If you're a fan of the large sandbox game of combat, adventure, and creation then you might be happy to know that Microsoft has no intention of letting Minecraft become stagnant. In fact, quite the opposite. The large company hopes to nurture the acquisition of Minecraft and build its brand to a nearly legendary status.
Business Insider had the chance to get the scoop from Matt Booty during the annual Minecon last weekend. According to the Microsoft executive that oversees Minecraft, he shared more details about exactly why Microsoft felt the need to buy out Mojang and how the game's future was looking.
"What people tend to miss is that the Mojang acquisition wasn't about bolstering Xbox, or Windows, or any other line of Microsoft's business," he reportedly told Business Insider. He compared the $2.5 billion purchase to the foundation of classic brands such as Mattel and Lego. "There's no reason Minecraft couldn't be one of those brands," Booty says. "Decisions that are being made have the potential to affect things 5 to 10 years down the road."
The game's marketing is tricky according to the insight Booty gave about Microsoft's acquisition. As Business Insider put it, the company has to tread softly to not set restrictions on the timeless video game. Much like Lego, the ability to craft and create doesn't have an age limit. In fact, the majority of players are recorded to be adults around thirty years old with almost an even split between male and females (55%/45%).
All of this plays into the factor that Microsoft wants to keep Minecraft going for a very long time. Even as it acquired Mojang in September 2014, fans were concerned that the larger company would end up using the game for monetization more than feed into the intense passion that the small indie company had established. But that was far from the truth. In fact, both Mojang and Microsoft have flourished with the purchase. The game is now available on many more devices and has become the flagship for augmented and virtual reality.
Jonas Mårtensson, CEO of Mojang in Sweden, was asked directly by Business Insider if there was a plan of removing all restrictions and letting players connect with each other despite the device(s) being used. The response didn't sound so certain. "Maybe." We all know that there is a significant difference at this point between the original PC version of Minecraft, the Windows 10 Beta Edition, and the Pocket Edition that is the groundwork for the virtual and augmented reality gameplay. Each edition seems to have its own feature rollouts and updates as they come, so seeing all of those with a similar feature parity is quite within Microsoft's grasp. Using the technology to completely merge them, however, seems a bit more complex.
But the future of Minecraft is still bright even if it is a bit segregated currently. As the game moves forward, Microsoft continues to utilize it as a means for education and technological advancement. Maybe this truly will be the 'classic' brand that we see in years to come.
Further reading: Microsoft, MineCon, Minecraft, Mojang