Microsoft Now Owns Minecraft. What Next?

Microsoft just bought itself a phenomenon: The AP has confirmed Mojang is going to the House of Crashing Windows for $2.5 billion. So, what does that mean for fans of Minecraft?

Expect A Ridiculous Advertising Push

Mojang is worth $2.5 billion to Microsoft not least because Minecraft is probably the most beloved game among kids right now, and has broad appeal beyond that. Expect Microsoft to get aggressive; more toys, more promotion of the game, more exclusive Xbox content, movies, the works. Anything Microsoft can stuff a Minecraft-related item into, it’s going to do it.

The Tenor of Mojang Will Change

Among the changes is that Markus Persson, aka Notch, is out the door once the company has fully transitioned to Microsoft ownership. That’s important because Persson’s passion is what made Minecraft what it is: To a lot of people, Notch is Mojang, and it’s not clear how his departure is going to affect the company. Basically the only thing that’s certain is you can expect Notch to found a new company; the man is likely walking away from this with an enormous pile of money to go on top of his already enormous pile of money.

Expect A Minecraft 2, And Expect It To Be An Exclusive

It’s not a huge leap to say that Microsoft bought Mojang to secure the rights to one of the single most popular games on the Xbox platform, and they’re going to milk that for all its worth. Microsoft is enormously behind in the console arms race and it’s been trying to make up that deficit with console exclusives. Minecraft 2 is every bit as inevitable as its console exclusivity.

The PS Versions Will Get Passive-Aggressive Support

Microsoft will assume the legal obligations of Mojang, but it’s not going to be happy about it, and expect them to throw the corporate version of a sulk: Slow patching, upgrades you can’t have on PlayStation, and so on. Sony couldn’t care less, either, as they sell systems regardless, so, you might want to invest in a PC version.

The Community Will Change

It’s not clear how the Minecraft community is going to change, but it’s going to. We’ve seen this too many times not to think there will be at least a few fundamental shifts in how the community approaches the game, which will likely be set off, inevitably, by Microsoft doing something that angers the community. Something like, you know, buying Mojang. Expect things to get interesting fast.