ORIGINAL STORY: Minecraft Pocket Edition has become one of the biggest games on Android and iOS, taking the top paid spots on each platform. What you don’t see is Minecraft Pocket Edition on Windows Phone. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Microsoft has set its sights on Minecraft developer Mojang: to provide the resources in getting Minecraft PE to the Windows Phone platform.
According to an unnamed source, Microsoft plans to reveal its $2.5 billion deal to purchase Mojang on Monday. Dave Bisceglia, Chief Executive of independent game studio Tap Lab, believes the acquisition would mean that Microsoft could push to provide something unique to the Minecraft PE players that will drive Windows Phone sales.
“It seems like Microsoft is looking at Mojang and Minecraft as a way to tap into this enormous cultural phenomenon," he told Reuters.
Minecraft creator and Mojang co-founder Markus Persson currently doesn’t have any plans to bring the game to Windows Phone because of the platform’s small piece of the mobile pie (2.5 percent); he commented that BlackBerry and Symbian users have more users than Windows Phone. There’s speculation that he will leave Mojang if the company decides to accept Microsoft’s buyout offer.
Meanwhile, Minecraft fans are striking out at Persson and Mojang regarding the unannounced deal. “You gave us your word you wouldn't sell out to big name companies. Please, Notch, don't let us Minecrafters down,” one fan said via Twitter.
A report by the Huffington Post states that fans are worried about handing the Minecraft reins over to Microsoft. They fear that the block-building game will become a Microsoft exclusive, which honestly would be rather silly. If anything, the company would throw in exclusive features that could only be acquired through the Xbox consoles and Windows Phone.
Players are also worried that Microsoft may eliminate modding with Minecraft, and that future upgrades to the game would be “less compelling” and “less user-friendly” because Mojang didn’t create the upgrades on its own. However, if the Microsoft/Mojang deal goes gold, there’s a good chance Microsoft may leave the game alone. Why fix a game that’s not broken?
If anything, a Mojang buyout means that the studio has the resources to stay on the Minecraft tracks. This stash of cash may also lead to the release of Minecraft PE on Windows Phone and Windows 8.1. Of course, this is all mere rumor and speculation until Monday if sources are correct and the two parties announce the deal.
UPDATE: As expected, Microsoft revealed its acquisition of Mojang (opens in new tab) for $2.5 billion. The deal is expected to close before the end of 2014. "Microsoft plans to continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation," the press release said.