Microsoft buys Mojang for 2.5 Gigadollars
Recent rumours were true – Mojang, the Swedish company behind Minecraft has been bought by Microsoft for the enormous sum of $2.5 Billion. It means that Microsoft values Mojang more than Twitch ($970 million by Amazon) or Oculus Rift ($2 Billion by Facebook).
Even though it is hard to understand why Microsoft values Mojang that much, their reason for the purchase itself are quite clear in their announcement. Minecraft has achieved a lot of popularity on Xbox consoles and Microsoft wants to make Xbox One popular. So far they are promising to keep supporting all versions of Minecraft and continue hosting Minecon (for the next year at least). Of course, it is very likely that Minecraft will start to be more reliant on Microsoft services (like Azure clould platform for multiplayer). At this moment, we cannot know what else Microsoft may bring to Minecraft and how that will affect PC version.
The statement from Mojang is optimistic so far and they expect to work without major changes for the near future. Most of the people remain in the company, but there are three big departures: company founders Markus A. Persson (aka Notch), Carl O. Manneh and H. Jakob Porsér. Notch has posted a blog post about the sale of the company. He does not like managing the large projects, like what Minecraft has become and that was his reason to sell company. He plans to continue experimenting on smaller projects and getting rid of them in case they get too big again. As his wealth is currently estimated at $1.5 billion he can certainly pursue any project he wants without worrying about the payday.
In the near future, we can expect to continue to play Minecraft as if nothing has happened. In long term – it is very hard to be sure of anything. Somebody at Microsoft may decide to promote Xbox One or Windows Phone with another exclusive. They might simply restrict it to Windows on PCs or restrict it even more to be Microsoft Store exclusive. Alternatively, in a best case they just may use it as a big money earner and continue releasing it on everything that makes sense. We can only wait and see.