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Microsoft Reportedly Buying Minecraft Maker Mojang

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This is not fun news to wake up to. Microsoft if apparently buying the indie studio Mojang for more than 2 billion dollars.

This is very very strange considering Notch cancelled an Oculus Rift version of Minecraft due to Facebook buying Oculus VR, so to then allow the company to be sold to Microsoft is just odd.

Not only that, but Notch himself has been very vocal about hating Windows 8 to the point of saying things like this:

Got an email from microsoft, wanting to help "certify" minecraft for win 8. I told them to stop trying to ruin the pc as an open platform.

— Markus Persson (@notch) September 27, 2012

 

I'd rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to win 8 that way..

Markus Persson (@notch) September 27, 2012


To then sell his company to that very company would be a very strange turnaround.

Not only that, but Microsoft doesn't have a good history with Linux, so this could also stop our future of getting Mojang's next game Scrolls which we have covered coming. The good thing with Minecraft is it already supports Linux as a platform, so that wouldn't just be taken away.

It's just such an odd move. What would they want with a company like Mojang? Minecraft isn't exactly a new game for them to help shape how they like, and it's already on their competing games consoles.

Who wouldn't turn down 2+ billion dollars though?

Mojang are being tight lipped, so that suggests something is happening. Why else wouldn't you outright deny it?

What do you make of all this?

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Teal 10 September 2014 at 6:16 am UTC
To be honest, it's not like Notch is a stalwart hero of Linux gaming. As far as I know Scrolls still doesn't have a Linux port, and Minecraft mostly was Linux compatible because it was trivial to make it so (JVM) and because he went balls out with making it run on everything possible.

The little I know about the guy, it seems possible to me he just got bored of the entire "being productive" deal and decided to pocket the 2B to live in luxury for rest of his life without having to as much as lift a finger.

On the other, less cynical side, he might as well accept the dough, leave the studio, and start a new one, carrying a budget to do something even bigger and more spectacular than ever before. Clean slate, etc. I don't think he ever hugely valued the Minecraft franchise and it's clear that that's what Microsoft might primarily want to buy Mojang for.
Radegast 10 September 2014 at 6:28 am UTC
Huh, I don't blame him for taking 2bil even if he hates the new Windows.

I am not afraid of Minecraft losing linux support - Microsoft bought Skype too and it still has a linux version - but Notch promised that Minecraft will eventually become open-source and I don't see that happening with Microsoft in charge.
Plintslîcho 10 September 2014 at 6:33 am UTC
I hope this news isn't true.
flesk 10 September 2014 at 6:34 am UTC
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2 billion dollars = Psychonauts 2 AND 3!
edo 10 September 2014 at 6:46 am UTC
Their next game will be using C# instead of java haha
abelthorne 10 September 2014 at 7:21 am UTC
Well, first, this is a rumour, nothing has been confirmed so far (not saying it's false but maybe the first thing to do would be to ask Mojang/Notch).
Second, they can become a Microsoft company but keeping the creative decisions on games and platforms supported. It might not change anything for the development of Minecraft, Scrolls and other current games. What would probably change is that future games yet unannounced could be XBox exclusive or something like that.
Third, the fact that Notch dislikes Windows 8 doesn't mean that he dislikes Microsoft as a company (the same goes for Gabe Newell, mind you).

On the other side, I find it odd that Mojang woul be sold to another company (no specifically Microsoft), as Minecraft sales have secured the financing of Mojang for some time. So maybe they're thinking that they need to expand the company for some reason or are thinking about a distant future when they'll stop earning money with Minecraft and don't think their other games can assure their existence.
flesk 10 September 2014 at 7:46 am UTC
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Could be that Microsoft is having another go at making a gaming platform like GfWL. A solid initial user base would certainly be a good start.
Yu0 10 September 2014 at 7:52 am UTC
RadegastMicrosoft bought Skype too and it still has a linux version
And funny enough they linux version was better, last I used Linux, because it had not seen the counter-productive interface updates for some time (worst of them being the use of Modern-UI autocorrection in the Desktop version).

Windows 8: Minecraft works perfectly fine on Windows 8.

Selling Mojang: I don't really care, really. They can't destroy minecraft (or minecraft for linux) entirely, as it would only make pirated version more wide-spread. I doubt they'd reprogram it in C# or something. Scroll's didn't seem very interesting either. So far all practical purposes, he may as well take the money and do something with it (i.e. I agree with Teal on that), even if it is buying a villa on some tropical island.

As for the claimed price: Seems way overestimated.
kshade 10 September 2014 at 7:56 am UTC
I think Minecraft pretty much sold what it will sell, except maybe one last big burst from the new consoles. Microsoft might believe that securing the rights to a game that sold over 50,000,000 copies is a good move. Sales from merchandise, nickel-and-dime bs DLC and a sequel would be huge. Maybe not 2 billion huge, but still. Plus having a sequel be exclusive to the Xbox One, as far as consoles go, might help sales of that thing as well.
lave 10 September 2014 at 8:02 am UTC
i cannot believe they paid 2 billion for a little studio and a game that has passed its zenith long ago.
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