Xbox boss Phil Spencer today announced that Microsoft had purchased Mojang and the license for the uber-successful game, Minecraft. What is more surprising is that he vowed to continue development of the series on the many non-Microsoft platforms that it has found success on including PlayStation, iOS iPhone and iPad and Android.
Last week The Wall Street Journal revealed that Microsoft were about to purchase Mojang for $2.5 Billion dollars. Today on the Xbox Wire website an obviously delighted Phil Spencer confirmed it. Minecraft has had a phenomenal appeal across different hardware platforms so there was speculation this would mean Microsoft would not release future versions on competitors’ hardware. However Phil Spencer has effectively promised to continue development of new Minecraft software on PlayStation, iOS, Android and all other platforms!
In the announcement video Phil Spencer says “[Minecraft has] found its audience on touch devices, on phone, on iPads, on console and obviously its true home on PC. Whether you’re playing on an Xbox, on a PlayStation, Android and iOS devices our goal is to continue to evolve and innovate across all those platforms.”
This certainly is a surprising and might be a PR move to combat a possible backlash against Microsoft and the perception that they are using their resources in an anti-gamer manner. However what will be the real test is how far this goes. Does it mean that Microsoft platforms will receive priority, exclusive launch windows, exclusive items and content? Or could this just be wordplay and mean that Minecraft will receive continued support but any full sequels are exclusive to Microsoft platforms?