Minecraft has been creating waves ever since its release by the independent Swedish video game company Mojang. In this sandbox (or open world) indie game, players get to create worlds and do whatever they want by placing or breaking blocks. There are no specific goals; it’s really all about how you want to play it – and this is something that has proven wildly successful as indicated by Mojang’s steady rise in revenues as well as the huge following that the game has developed. So it’s far from surprising why tech giant Microsoft would pay $2.5 billion dollars to get its hands on it.
Mojang and Microsoft are still in the process of working out all the details on the deal, and both companies have reassured the game’s fan base that nothing would change. After all, everything already works as it should and Minecraft’s user base is already quickly expanding.
The main reason why Minecraft is so popular is that it allows players to delve into their creative side and create (or re-create) worlds. The game is characterized by its distinct rough 3D look. Cubes are placed in a fixed grid pattern and can represent different things such as water, dirt, or stone.
“People are at their most creative sometimes when you just let them do what they want,” Mojang COO Vu Bui said in an interview with the BBC. “You have to give them guidelines, but for the most part if you let people be creative they will come up with cooler stuff than we ever could ourselves.”
Acquiring Minecraft is a smart move for Microsoft. The tech giant has been dealing with tough competition against rivals such as Apple and Google when it comes to applications for mobile devices and computers. With Minecraft in its portfolio, it can make sure that the popular game will be available on Windows Phone as well as optimized for its newest operating systems. Minecraft is a sound investment financially as well. According to Mojang AB, the game took in $360 million in revenues last year.
No matter what the implications of the acquisition are, nothing is set in stone yet as both firms are still negotiating. If the deal does push through, it would be a coup for Microsoft – and something of a relief for the game’s inventor Markus Persson, more popularly known as Notch, who has stated that Minecraft has become too big for him. “It’s not about the money,” he said in his statement. “It’s about my sanity.”