Tomcat JVMs to the same company's APM service for an advantage in the game.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      That indeed could be the case. As pointed out on Reddit [reddit.com] by gooneh ...

      Minecraft is written in Java, and requires the Oracle (formerly Sun) JVM. Jokes and jabs aside, my guess is that MS wants to replace JVM with .NET under Minecraft, porting from Java to C#. All those 10-to-15 year olds playing Minecraft will be going to college and developing code in 5 or 10 years, and MS would naturally want them using their platform technology, so its a logical investment. Sadly, I would not be suprised to see support fo

      • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @12:24PM (#47909815)

        Another gem from betelgeux [reddit.com]

        You want to see the future of Minecraft all you need to do is look at Flight Simulator.
        They had a solid community building planes and terrain and with every release the graphics and flight engine got better. There was some payware but 95% was free.
        In Jan 2009, citing financial pressure, the last of the design team for Flight Sim was laid off and the tasks for ongoing development were distributed throughout the rest of the company.
        In Feb 2012 Microsoft Flight was released as a free to play game. All previous aircraft, terrain, instruments from previous versions were incompatible. Only a single island of Hawaii and a single aircraft was available. The flight model was simplified to make it easier on the console players. Additional areas to fly in as well as aircraft were available for purchase. Reviews from longterm sim users were unkind to say the least. It was now an arcade game - it simulated nothing and was useless as a learning tool. It was nothing the community wanted or needed.
        July 2012 the game was cancelled.
        Aug 2013 the XBox.com closure ended the ability to get a new copy of game.
        There has been no Flight Sim available from MS since 2012. 2006 was the last actual Sim release honestly. It had been on the market since 1979.
        I want to be wrong about this, but MS has a history of not understanding and not listening to it's customers.
        The start button that they spent 17 years getting customers used to was removed and they are still don't seem to understand why Win8 isn't the huge success they hoped it would be. In spite of the fact that they have been told time and again that this is a major issue for many users they steadfastly refuse to correct it - promising that it might be there in the next update.
        MS knows better than it's users apparently and it will do what it wants like the 800lbs gorilla they are.

  • by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:40AM (#47908017)

    According to Mojang, Microsoft has agreed not to meddle in the development of the game for other platforms, although they point out that they can't do anything about any objections platformholders might have about distributing a Microsoft game.

  • what else does Mojang have to offer? Because I'm not seeing $2.5b worth of stuff in the pipe from them. Also, what does this mean for the future of Minecraft on non-MS platforms? Overall, this is pretty bad news for gamers.
  • by neghvar1 ( 1705616 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:42AM (#47908051)
    My hope here is that the game is developed to go beyond java rendering. Even with a Core i7, the game hogs about 70% of the CPU and about 3.2GB of memory. On average. Utilize the GPU, Direct X, OpenGL. Something to make resource handling more efficient.
    • by sirber ( 891722 )
      Java isn't a renderer. The game uses OpenGL.
    • This. The XBox 360, Android, iOS, and Raspberry Pi versions all play quite well.There's no reason why a reasonable computer shouldn't be able to run this game. Yet any computer that isn't a "gaming" computer with a dedicated video card struggles with this game. They need to drop Java or figure out a way to compile Java to actual machine code so the game runs well. If they can make it so that it can run on any old computer (which by the graphics level it should be), They'll be able to sell a lot more copies
      • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:40AM (#47908747)

        "They need to drop Java or figure out a way to compile Java to actual machine code so the game runs well."

        Yeah, why has no one thought of this?

        You realise the way modern Java (since like 1999) works is that you write an application in Java, that Java code gets compiled to Java bytecode, which you can think of as a cross platform version of assembly, and then that Java Virtual Machine on which you run that bytecode (i.e. the compiled Java application) does in fact convert it into actual machine code right? Not just machine code, but machine code optimised for the exact machine the JVM is executing on? This allows the JVM to reach C++ levels of performance and some cases go beyond, because C++ is generally only compiled for a specific architecture, whilst the JVM optimises for a specific machine.

        This does mean slow first time execution of modules as each module is optimised to that executing machine's native machine code the first time it is used, but after that first execution of the program or library you're basically getting native performance.

        For what it's worth though, the console version of Minecraft (360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One) is apparently written in C++ because some of those platforms - i.e. the Xbox - don't have a Java Virtual Machine on which the Java version could be executed on.

        I have a relatively low end laptop, it cost like £300 a year ago, and it runs Minecraft absolutely fine. What spec are your machines if they can't even run Minecraft?

      • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

        They need to drop Java

        No, they need to write decent code instead. The way the engine is implemented is poor and wouldn't matter what language was used.

        Yet any computer that isn't a "gaming" computer with a dedicated video card struggles with this game.

        Minecraft without mods performs like doodoo (15fps) on my gaming system (core i7, 780TI, 24GiB RAM etc). I get far better FPS in Star Citizen (60 - adaptive v-sync).

    • That's just all the high-quality textures and high polygon count for each model.
    • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:20AM (#47908543) Homepage

      You're obviously modding the game.

      Default minecraft vanilla installations with default graphics pack eats like 800 MB of ram.
      Cpu is not used that much.

      Now, the mod pack I put together, uses 2.3GB of ram for the client and a lot more CPU.
      Mods aren't designed for performance, more for compatibility, which means they drastically increase resource requirements.
      If they were developed by a single team and placed directly into the game, you would see a significant performance boost for those 'mods'

  • from Notch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dave Whiteside ( 2055370 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:43AM (#47908053)

    http://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM [pastebin.com]
    to quote :-
    I'm leaving Mojang

    I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

    A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work. I wasn’t exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

    I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

    As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

    Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.

    I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.

    I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

    It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It’s about my sanity.

      $2.5 Billion would do a lot for my sanity, too.

    • Re:from Notch (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:23AM (#47908591)

      If I hit the lottery I'd walk away from my job too.
       
      And not to say he doesn't love what he does, I believe every word of what he says. I just couldn't imagine being under the thumbs of others when there is a world of possibilities out there. Even if I left my job I'd still be productive but I'd do it on my own terms.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 15, 2014 @09:47AM (#47908093)

    Mojang is nowhere close to being actually worth that amount. If you've got money in tech stocks. SELL NOW! We are clearly in a tech bubble and within a few years it is going to pop and take out the world economy in the process.

    • by Richy_T ( 111409 )

      Wrong!

      We're in a whole-stockmarket bubble. There's not many good places to run.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:00AM (#47908281) Homepage Journal

    Isn't Minecraft last week's news? The time to buy them was before the minecraft bubble. Now it's too late. That's like buying Tesla *after* the market for high-end electric cars has been saturated. Unless this developer has a new trick up their sleeve (unlikely); they aren't going to be creating anything bigger than what they already have. They are on their way down, not on their way up. So the buy makes no sense to me, except as another asset to sell off later, when MS is against the ropes and slowly dying. MS seems to constantly be throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks. That's not a sound policy.

    • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @11:00AM (#47908959) Homepage Journal

      Microsoft only does well in areas where it has a monopoly. What it's doing here is not buying an asset, it's buying retrospective market share and killing a competitor. Mojang sold a lot of games before Notch left just like Nokia sold a lot of phones before the Elop disaster. It doesn't matter to Microsoft that Nokia imploded or that Mojang's main asset (Notch) left, the point isn't to have their assets or to actually do anything with the brands, that's just a bonus if it happens. The point is simply for them not to be competitors any more.

      • by steelfood ( 895457 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @02:29PM (#47911321)

        That's a foolish waste of $2.5B. At least with Nokia, Microsoft weakened them significantly before outright buying them out. With Nokia, the hardware development was what's valuable. That's why they're getting rid of the brand, and why Elop switched to Windows Phone so easily.

        With Minecraft, the brand itself is the only real valuable thing. The code itself isn't worth terribly much, considering it wasn't too well-written, and the game itself is not hard to clone (Minecraft itself is a clone of a game). The few Minecraft-only mobs (creeper, enderman, etc.) are really the only bits of the game worth money, and even then, the mobs are much more valuable as brands than as code.

        The ecosystem (mods, modpacks, texture packs, etc.) taken as a whole is worth a ton more. But Microsoft doesn't have a very good track record of managing their communities, so I imagine they'll eventually squander that. Hell, I'm pretty certain most mod devs are already thinking of where to move their stuff next.

        Throwing devs at the mod API and getting it out the door (after what, 3 years?) might help with the exodus, but that'd be a stopgap measure. People probably won't leave limbo until Minecraft 2 comes out, and at that time, we'll finally know what direction Microsoft's going to take the game. But by then, most mod devs are probably going to be long gone.

        Anyway, to your point, Minecraft wasn't really competing with Microsoft. Yes, its ability to run natively on Mac and Linux is a bit of a thorn, but the fact that it runs on Windows as well makes it less so. The lack of a version for Windows Phone (and Metro) was also annoying, but it's really one very, very small drop in the bucket of problems with that whole mess. There's a version for XBox, so it's not like Microsoft was missing out on anything there. Microsoft isn't going to pay $2.5B to make an incidental (at best) competitor go away. They have to have plans for the purchase, bigger plans than just bringing it to Windows 8 and Phone.

        What those are, and whether they'll be any good, well, time will tell.

    • Unless the market has already decided that Minecraft is on the way down and the price has finally become something reasonable. Could be Notch was shopping this around for 10 billion before. I think a Minecraft game still has plenty left in it. I would purchase a version that had smaller blocks. I would purchase a version with an actual story. I would even try an Minecraft mmo.
    • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @03:26PM (#47911863)

      I'm not sure what rock you've been living under if you believe Minecraft is last week's news. I might have thought so too until I started noticing that kids are more into Minecraft than at any point in the past. I think the cultural impact of that game has thus far been underestimated.

      Outside of Farmville, Candy Crush and that class of social games I've never seen a game cross gender lines like Minecraft. I can't recall every seeing a game with such widespread, universal appeal, period. Super Mario Bros doesn't even come close. Walk through any store with a Minecraft book or toy in hand and you'll have a half-dozen kids comment on it. Every boy I've met under 14 plays the game and seems to do so on a regular basis.

      It's possible Minecraft is peaking, but I personally think this is uncharted territory for any game. It's on the level of a Facebook in it's ubiquity. Someone will eventually unseat both, but it won't be easy. In the meantime there's so much that can be added to Minecraft to sustain that popularity, and significant updates still come on a regular basis.

      Not that Microsoft couldn't kill the game by sticking everything behind pay walls but hopefully they'll be smarter than that.

  • by stewsters ( 1406737 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:00AM (#47908299)
    My guess is that 2.5 billions is more than Minecraft and was worth. So why would Microsoft buy it?
    They said they wont make changes to Minecraft, so how will they make money?

    Announcing Minecraft 2, high definition, exclusively for XBone. In game mod store, where you can sell your texture packs for 99c and you get to keep 33% of the profit! That's how you push consoles to kids who grew up on the Minecraft while still raking in money.
  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:02AM (#47908323)

    The thing with minecraft is that it has the ability to be THE interface of a future Xbox, or even Windows
    Heck, Windows 8 already has a blocky, tiled interface already. This would just give it three dimensions.

  • 1) Pay to win Clause in Eula: Keep or Scrap. Scrapping it would make a lot of friends in the Minecraft Community, Especially server admins and considering it started the whole Bukkit mess. Speaking of Bukkit...

    2) Open source the server: Yes or No. MS (Or Mojang for that matter) doesn't make money on the server. Open sourcing it would also be a Olive branch to the Minecraft community. It obviously wouldn't be GPL, but MS-PL or MS-RL is a possibility.

    3) Java: Yes or No. MS Hates Java and Oracle. I'm sure at s

  • "Of course, the promise is to keep all products supported as they are" so many big company's say that to help smooth over any objections to the purchase but those promises are seldom kept. To quote one of my favorite movies, what's the community to do after the fact use the "Liar, liar pants on fire defense".

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:30AM (#47908659)

    They can put them in the room that used to hold all of Hotmail's servers. Plenty of space there.

  • Wrong Game (Score:4, Funny)

    by freudigst ( 1778168 ) on Monday September 15, 2014 @10:31AM (#47908665)

    I thought they paid $2 billion for Minesweeper.

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