Mojang, maker of Minecraft is to be bought for 2.5 billion US dollars (£1.5 billion).
Giant Microsoft has announced it’s to acquire Mojang, the creators of Minecraft. Although it won’t be taking the founders with the company.
Why is this?
Microsoft have so many of their own technical geeks, that the people in Mojang will be useful, but not essential.
Perhaps it’s for the share value, which on acquisition could push Microsoft’s shares even further up on the Nasdaq and provide the directors with nice bonuses.
There are many possible reasons. The most compelling is expansion.
Microsoft is more often associated with operating systems and business software. However as with every company, they’re driven by profits.
Microsoft studio, their games arm which runs the Xbox development program, is very healthy. This purchase makes it even healthier as it becomes assimilated into the division.
This acquisition will help Microsoft expand its gaming division even beyond its current capacity. Microsoft have also pledged to support Minecraft and its existing user base and even to expand it further onto other platforms. This is of course very good news for Xbox owners who will be well supported.
Mega-Corp Virtual World Spending Landscape
Microsoft now joined Yahoo (Cloud Party) and Facebook (Oculus Rift) in acquiring leading virtual world and gaming technologies.
It’s notable that these mega-tech corporations are buying up the latest in pervasive technologies. With their wide use of predictive analytics and data science, they’ll be able to predict the next trend.
In this, Google seem to have differed. They went on a robotics spending spree in the 3rd quarter of 2013. Perhaps Google have their eyes on a different target? Maybe they will end up buying Tesla Studios Ltd when ‘Tesla Suits’ are established? These suits will enable you to ‘feel’ in virtual worlds as well as see and hear. They’re being planned to come onto the market in mid-2015.
Tesla Suit deliver the sense of touch and feel in the virtual world. From the warm breeze of a summer’s day to the sudden impact of a bullet, the sensation of touch will be felt through electric stimulation without vibration or noise.
Back to Minecraft
Minecraft is mainly used by 15-21 year old’s, which form 43% of the total player base. 22-30 year olds form the next 21%. Then under 15 come in with 20.59%. This leaves over 30s being just 15.41% of Minecraft users. Minecraft is then a stronghold for teenagers. Most of these peopel are from North America, Second to them is the UK. In 2011 94% of Minecraft players were male, which leaves just 6% female. Perhaps it’s so popular because a block game, like tetris, or lego? Both games that are very familiar to teenagers.
The creators of Minecraft technologies will also be able to develop other games for Microsoft. In the words of Hunter Walk, a former Google executive turned venture capitalist. “They know that if they do a great job, there’s a chance to go work on other advanced technologies that may be even more interesting.”
Already Microsoft has a wide range of games which include ‘Halo’ shooter and ‘Forza’ racing game franchises. So it appears that Microsoft is looking to expanding their games division even further.
Unfortunately, this is yet another slap in the face for Second Life creators Linden Lab. Perhaps Second Life version 2 will make Linden Lab a more attractive purchasing opportunity for these Mega corporations at some time in the future?
Microsoft does have a history of acquiring significant companies and technologies, such as Skype in 2011 for 8.5bn. Yammer in 2012 (1.2bn) and Nokia mobile phones unit in 2013 (7.2bn).
This may simply be the latest purchase of a profitable company which will increase their share value on Nasdaq.