#minecraft

I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.
Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft, explaining why he sold his company and why he won’t be involved going forward — which, perhaps, shouldn’t be surprising at all.

As expected, Microsoft has announced the massive $2.5B acquisition. And good for them for saying they’ll continue to support all the platforms the game currently supports, including PlayStation, Android, and iOS (though, notably, Mojang itself seems to do quite a bit more hedging in their statement — saying, basically, everything is always subject to change). 

What I don’t understand is why people think this deal doesn’t make sense. It makes a ton of sense. Microsoft already has a history of doing this type of deal with Bungie amongst others. That deal made the Xbox. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that without Halo, the Xbox would have failed. 

But more importantly, I fully agree with John Lily’s take the other day: this is about access to the next generation of makers (developers, tinkerers, etc). More than once, I’ve been in a random place in a random part of the world and seen a kid glued to their phone playing Minecraft. 

That phone, of course, was not a Windows Phone. And it’s probably too much to hope that now it will be — that battle has long been fought and lost, even if Microsoft won’t admit it yet. But if Microsoft is thinking about this the right way, this should be about more than phones.

I’m just shocked they beat Lego, now the largest toy maker in the world, to this deal.

Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, speaking with Jens Hansegard:

Hansegard: You’ve done a few, small designer collector sets with Minecraft, a popular block-building videogame. Now, we’ve been told that something bigger is coming up. Is this true?

Knudstorp: Minecraft is a very fascinating game because it offers a great construction-like experience. We’re very happy to work with the company. Making Lego Minecraft products was one of the biggest wished-for items and they have done very, very well in the market. That’s why we are expanding our offering. That’s all I can reveal right now. We think it’s a very exciting opportunity for us.

I’ll say. That’s going to be massive.

Mark Ward:

Christy Wyatt, head of Good Technology and mum to another Minecraft fan, says parents might well be surprised at what their children have built in the game. “My initial reaction was that it was just another video game,” she says. “Now I think of it as digital Lego and he is using it to build all these amazing things.”

"Digital Lego" is a good way to put it. I could not be any less surprised by the success of Minecraft. This is basically the video game I wished would have existed when I was a kid. Instead, I was stuck playing SimCopter to walk through the worlds I built in SimCity 2000.

And yes, I would actually get out of the helicopter and walk…