7 Years Later: The $ 2.5 Billion Minecraft Deal Is Microsoft’s Most Successful Acquisition?

Minecraft is arguably the single best-selling game of all time, with 176 million copies sold across multiple platforms. But the question is: Is Minecraft Microsoft’s most successful acquisition?

Back in 2014, when Microsoft acquired Mojang for a whopping $ 2.5 billion, it caused a lot of surprises! The reason was that Microsoft failed to capitalize on its acquisitions.

We have witnessed the collapse of the Nokia mobile phone business, which Microsoft bought for $ 7.2 billion. Even the $ 8.5 billion purchase of Skype did not turn out the way former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wanted.

So, after seven years, it’s time to see if acquiring Minecraft was the right decision for Microsoft or did they make another mistake?

Minecraft and its first earnings

In 2009, Markus “Notch” Persson created Minecraft with the goal of making a 3D sandbox game in which only player skills, such as creativity, speed and problem solving, matter.

It was a fairly simple game with no additional story or purpose, and the players were free to decide what they wanted to do in the game. Later, some Minecraft servers, such as Kohi, deployed additional tools like click tests to allow players to practice their skills, but the game stayed the way it is.

The game left beta testing in early 2011 and became an instant hit in the world of indie games. In just two months after the beta release, Minecraft has sold 1 million copies. Thanks to the beta itself, the game was able to earn $ 33 million in revenue.

With the money raised, Marcus created the game studio Mojang, which develops and further updates Minecraft.

In November 2011, Mojang released the full game. The Minecraft craze spread quickly and by February 2014 it had 100 million registered users.

In the same year, Microsoft announced that it would buy Minecraft for $ 2.5 billion, nearly 20 times the profit ($ 126 million) reported by Mojang in 2013.

Minecraft after Acquisition

Minecraft has touched many significant milestones in terms of sales that no other game has even come close to.

Huge sales figures

Official sales between 2016 and 2019 are impressive. Minecraft’s closest competitor in terms of copies sold is GTA V, which has sold over 110 million across all platforms.

Since the Microsoft acquisition, around 100 million copies of Minecraft have been sold. And this alone accounts for almost $ 1.5 billion in revenue.

Apart from these sales, Minecraft-themed products have generated a lot of buzz, including official Lego Minecraft World sets, merchandise, and even novels.

To delve deeper into the densely populated Chinese market, Mojang released a localized edition for China called Minecraft China in 2016. The game was released for all platforms throughout the year. By November 2019, Minecraft China had surpassed 300 million users!

Forays into new segments

With Minecraft, Microsoft was able to take advantage of new segments such as ed-tech. In 2016, Minecraft: Education Edition was released, designed specifically for classroom use.

The educational version costs a one-time license fee of $ 5. In November 2017, Minecraft Education Edition reached 2 million licensed users, i.e. $ 10 million in additional revenue.

While Microsoft’s own success in the gaming industry has been excellent, the purchase of Minecraft allowed Microsoft to generate revenue from its own competitors – Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, etc. This is something Microsoft couldn’t do with Halo as it is an Xbox exclusive game.

Return of the Crown from Fortnite

With the release of Fortnite in July 2019, it seemed like Minecraft would soon become just a name in video game history. It also gave Microsoft the opportunity to test its plans for Minecraft.

Interestingly, with more and more players appearing on Youtube, Minecraft video views have skyrocketed. In fact, in the early years, Minecraft videos were the main factor that made the game so popular (and it has happened again!)

This popularity has led developers to create more Minecraft-based tools like cps test, color code generator, mod packs, etc., making it easier for players to adapt to the game.

Mojang’s Aubrey Norris tweeted “Minecraft’s YouTube view growth has accelerated over the past 2 months, with MC views up 8% in May over the previous year. Looking forward to a great summer! “

According to the Google Trends chart above between Minecraft (red) and Fortnite (blue), Minecraft is gaining popularity in search again.

Entering Augmented Reality with Minecraft Earth

Games and augmented reality are a killer combination. And major industry players have said that Minecraft is the most important augmented reality game ever.

On the 10th anniversary of Minecraft, Microsoft announced Minecraft Earth – the AR version of Minecraft.

This is a free augmented reality game in which players explore their areas and collect mobs. With these mobs, you can create and build objects from real life! Players can even collaborate to build together.

In the first week after its release, Minecraft Earth was downloaded over 1.2 million times in the US alone, according to Sensetower.

Was it all worth it?

In simple words – Absolutely yes!

Since rescuing Minecraft from Notch, Microsoft has done a lot with Minecraft to make it the most popular cross-platform game of all time.

With all the ups and downs, Minecraft still has 112 million monthly active users and updates are released regularly. Nether’s latest update has been one of the most anticipated.

With Minecraft Earth, Microsoft is also a leader in the AR gaming segment. This is expected to give a boost to HoloLens in the near future. Minecraft Education Edition is Microsoft’s successful corporate approach again.

Events such as MineCon Live and Minecraft Festival are some of Microsoft’s top revenue streams that add value to the Minecraft franchise.

If we look at the last seven years of Minecraft, it was a great buy for Microsoft. And it doesn’t even slow down!

On the other hand, the competition is growing, but your favorite Minecraft game is in the safe hands of Microsoft.

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