Microsoft Buys Minecraft: A Desperate Move to Rival Sony?

The Seattle-based software giant has paid $2.5 billion to acquire Swedish company Mojang, the creators behind the popular videogame ‘Minecraft’. Could this be an attempt to one-up their Japanese rivals?

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Kayant1494d ago

Ehhh...."Minecraft game, is more aimed at pulling users onto the software company's obscure mobile platform than its better known PC system or Xbox game console."

"The software maker calculates it can boost Minecraft sales by expanding the number of game users through Microsoft’s position in video games and computers, and by expanding licensing for things like toys and movies, said one of the people."

"The company thinks that this kind of product, like its Office productivity software, has to be available with high-quality versions for multiple platforms, including those of its rivals, the person with knowledge of Microsoft’s thinking said."

TeeKay1494d ago (Edited 1494d ago )

fixed the tags. Thanks!

MRMagoo1231494d ago

Why would they need to expand into toys when there is already a huuuuge amount of mojang licensed toys available ?

FarEastOrient1494d ago

It's more like "why was the purchase price so high?" $2.5 billion is 63% of Marvel and Lucasfilm Industry purchase price. Ubisoft's market cap is only $1.8 billion, Microsoft spent more money on Mojang than what Ubisoft is worth.

Volkama1494d ago (Edited 1494d ago )

They bought xx million connected gamers. That's where the value is.

Dunno how they plan to monetise them though, but you can bet their plan extends beyond the $150million/year that Mojang were raking in :|

Kayant1494d ago

Brand power, Merchandise, User Base but yh I think it's till high but am an analyst :P.

dcbronco1494d ago

My understanding is that there is a ginormous PC based mods market Mojang didn't have the manpower or desire to corral. Millions are spent in that market and Microsoft intends to have a cut of that money. Also straight to DVD kids movies are huge business.

Bigpappy1494d ago

What this comes down to, is a bunch of people belly aching about M$ buying a popular gaming developer. This is all fan boy drivel that should be left up to business and related analysis.

jmc88881493d ago

They'll need to sell 92 million more copies of Minecraft at the current PC price to break even only IF they garner 100 percent of the money from the sales, and have no costs to outlay. So probably more like 150 million sold (maybe more) just to breakeven.

Remember, these are the fans that will jump ship most. They aren't going to be loyal to MS because they bought them, and MS is well known to try to screw you over. Minecraft users are a different breed, and they are going to put up with MS's potential crap even less. Minecraft is the wild wild west, and here comes the overlord trying to corral it. Good luck with that Microsoft.

Buying users isn't going to work. What are they going to do, show ads? Yeah that'll fly.

The biggest game ever sold, will have to triple its sales just to make the money back.

Think of that. It's already run it's course mostly and here they are buying, metaphorically a movie, which is already been in the theater for a year, not much more legs in the box office, but for the price they purchased it, they think everyone is going to come back and watch it 3 more times.

Microsoft makes some really dumb decisions, and this is their biggest one yet. (yep even dumber then their fascist vision of the Xbox One).

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1493d ago
SuperBlur1494d ago

No it isnt a "desperate" move , they probably wanted to buy them when it first came to xbox 360 but Notch wasn't ready to part way yet. Why you think he called MS in the first place? He knew they were interested before even picking up the phone

Summons751494d ago

Cool and how many in house MS exclusives do we have coming....oh right more Halo, every other exclusive timed or otherwise is just BOUGHT by them. Heaven forbid they actually sink money into actually MAKING games themselves.

They can buy all the exclusives they want, fact is they will NEVER have the quality outside of Halo while Nintendo and Sony give their first parties the money they need and creative freedom and we get amazing games with great quality. Titanfall desperate, Gears buyout desperate, Tomb Raider timed buyout desperate...the chain continues, too bad Minecraft is already multiplatform and waaaay more popular on PC.

Zero-One1494d ago

Titanfall wasn't desparate, just EA's stupidity in making it Xbox exclusive. Tomb Raider is Square-Enix's stupidity too. This...take what you will.

MeliMel1494d ago

I like how every move made by MS is desperate to you. I say great moves if your an Xbox only gamer.

CBaoth1494d ago (Edited 1494d ago )

I agree with you Summons if we restrict the discussion to the creation of content versus the acquisition of it. However, this isn't just about Xbox; it's about their mobile sector, the PC market and W9. It's about including a free copy with every purchase of their hardware and OS. Imagine a father equipped with the newest Nokia phone stuck in a far off hotel because of work logging in and playing with his two children on Xbox1. The wife even gets in on the action on her Surface. One piece of software, multiple pieces of hardware, and all can play together. That's what Phil meant by uniting people through software. That's my two cents on the matter.

OpieWinston1494d ago

They now own Gears and have their studio Black Tusk making Gears games (Over 150 employees).

Opening up over 6 studios for game development since Phil Spencer/Satya Nadella came into power.

Xbox One was supposed to launch in Sept 2014, not Nov 2013 when they rushed it and had to make a lot of third party deals to fill up the roster.
Titanfall/Dead Rising 3/Ryse: Son of Rome

They own studios like Press Play making fun Platformers.

You do realize Microsoft takes a very hands on approach with all their exclusive games right? Their IP development team is pretty big and it's got a lot of talented people helping lots of Second/Third party development.
They follow Ubisofts unified model of heavy focus on internal teams assisting all other teams and having regional teams having a hands on approach with development teams in their region.

It takes time to open up studios for development, and yes acquiring studios makes a lot more sense financially speaking since it's costly to build a studio as well as IPs(But they do have a wealth of IPs).

ScottyHoss1494d ago

But is giving out a free copy with the OS worth 2.5 billion? They're going to have to sell copies or it won't be worth it. It is growing though, especially among the younger generation, so only time will tell if it pays off.

SuperBlur1494d ago

I dont really care what MS does with its money ,if their action drives them or not out of the gaming industry , i won't really care and won't miss them much if the later.

But to imply MS pulled a desperate move buying Mojang is just silly

CBaoth1494d ago

@ Scotty

Absolutely. Remember, other platform owners will still have to pay. It might not entice the average N4G user, but if it helps Windows based smartphones and tablets gain market share against iOS and Androids then the move will have already paid dividends.

Concerning W9, what better way to illicit goodwill among consumers by including it with the new OS? I'd rather play Minecraft over Minesweeper any day, wouldn't you? We're talking potentially hundreds of millions of users buying DLC for it too. It's being used in schools now as an instructional tool. The ramifications are enormous and you can't buy that public adulation.

Alsybub1494d ago (Edited 1494d ago )


I would care if MS left the industry in exactly the same way that I would if Sony did. We would have less choice and higher prices. No thanks. The only reason Sony is 'for the gamers' is due to this competition. If there had been no competition from the 360 then the PS4 would probably have the same kind of architecture as the PS3, there wouldn't be free games with Plus and there probably wouldn't be the kind of indie support that we see. All of these things come from healthy competition.

Trust me, if one of the key players disappeared everyone would care about it in a couple of years. They wouldn't be thinking about the fact that one took control of the market but they would be complaining about how expensive things have become and how choice has become less and less.

On topic:-

The way I read this.

If Microsoft even thinks about doing anything, to do with anything = 'Desperate'.

Also, pretty much all first party devs started out as a third party before being bought and either integrated or renamed by the new owner. Whether it's Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo or any other publisher. Just because a company was bought a long time ago or before people knew the brand doesn't make the owner the developer, just because people don't remember that far back.

Just one example would be Naught Dog. It was started in 1984 and bought by Sony fourteen years later, in 2000, just because time has passed does not make that acquisition different to Microsoft's purchase of Mojang now. Was it desperate of Sony to buy Naughty Dog? No, that's absurd. Why is it desperate for Microsoft to buy Mojang? The only answer can be the writer's agenda. To spell that out - clicks = money.

Azzanation1493d ago

Did you know Naughty Dog was a separate games company before Sony brought them out in 2001. Google it. Sony and MS don't like making games and when they actually do, there games like Knack and Age of Empires.

Nintendo are the only true in house developer that can make games from there HQ that competes with any other game in quality and sales.

lfc_4eva1493d ago (Edited 1493d ago )


Crawl back under your bridge.

Tito081492d ago

@Azzanation- Omg, yeah, Nintendo are the only ones, just like they have Retro Studios(former Rare devs) and Monolith Soft, and just like they have Tecmo Koei to make Hyrule Warriors, and Namco for Smash and Pokken Fighter, and Nintendo is so awesome the created Fatal Frame, oh wait?

Tito081492d ago (Edited 1492d ago )

@Azzanation- Omg, yeah, Nintendo are the only ones, just like they have Retro Studios(former Rare devs) and Monolith Soft(former Namco devs), just like they "formed" Capcom to make a Zelda game and just like they have Tecmo Koei to make Hyrule Warriors, and Namco for Smash and Pokken Tournament, and Nintendo is so awesome they created Fatal Frame, oh wait?

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1492d ago
sinspirit1494d ago

Notch had nothing to do with the sale. He stepped down from ownership a while ago to be a regular developer in Mojang. He recently left after the acquisition because he was disappointed and he had scoffed at Microsoft decisions and policies before and isn't exactly fond of them aside from releasing on their platform.

DOMination-1494d ago

True. Notch had nothing to do with the sale. Apart from the fact he owned 70% of mojang

sinspirit1494d ago


And, he left Mojang because the team wanted to join Microsoft. It's not about shares in this case. He was part of a team which he created. Do you think he's going to force them not to make their own decisions just because he has more shares? He's not a business tyrant. He let them chose and he didn't agree with it so he left instead of forcing them to do it his way.

daBUSHwhaka1494d ago

Not a desperate move,but a smart one.Another finger stuck up at Sony.Having money goes a long way.

The Meerkat1494d ago

Smart is spending 2.5 billion on building your own studios and IPs 5 years ago.

I personally find Minecraft to be tedious and crap. This move has pushed me further into the Sony camp.
And I was a 360 only gamer last gen.

jrshankill1494d ago (Edited 1494d ago )

16,734,385 people have bought the game.
In the last 24 hours, 7,762 people bought the game.

This is only the PC version.

So, 16,734,385 PC players alone don't think it is tedious and crap. You are entitled to your own opinion though, but this wasn't a smart investment?? I really don't think so.

Buying an IP and software company isn't new. At all.

MeliMel1494d ago

They have new studios and games in the works. You PS fanboys keep saying thing...its getting old.

DOMination-1494d ago

MS have 10+ more first party studios than Sony.

ger23961494d ago

Another thing they'll have a monopoly on.

user74029311494d ago

and sony sticks 10 back by saving there money creating new ip's with the amount microsoft spent on one.

Spotie1494d ago

So why can't they buy a victory in the console war?

user65409481494d ago

Sony IS winning the console war. If you're refering to Sony's financial issues, those are due to struggles in markets that are already dominated by Apple, Google, Samsung, etc. But in games, Sony is king. And it's been that way since ps1. Even Nintendo git pimp slapped by Sony despite having a huge fanbase when ps1 released.

Gamerbeyond1493d ago

micro pissed 2.5 billion on minecraft, by the time sony spends 2.5 billion on its studios they would of funded nearly a dozen projects.

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Wikkid6661494d ago

It really has nothing to do with Sony. In the grand scheme of things it has very little to do with consoles at all.

Dudebro901494d ago

Uh no. Has nothing to do with Sony.