‘Minecraft’ Future Laid Out By Microsoft, Mojang Developers Staying — But What About PlayStation?
Microsoft’s purchase of Minecraft and Mojang for $2.5 billion sent shock waves through the video game industry Monday. Fans of the open-world sandbox title are understandably concerned about the future of the game under new ownership. Xbox head Phil Spencer laid out the vision of Minecraft with the company in the future. Meanwhile, key developers at Mojang have confirmed that they are sticking around.
Those worried about Minecraft suddenly disappearing for non-Microsoft gaming platforms shouldn’t be worried. Spencer stated in an Xbox Wire post that “we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android, and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
Mojang’s Owen Hill also confirmed that all existing platforms for Minecraft will continue to be supported in a post on the developer’s official website.
“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. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future.”
Existing contracts between Sony and Mojang will ensure that Minecraft sticks around on the PlayStation platforms — at least until those contracts expire. Of course, that doesn’t mean Microsoft can’t bring out a new version of Minecraft that is not available on competing console platforms.
As for mobile, it would be suicidal for Microsoft to stop supporting Minecraft: Pocket Edition on iOS and Android platforms since that is where more than 21 million copies have been sold. The game can be used to help promote Windows phones and tablets, however.
MINECON will continue to be supported by Microsoft as a way to communicate and interact with the Minecraft community. Spencer confirmed that the next event already planned London, England in 2015 is still on.
Spencer also stated that the Minecraft development team at Mojang will have access to the full range of Microsoft technology to assist in developing the game. The title is currently coded with the Java programming language, which has created a number of issues over its years of development.
One of those issues has been porting the game to consoles. 4J Studios has had to take the existing Java code for Minecraft and rewrite it in C++/C# for the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. This is a large reason why the console version is approximately a year behind the PC version.
“The ‘Minecraft’ community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics,” Spencer wrote. “We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made ‘Minecraft’ great, and we’ll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward. Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the ‘Minecraft’ community.”
While Markus “Notch” Persson is leaving Mojang to pursue smaller projects away from the pressure of one of the largest sensations in gaming, his departure will not affect the day-to-day coding effort. As The Inquisitr previously reported, he has not been involved in the development of Minecraft since late 2011. Jens “Jeb” Bergensten has been the lead developer on both the PC and Pocket Edition since that time. He confirmed that he will continue in that role along with fellow developer Nathan “Dinnerbone” Adams.
Lots of people asking what this means for me personally. Thank you all for your concern <3 I will remain at Mojang for now & see how it goes
— Nathan Adams (@Dinnerbone) September 15, 2014
Adams’ comment on staying with Mojang “for now” to “see how it goes” is a little concerning. Microsoft will have an interesting job ahead to keep the Minecraft development team happy and the independent nature of the studio intact. That’s something the company has struggled with in the past with developers like Bungie and Rare. The executives at Microsoft and Xbox have been shuffled since that time, though.
Do you think Mojang will be able to build out and improve Minecraft while under the Microsoft umbrella? Or is there a chance that things could collapse? Let us know in the comments below.
[Images via Dorkly, Mojang]