We know for a fact that Windows Phone has a 2.5 percent share in the entire mobile market, and for a major player like Microsoft, that has to be embarrassing. So what can they do about it?
There are better alternatives than Windows Phone so it would be difficult for them to drastically swing peoples’ opinion to their platform’s favour. Recently there were rumours that they were going to buy Mojang–creator of Minecraft–for $2 billion dollars, and according to a new report that sum may go as high as $2.5 billion.
Minecraft is pretty much one of the biggest gaming properties ever. It has sold 54 million units worldwide and more than 40 million have been sold on mobile platforms. It’s a cultural phenomenon with kids being introduced to gaming through Minecraft. There are massive communities and a dedicated fanbase. The IP has great merchandising potential. Is this all worth $2.5 billion?
Now that may seem like an excessive amount of money, and it is, but if Microsoft can play their cards right they could benefit enormously from this deal. However, not many people have confidence in Microsoft since they’re known to flounder good opportunities.
On the other hand, even if Microsoft tries their best to leverage the Minecraft IP, it may be too late because the game is already on plenty of platforms and may have reached its saturation point. In this case, it could be seen as a waste of money.
Money is the least of Microsoft’s concerns, though. The company has $86 billion in cash, and most of it has been stored offshore. Most American companies do this to avoid local taxes. So this means, $2.5 billion is probably a safe investment for Microsoft.
Now, Microsoft may not remove the game from current platforms if the acquisition does go through, because they will be earning money from it. If they choose to make Minecraft 2, then you probably should not expect to see it on PlayStation platforms.
People wondering whether such a huge investment for an IP is a good idea should remember that Windows 9 is in development, and this IP could significantly boost the sales of Windows Phone. Minecraft is the top paid app currently on iOS and Android. If you look at it from this angle, then $2.5 billion seems to be a pretty smart investment from Microsoft.
We don’t know for sure if this deal was initiated by the Windows team or the Xbox team, but the IP will benefit both divisions.
Minecraft is the best selling Xbox 360 game and making the next game exclusive to Xbox One could boost the sales significantly, however, that is just wishful thinking and nothing could be said at this point.
It’s all about the community and it remains to be seen whether the community embraces Microsoft or rejects it. Either way, it’s one of the most important deals the gaming industry has ever seen.