After years of being pitched on its potential and popularity, I have to admit that I still don't understand the fuss behind Minecraft. I remember back in 2010 when Robert Alsbrook and I were still hosting the short-lived Press The Buttons show for Internet television where in between shooting segments, he'd try to sell me on the game and how I needed to be involved with it. I didn't see the point; it's just digital LEGO bricks, right? Where's the story? Where's the gameplay? Not my thing. Not everything is. Microsoft sees the value in Minecraft though, as the company has announced that it's bought Minecraft and its developer Mojang for a rumored $2.5 billion dollars. That's a lot of digital building blocks. Polygon has the story.
Microsoft's Phil Spencer said that the relationship with the studio began when the two companies started talking about bringing Minecraft to the console.
"Minecraft quickly became the top online game on Xbox Live, with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years. That working relationship set the ground work for other opportunities. We've long seen the incredible potential of Minecraft," he said. "At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms - including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC."
I especially like the line "We've long seen the incredible potential of Minecraft." Translation: "Someone was making a lot of money and it wasn't us." Microsoft pledges to keep the Minecraft community spirit alive and won't clamp down on the property. Minecraft will continue to exist on competing ecosystems like the Sony PlayStation and mobile platforms. The Minecraft convention Minecon will go on. Beyond that, I'm curious to see what changes the new management makes in the popular game especially since Mojang's current leadership is departing. You don't spend billions of dollars on a property just to sit back and do nothing. Like Minecraft players, Microsoft will surely want to play with its new toy.