If you haven’t heard already, Microsoft bought Mojang (creators of Minecraft) for $2.5 billion. It hit me unexpectedly, and even while reading the press release I thought it was a big April fools joke, except not on April Fools Day. However, after continuing to watch Twitter, I finally believed it. I’m not very happy with this acquisition, and I’m very disappointed in not only Microsoft, but also Mojang because of this.
First of all, I’m not the biggest fan of Microsoft. I don’t like the Windows operating system, but I didn’t really have the right to say that until just recently, when I went to a week-long day camp where I learned about using Visual Studio, and C++. I was also able to install Windows 7 Professional on one of my unused machines, but I wasn’t able to activate it because I never bought it. So now a message keeps popping up when I use my Windows 7 machine saying that the version of Windows “is not genuine.” So after looking at the C++ programming language, the Windows operating system as a whole plus the high price of the software, and the fact that almost all virus attacks are on people using Windows, I can now conclude that Mac OS X and Linux and their default software packages are so much better than anything from Microsoft.
Having said all that, I feel a strange feeling now that Minecraft is under the reign of Microsoft. It’s that feeling when you know that you shouldn’t like something, but you can’t help it because it’s so awesome. But really nothing has changed to the PC edition of the game except Minecraft 1.8, which actually came out just before this was announced. Also I don’t have to be afraid that Microsoft will drop support for the Mac OS X and iOS platforms, or the PlayStation, which I also have. Minecraft was built with a programming language that is supported on Mac and Linux, and if they were to drop support, they would have to do a lot of code changes in the Minecraft source code. They also assured us in the press release that “there’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop.”
Minecraft was made by an independent game developer. It was created because the developer liked making games. In fact, the creator left Mojang because of this. He didn’t like too much popularity or money (although he said it was nice to get an award every now and then); he just wanted to have fun programming. It was very inspiring to me, because I’m an ammeter programmer, and I have dived into game development a little bit. I’m probably not going to make any money off these games, but it’s really fun developing this stuff.
But now Microsoft bought it, and Minecraft is not an indie (independent) game anymore. And here’s what I hate about all this: Microsoft bought Minecraft because they decided it was an investment, which basically means they bought the company with plans to make more money using the company. So now it makes Minecraft all about money, which is not what the game was about in the first place.
Those are my reasons why I’m disappointed in both Microsoft (for reasons I just wrote about) and Mojang (for accepting the offer). As far as the future of the game, I hope that Microsoft does not mess with the PC edition of the game, including but not limited to tweaking the look & feel of the game and changing the initial logo to include Microsoft in it, and I hope that Microsoft does not mess with other existing editions of the game, including but not limited to PlayStation and iOS. As far as what they will do with future platforms the game will be supported on, I don’t care, because I will not be playing editions. Finally, I hope that modding will not differ much, and that Bukkit continues being awesome and up to date (I’ve heard that some problems were arising and that Bukkit may not continue).
Microsoft, if you make Minecraft a pile of junk, consider me less likely to buy any of your products.
If you want to know more, here are some links.
Mojang.com press release: https://mojang.com/2014/09/yes-were-being-bought-by-microsoft/
Microsoft.com press release: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/sept14/09-15news.aspx
Random Place people are discussing the acquisition: https://community.lego.com/t5/MINECRAFT/MICROSOFT-ACQUIRES-MOJANG-FOR-2-5-BILLION-DOLLARS/td-p/11149187