Since taking over his position as Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella looked like the most inspired person to tackle the company’s condition. Steve Ballmer closed the Gates style era at Microsoft. Now the company is losing precious terrain in favor of Apple and Google because it failed to correct the long term strategies in due time.
Nadella now holds in his hands a large array of products which are primarily meant to increase work productivity. Even the Surface slim PC / tablet was advertised as perfect for this matter, while tablets have been used predominantly for leisure purposes from the start.
The latest news seems to bring a change to that vision, as Microsoft is close to buying Mojang AB, a Swedish video game company. Mojang is famous for publishing the popular game Minecraft. Microsoft will allegedly pay $2 billion for Mojang. The deal could happen this week. Mojang’s acquisition would be Nadella’s first multibillion deal and the new CEO’s personal touch on the company.
The full version of Minecraft was released in 2011. We are talking about a “game about breaking and placing blocks”, a simple, yet highly attractive idea for gamers – Mojang gained a profit of $100 profit last year alone. More than 54 million units of this game have been sold so far on all major platforms – Windows, Xbox 360, Mac, PS3, iOS and Android. Moreover, it is one of the most popular app on both Google’s and Apple’s app stores. The game is popular on the video games streaming site Twitch as well, attracting huge number of views.
The crude, hipster graphic sandbox style game managed to gain so much attention that Lego decided to partner up with Minecraft and provide multiple physical versions of it. Minecraft has licensing deals with Warner Bros. Pictures as well.
So why does Nadella want to acquire this company? Microsoft owns a much smaller mobile market share than anyone would have imagined a couple of years ago. Minecraft is very popular on mobile and might just be the advantage Microsoft needs to expand its range of services and become more attractive. Microsoft still dominates the desktop market, but Nadella’s strategy is ‘mobile-first’. The acquisition of Mojang proves that Nadella believes in this new approach.
Markus Persson, the founder of Mojang, is famous for refusing similar offers in the past, so the news that Microsoft acquires Minecraft producer Mojang comes as a surprise.