Microsoft has acquired Mojang the maker of Minecraft for $2.5bn [see AFP article below].
Minecraft is a game with very simplistic graphic and game play but it has managed to garner a player base numbering in the millions spread across the Digital Natives demographic.
Yet, despite the simple, blocky visuals the game has very versatile creation tools that allow players to play in “creative” mode where they are able to build complex environments like the two below. There is also “survival” mode where players are able to play a number of survival type player-vs-player [pvp] games within the worlds they have built.
The player base of Minecraft has a significant proportion representing the Gen Z / “Selfie” / “iTouch” generation [those under 12]. The purchase of Mojang and it’s assets is a smart move by Microsoft in looking at the business horizon 15-20 years off.
As the corporate behemoth of Microsoft absorbs Mojang and Minecraft they will probably loose much of the creativity and spirit that have made them such a successful brand and product with the Digital Natives. But, that does not detract from the fact that we are seeing in this purchase an indication of where Microsoft is shifting its strategic planning horizon.
As Apple launches the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus, and the Apple watch to less than ecstatic response from the Digital Natives [20 year olds don’t wear watches anymore, and Samsung has led the way with large screen smart phones], is it possible that we are seeing the first shift of the pendulum swinging away from Apple and back toward Microsoft (or whatever Microsoft will become over the next decade and a half)?
Microsoft buys Minecraft maker for $2.5bn
Los Angeles – Software giant Microsoft is acquiring the maker of the game Minecraft, both companies said on Monday.
Microsoft is buying Swedish-based video game developer Mojang AB for $2.5bn in a deal slated to close at the end of the year, according to the statement.
Despite the acquisition, Minecraft will continue to be available on all platforms including iOS, Android and PlayStation, as well as Xbox and PCs, Mojang said.
Founded in 2009, Mojang released Minecraft in the same year. The game has since sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson announced on Monday that he will be leaving the company.
“I can’t be responsible for something this big,” Persson wrote in a blog entry.
Last year, the company reported profits of $126m.
The game is known for its blocky graphics, which are reminiscent of Lego bricks. Players build constructions in a three-dimensional, procedurally generated world.