If you’ve been buried in Destiny over the past day, you missed some potentially massive news yesterday. The Wall Street Journal reported Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire the Minecraft developer, Mojang. The dollar figure is said to be hovering around $2 billion. Insane.
No way anyone could have predicted the success of Minecraft. It defied every AAA convention and helped jump-start the indie scene on consoles and PC.
Microsoft would be buying a company that already prints money. Mojang told the WSJ they pulled in about $360 million in revenue last year, up nearly 40% from the previous year.
Minecraft has also defied mobile gaming conventions as well. Most games are given away for free in favor of in-app purchases. Minecraft opts for the old-fashioned route. The price for a copy of the insanely popular title ranges from $7 on your smartphone, to $27 on PC. Minecraft just made its transition to current gen consoles as it hit Xbox One and PS4 last week. Those versions retail for $20. Owners of the game on Xbox 360 and PS3 can upgrade for $5.
Now the question everyone is asking themselves, is this a good move? There’s positives for Microsoft ranging from business to gaming. Owning the company that made one of the best-selling games of all time is always handy. I assume Mojang will start (or is already) working on their next title. Outside of calculators, I think they’ve hit every platform they can with Minecraft.
On the business side of things, since Mojang is located in Europe, Microsoft can use cash offshore to snatch them up without incurring hefty taxes in the U.S.
A potential Microsoft buyout also raises the question of what happens to support on other platforms such as Playstation.
Still, none of this is a done deal yet. We all thought Google was buying Twitch. Then Amazon came in at the last second. No deal is done until the dotted line is signed.