|Minecraft Moving in with Microsoft?
By: Cindy Wendland
What’s all the fuss about Microsoft buying Minecraft? Minecraft is a game and cultural phenomenon whose developer, Mojang, has not always had good things to say about Microsoft. Yet now it appears they might be joining forces, and if that happens, Mojang says he will not be staying on. What is the marketing angle?
Minecraft attracts players (mostly boys) between the ages of 9 and 15 years of age. In a nutshell, the game is about placing blocks to build anything you can imagine. At night monsters come out, so be sure to build a shelter before that happens. In a detailed description, the game is set in a virtual world made of cubes of different materials — dirt, rock, sand, lava, obsidian, and many more. Almost all of these can be used as building blocks and a few can be refined into usable raw materials (wood, iron, diamonds, etc.). Playing the game involves surviving by using blocks to build a shelter (which can be as crude or elaborate as you like) and turning raw materials and combinations of them into items (swords, armor, bows) to help kill the game's many monsters (creepers, skeletons, zombie pigmen, etc.).
Minecraft has over 100 million registered users and over 14 million PC sales since its introduction in 2011. (The game is now available on Playstation and Xbox.) It is a huge success with a huge following. Mojang’s other gaming attempts have not been successful, so what is his motivation to partner now with Microsoft when he still has huge potential with this game? Is it distribution channels, is it new partners, is it a new release to be done in a different fashion? Or is Mojang just headed in a different direction? Will Microsoft change the game or support it? Besides money, what does Microsoft bring to the game that users are missing?
That’s the trouble with brands you love. They don’t always stay the way you love them. If only Minecraft followers could build a shelter around Minecraft and keep it from new monsters!
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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