Why Microsoft is buying Mojang
With the acquisition of the Swedish company Mojang, which attracted more than 100 million users to their game Minecraft, Microsoft is obviously keen to attract more users to its mobile platform, which is not as popular as the Windows operating system or an Xbox gaming console.
The cult game is based on the principle of blocks that are used to create structures of different materials for protection from the attacks of monsters. 5 years on the market and a huge success.
Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft, currently holds only 2.5% of the global smartphone market, at least according to the latest data research firm IDC. The low popularity of the platform due in part to the fact that many developers of apps and games just ignore them.
And then Microsoft buys Minecraft developer for $2.5 billion, it is Obvious that the giant will rely on Mojang as a means to take advantage of the acclaimed and cult phenomenon Minecraft. The deal should not be taken as a signal about the intention of Microsoft to bet more on the Xbox. Rather it is an attempt to act more successfully in the market of mobile devices.
Minecraft tops the list of most sold games in the Apple App Store for a long time; if Microsoft will provide a version for Windows Phone (none currently exist, but now her appearance is only a matter of time) something unique and exciting, which will not be able to give other platforms, this can lead to the rising popularity of WP among real fans of Minecraft.
Microsoft does not disclose official data on the number of Windows Phone users and refuses to comment on the deal.
Minecraft debuted five years ago as a game for desktop computers. To date has sold 54 million copies of the game, and about 40% of them on smartphones and tablets.
If not for the deal with Microsoft, Mojang team, which consists of 40 people, hardly ever thought about creating versions of Minecraft for Windows Phone.
Markus Persson, the game’s Creator and co-founder of Mojang, said last year that the share of Windows Phone platform in the smartphone market is negligible, so it is not worth spending time on it.
«Low market share,» wrote Persson in June of last year, when asked why his company makes mobile games for iOS and Android but not for Windows Phone. «And Symbian and BlackBerry have more users than Windows Phone,» Persson said, referring to the already buried operating system from Nokia and in distress a canadian pioneer in the field of smartphones.
Microsoft will pay $2.5 billion – about 8 times the income of Mojang last year. For Microsoft this is just a symbolic sum – the company has $86 billion in cash and short-term investments. But this is a relatively large sum for the company-developer of games, which can not boast of a record series of successes outside the hugely popular Minecraft.
The main goal of Microsoft is to attract younger consumers.
Joost van Dreunen, CEO of SuperData, which specializiruetsya on market research, said that $2.5 billion is too much for a game that has long passed the stage of initial febrile use and popularity, although has not reached the ceiling of their possibilities.
According to him, Minecraft is unlikely to help sales of smartphones with Windows Phone: «the game Itself is Minecraft really good on iOS, but it is much better on the iPad because the display is larger,» he said. «I don’t understand how it can cause a boom in the sales of phones.»