Games may spring from computer geniuses who work independently or from game development studios that hire brilliantly creative minds for this purpose. When games are developed by smaller groups (meaning studios or individuals who may have the skills to create games but not the interest to keep it when the game grows big), they get a buy out from interested bigger parties. This is what happened with Minecraft, which is a game that allows players to build structures using 3D cubes and has different play modes – survival, adventure, creative and spectator. Its original developer, Mojang, decided to sell the game to Microsoft because Markus “Notch” Persson, who created Minecraft and owned most of the stocks of Mojang, wanted to explore other things. This is an alternative way of saying that primarily really, Persson thought that the game got too big for him. He claimed that the responsibility that came with owning something that attracted followers worldwide required a bigger third party (which in this case is Microsoft) that could handle the said big task.
Likewise, Mojang has seen how Microsoft has handled all its innovations in the past and how it continues to grow big in the age of computers. And who wouldn’t see this fact when it is staring everyone right in the eye? Hence, all of Mojang believes that Minecraft will persist to grow big as Microsoft takes over its development, ownership, promotion and the whole enchilada (which includes Mojang as a company)!
Will the actual game continue to exist after the buy-out? Naturally, the answer to this question is a resounding yes. This is the obvious implication of Mojang’s stance. Microsoft did not just buy Minecraft because it is merely interested in the game concept– that’s just one part of the deal. The good people at Microsoft bought it because of its cultural impact! You see, the thing about Minecraft is:
- People rush to all forms of platform (android, desktop, ios etc) to play it.
- People upload How-To-Play-Minecraft videos in You Tube to serve as guides for those who are only starting out.
- Loyal fans of the game even dress up as Minecraft characters in real life, in real time.
- There are t-shirt franchises, toys and action figures and other merchandise available for those who are ardent fans of the game.
- As a game, Minecraft has been cited in other games and other forms of entertainment, such as the music video from Lady Gaga for her song G.U.Y.
- Since its game birth, there have been several Minecraft clones that oddly enough, contribute to its popularity.
Needless to say, Microsoft recognizes the game’s cultural impact and expects to earn good profit from it! So, fans do not have to wonder if Minecraft will exist for a long time because it looks like it is here to stay. However, this is the positive side of things.
Unfortunately, just because something is good, it does not mean that there’s no bad side to it. For instance, one of the reasons why Minecraft got so big in the first place is the fact that it was developed independently – isolated from the big names. There are already expressions of dissatisfaction over the purchase so it would not be shocking if the fandom would drop. Another drawback in the sale of Minecraft is that the original creator left Mojang and obviously he took with him all his brilliant ideas! This is not to say that there will be no new development but somehow it would be different because it does not come from the intense talent of Markus Persson. With regards to the financial aspect, although Persson and the two other founders of Mojang have earned a good $2.5 billion from the sale, they are technically letting go of an investment that is likely to gain an ROI that could be out of this world, so it is kind of a big loss on their end (although for sure they probably have something up their sleeves).
To sum matters up, in the world of computer and the gaming industry, there will always be pros and cons whenever there is a buy-out. Somehow, the same thing can be said of the Microsoft and Minecraft mega deal. In the end really, both companies stand to win some and lose some.
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