Earlier today, it was announced that Microsoft had bought Mojang, developers of the critically-acclaimed game Minecraft, for “a smooth 2.5 BILLION dollars.” Billion with a giant capital B. It drew attention from every business paper, from WSJ to NYT. The unfortunate fact is that nearly all the reporting on this story is just a little too clunky. Readers that are unfamiliar with the concept of buying a video game developer will come off confused and angry that a deal like this is actually happening, especially for what looks like a blocky game for kids. However, the audience that does understand the concept of development studios and the value of an IP like Minecraft (which boasts anywhere from 16 to 50 million players across computer, console, and mobile gamers) will have already seen and read the announcement from Mojang themselves.
The deal itself is extremely interesting, and I’m not sure how to feel about the departure of the founders. Notch’s goodbye was especially troubling, where he focused more on losing this incredible burden than getting $1.8 billion.
The gaming world will definitely keep their eyes peeled for any unsavory changes to Minecraft. Only time will tell how well they can build on this massive purchase.