Microsoft Bags Minecraft With the Mojang Acquisition
Microsoft yesterday released a press statement saying that it has acquired Mojang in a massive $2.5 Billion deal. The Stockholm-based game developer is known majorly for its virtual world creation game, Minecraft. This will be a new addition in the list of several big money acquisitions that we have seen this year.
There were many interested parties who wanted to get the gaming company, but Microsoft moved fast to score a victory. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion. Microsoft expects to close the acquisition in late 2014 and to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis.
Minecraft was introduced in 2009 and since then has sold more than 50 million copies for PCs, smartphones and videogame consoles. The game has a huge fan following. YouTube is full of tutorials on Minecraft. There is also an upcoming movie based on the game and Lego also sells toys based on the game. This almost seems like a safe bet from Microsoft and hence they sound so optimistic of their acquisition.
“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “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.”
The weird bit of this sale is that the creator of the game Markus Persson and other founders will not be coming to Microsoft. They have decided to undertake new adventures. On his personal website, Markus said, “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.”
Impressing the fans now would be a big task for Microsoft. Some of them have openly stated that a big corporation will ruin the game. Microsoft though said that it will do everything in its power to sustain the loyalties of the gamers.
The CEO of Mojang, Carl Manneh has this to say “The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft.’ As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future. ”
Microsoft has said that more details about the deal will be published after the finalization of the acquisition. Microsoft is no stranger to gaming and is a market leader in gaming consoles. The innovation it brings to this game remains to be seen. Let’s hope Microsoft doesn’t make a Vista out of this one.