Mojang are the company that was set up following the roaring success of Minecraft, and which was run in a very peculiar way, being somewhere between an indie studio and a large development studio. One interesting characteristic of Mojang was the fact that they were willing to release their most successful game; Minecraft of course on as many platforms as they could, developing the version for PC, Mac and Linux with their main team, for Android and iOS with a separate team and for a whole array of consoles with an outsourced developer, 4Jstudios.
However, this meant you can get Minecraft on any platform you’d expect it on with two major exceptions; Nintendo games consoles and Microsoft and Nokia’s Mobile platforms. This lack of a game on both of their mobile operating systems is on of the reasons that Microsoft supposedly bought Mojang around a month ago. However, we haven’t heard any news on their actual plans with Mojang and the Minecraft IP, until today that is.
Today we saw one of the developers for the pocket edition (mobile) version of Minecraft, who tweeted out this image in response to the lack of an update for the game for the iOS and Android versions of the game.
For those of you not so familiar with Nokia’s range of devices, that is a Lumia phone running windows phone, with Minecraft Pocket Edition being one of the playable games available on it.
Of course this confirms the rumors that came out before the acquisition, that Mojang are indeed working on Minecraft for Windows Phone. However, they are currently delaying the release of their next update for android and iOS to work on getting a functional game on windows phone. This has caused a fair amount of outrage amongst die hard fans of both of those editions, and somewhat rightfully so, as market share statistics put windows phone at around 5% share compared to the bulk of the market controlled by the two big players.
However, this aside the news is almost universally positive for consumers, and more particularly Microsoft. Since the Minecraft brand is one of the most successful in gaming, and very likely to draw in kids this new release may just be a clever way to convince the younger demographics to pick up their phones, and then hopefully stick with it and create the viral effect that technology generally has with younger audiences.
Now this doesn’t sound too bad on its own, and may even result in promotions like free copies of Minecraft for buying their devices. However, this could start to create less than ideal situations further down the line if Microsoft really want to give themselves an edge, with stuff like earlier updates for the windows phone version, and even exclusive features to the windows phone version of the game.
We’re currently assured that Microsoft intent is nothing but good, and while that may be true right now the peak of Minecraft is already in the past, who knows when they might decide to hurt the game to squeeze some more money out of it. Either way, if you own or are considering a windows phone, you’re very much immune to all of this! However, we can’t help but hope that nothing too awful comes from this.