So Microsoft finally announced the purchase of MineCraft developer Mojang, and the world is aghast at what that might mean for the game. People are saying that the price Microsoft paid, 2.5 billion(yeah, with a B) was way too much for a game. I tend to disagree with these thoughts myself, but then again I tend to lean towards Microsoft on many things so I may be biased, wait no.. I’m not and I’ll explain why below.
It’s generally good for the game:
First of all, Microsoft has shown they have plenty of money, and they are completely willing to splash that money anywhere they can make a buck. Buying Minecraft, is another example, and will ultimately been a positive for the game itself. With more money to the developer, this means more developers can be employed and updates, and add ons can come out quicker.
Whether or not these updates, and add ons will come out free is yet to be seen. I don’t see Microsoft changing too much in the pricing scheme that is currently in place with Minecraft, as it has been wildly successful and Microsoft knows this. Perhaps, when Minecraft 2 eventually and undoubtedly comes out, there will be a difference in the pricing scheme for the game and it’s add ons, but till then it will probably stay the same.
Microsoft gets a very popular game into its first party library:
I admit, 2.5 BILLION is a lot of money. It is a lot of money for a single game. Yet, Microsoft has decided that it should spend that much. Though Microsoft didn’t just spend that much for a game, they spent that much for so much more than that. But lets look at the game, Microsoft gets a wildly popular game that is known the world over by fans young and old. It is a game that is instantly recognizable by almost anyone in the gaming world, and it doesn’t look like it is going away any time soon. So maybe, the asking price was a bit steep, but when you take into account everything Microsoft got, well worth it in my opinion.
They also add another first party studio:
This is another reason why I feel the price was well worth it. Not only does Microsoft add another IP to its library, it adds another developer to its first party list and how is this bad? Indie developers no doubt dream of making a popular game, and getting paid big bucks for it, and that is what happened here. Now Mojang will have more money at its disposal, as well as more quality developers to help them out with making Minecraft a much better, and easier to run game. Again, how is this bad?
Profit from ‘competitors’ install base:
And of course, Microsoft gets to laugh all the way to the bank when they earn money from copies of the game that are sold on the ‘other’ platforms. I’m sure Sony would have loved to seen someone other than Microsoft buy Minecraft, but oh well right? Does this mean that Minecraft will no longer be available for Sony’s consoles and handheld? What does this mean for Nintendo ever getting a hold of Minecraft on its console? Will PC lose the game as well? The answer is No, I don’t know, and No.
Microsoft understands that it needs a killer app to sell its Xbox One console, and Minecraft is just that. However, Microsoft is not stupid, and they know how to make money. Sony will have a very large install base on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 that will buy Minecraft, and the 2 people who own a Vita will buy it(I kid, it’s really 3). Nintendo will no doubt throw a good bit of money Microsoft’s way to get Minecraft on the Wii U, and now that Notch is out-of-the-way it’s very possible that this could happen. As for PC, like I said Microsoft is not stupid, the PC version of MineCraft is a gold mine that still has plenty of gold left in it. They could throw in paid dedicated servers, and let Xbox One and PC players play along side one another and the world would shine bright. They could easily do that without harming the ‘indie’ feel of the game, and I sincerely hope that they do just that.
Now, back to Xbox One needing a killer app to sell units. Sure, Minecraft may not be worth spending $400 to play just it, but give users the tried and true Minecraft experience, along with some quality exclusives and then throw this out there… MINECRAFT 2!!!!! Yeah, that would help Xbox One a little bit. MineCraft 2 featuring better graphics, playable avatars, dedicated servers, and more.. I think I’d buy that.
A World-Wide Brand:
The biggest reason why it’s not such a bad idea for Microsoft to buy Mojang and Minecraft is simply this; MineCraft is not just a game, but a brand and brands tend to make a lot more money.
Minecraft tends to be more than just a game. Go to any bookstore and you’ll see MineCraft books, MineCraft shirts, MineCraft plushies, MineCraft playing cards. Anything that you can throw the MineCraft brand on, yup.. it’s there. Coming soon to McDonald’s, the Creeper Burger. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t real, and a bit ‘creepy’ but you get the idea behind it.
Brands tends to attract so much more than a single game. So, 2.5 billion for a game? Worth it? Not at all. For a developer? Not unless they make games with an Italian plumber. But 2.5 billion for a game, a developer, and a brand? Hell yeah, it must have been because that’s what Microsoft did. If I was in the position to make that call, would I? Maybe. Would you? Do you think it was a good idea? Let us know in the comments below.