More specifically, Microsoft has bought Mojang AB, the company founded by Markus “Notch” Persson, who created the original Minecraft game. The primary reason for this is the amazing success that Minecraft has had, which has left Mojang basically unable to meet the demand. They are selling out to an organization with the scale to continue to make Minecraft successful.
Why do I care? Minecraft is played by basically every child in the world who has access to it, including Miranda and Ian. As the Jony Ive parody account on Twitter so succinctly put it:
Microsoft has acquired Minecraft. I hope you don’t lose your f*ing activation key when Minecraft 2015 Professional Edition is released.
Will Microsoft be able to avoid messing a good thing up? Heck, let’s start with the fact that Minecraft is the world’s most successful Java application. Rewrite in C#? Will they continue to support all of the current platforms? Apple’s iOS recently took over as the most profitable platform for Minecraft.
Miranda and Ian aren’t the world’s most hard-core Minecraft players, but if I have to try to explain to them why they can’t play it anymore because of this purchase, it will not gain Microsoft any fans in my household, that’s for sure. 🙂
Going into the wayback machine, I remember being pretty bitter back in 1999 when Microsoft bought Bungie, who were on the verge of releasing a little game called “Halo”. While Halo did come out for the Mac (eventually), I was less than thrilled that what looked like an amazing game coming for the Mac was going to be co-opted for this new “Xbox” thing. History showed that it was a very positive thing, with Halo becoming wildly popular and the feature title on the Xbox, spurring a number of sequels which have also been fantastic. Also, my gaming shifted from the computer to the couch, which has worked out well with Miranda and Ian coming along.
I’m willing to wait and see. There are definitely things about Minecraft as it is today that… suck, for lack of a better word. Let’s see Microsoft iron the rough edges out but leave Minecraft as an open-ended, flexible, customizable game that kids will continue to love.