back to article Microsoft's rumoured $2.5bn Minecraft gobble expected on Monday

Microsoft is reportedly planning to spend $2.5bn on the rumoured buyout of Minecraft maker Mojang, with a deal speculatively set for Monday. As The Register noted earlier this week, such an acquisition would be the first big payout for new Redmond chief Satya Nadella. Reuters reported that Microsoft would scoop up the game …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    $2.5 Billion so they can port a game to Win Phone? I can't imagine Microsoft can be that desperate. Will be interesting to see if MS put up walls and kill off the third party Minecraft servers that are out there.

    1. Bob Vistakin

      It's really popular in schools - look to the Raspberry Pi for that.

      Well, it used to be before this announcement.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I imagine that Microsoft will port Minecraft to .Net and upgrade it to higher resolution. Which should improve performance by an order of magnitude and reduce security holes from having to have Java installed by a couple of orders of magnitude...

      Also a merger with Project Spark would likely make sense.

      1. Stretch

        @ Anonymous Coward

        Oh you uninformed AC.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        reduce security holes from having to have Java installed by a couple of orders of magnitude

        I think you've confused the Java VM with the Java browser plug-in.

        I don't know much about Java, but I believe having Java installed on your computer is no different to having the .NET framework installed.

        The scary part is, you might work in IT.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      MS will be quite happy for other people to run MineCraft servers - You will just need buy a CAL for each player

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Coming soon

    Your all new MS Minecraft

    Lots of new features and ONLY available on Windows 8.1 or later!

    Get your new PC/Surface/Windows Phone now while stocks last.

    you heard it hear first folks.

    You have to wonder if this is Sataya's grand plan for World Domination (aka kill off Google and Apple), step 1

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Coming soon

      "To play Minecraft you must have a Microsoft Live account"

      I'm only being a little bit sarcastic, too...

      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: Coming soon

        Minecraft has unexpectedly quit

        1. Panther

          Re: Coming soon

          No they havent not on my watch

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Coming soon

          "Minecraft has unexpectedly quit"

          That's already a feature...

    2. Panther

      Re: Coming soon

      Thats just stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    So.... any revenue and profit numbers?

    In other news:

    Dot Com Bubble 2.0—–Lunacy By The Numbers

    The financial data for the top name on the list, Twitter, is all that is required to remind us that once again markets are trading in the nosebleed section of history, rivaling even the madness of March 2000. Currently, Twitter (TWTR) is valued at $31 billion.That’s 18X revenue, but the catch is that the revenue in question is its lifetime bookings over the 18 quarters since Q1 2010.

    When it comes to profits, the numbers are not nearly so promising! For the LTM (last 12 months) period ending in June, TWTR booked $974 million of revenue and $1.7 billion of operating expense. That why “NM” shows up in its LTM ratio of enterprise value to EBITDA. It turns out that its EBITDA was -$704 million. In fact, its R&D expense alone was 83% of revenues.

    That’s not the real fantasy, however. The sell-side hockey sticks indicate that TWTR’s forward multiple is only 86.6X projected EBITDA. Let’s see. At its current total enterprise value, this implies it will generate $350 million of positive EBITDA in the next 12 months—or a $1 billion favorable swing from the LTM number.

    Just say its going to take some doing—not to say a miracle. During Q2 EBITDA was -$104 million compared to -$13 million in the year ago June quarter. So TWTR’s cash profit numbers are marching to the rear at a furious pace, but never mind. It’s EBITDA will soar skyward any moment now, making it 86.6X forward multiple completely rational….. Right.


    Any day now, this third and greatest bubble of the 21st century will reach a boiling point that even the mad money printers in the Eccles Building will not be able to sustain. Then there will be another thundering financial market crash—with collateral damage ricocheting willy-nilly in every direction along main street.

    1. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: So.... any revenue and profit numbers?

      man, you are so right. the markets are hyper-pumped on surreal QE wierdness. BUT there's a HUMUNGOUS correction in the post.

      buy physical gold, bitchez...


      my cousin's a fund manager.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: buy physical gold, bitchez...

        Buy bitcoins!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: buy physical gold, bitchez...

          Buy?! Hell, no! Stealing is cheaper.*

          *as long as you don't get caught.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: buy physical gold, bitchez...

        Buy Uzis

    2. Kristian Walsh

      Re: So.... any revenue and profit numbers?

      It's not Twitter. Revenues run at about $2.5 billion. Last reported profits were $145 million.

      I am as surprised as you are at those numbers - both the enormity of revenue, and the pathetically tiny profits that come out of it for what is, after all, a service company. (I said it elswhere, but I think Microsoft's game-plan is to use their own purchasing muscle to make that "profit" figure a much bigger slice of the revenue one.)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense

    Minecraft ha a lot of opportunity to improve and monetise the modding community... It's nice that it's free but it's buggy as hell.

    Some decent mods and hosting could make a lot of money for MS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Makes sense

      They don't monetise the game or platform. You monetise the users (either directly selling their data, or indirectly selling advertising/causing vendor lock in/educating them to like your products).

      You don't pay 100 billion because Facebook might make money one day. You pay 100 billion, as that's a lot of power and control the website has with peoples lives. Similar for the platform and community that is "Minecraft".

  5. Roo

    That's a shame...

    Another fine product doomed to be bled ugly by a corporation. :(

    I would be *very* happy if Microsoft proved my cynicism to be unfounded.

    1. Anonymous Bullard

      Re: That's a shame...

      I do hope so, too. My kids love that game - and they don't use Windows.

      However, it will give them a good piece of IT experience at an early age: Getting burnt by Microsoft.

      I'll treat it as a right of passage.

    2. Tzael
      Big Brother

      Re: That's a shame...

      On the plus side it means Google or Apple won't be able to buy it and turn the game into a personal data mining utility.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's a shame...

        But they already have your data.

  6. Banksy


    Mojang has 'one hit wonder' written all over it, like Rovio or King, especially if its main creative force leaves post-buyout. There's not much to justify the valuation. And people love to desert anything associated with Microsoft as it's not 'cool'.

    1. RISC OS

      Mojang has 'one hit wonder' written all over it...

      ...who cares??? if your one hit brings you 2.5 billion dollars I wouldn't complain about being one hit wonder, I mean, it's not like you would ever have to work ever again, or your family, children, grand children....

    2. toxicdragon

      Re: Lunacy

      You need to look again. I know there are others in Mojang but take a look at some of the stuff notch himself has done, he worked on Wurm online for a time where the base idea for minecraft came from, and he has done a lot of stuff for the ludlum dare contest, and Mojang have a second game called scrolls which is a TCG admitidly still in beta but its looking quite good.

  7. Big_Ted

    $2.5 billion

    My god that is a lot of money......

    However compared to what they paid for Sype and what Facebook are paying for WhatsApp its a bargain

  8. Anonymoist Cowyard

    Microssoft obviously missed a track

    As the PS4 version of Minecraft was released last week. You would have thought they would have rushed the buy through and then canned it.

    I really see no value to this purchase, Minecraft is available for pretty much every platform under the sun, aside the failed Windows Phone OS.

    Or will they give it a lick of paint, call it Minecraft 2, make it exclusive to Microsoft platforms?

    1. TheVogon

      Re: Microssoft obviously missed a track

      "As the PS4 version of Minecraft was released last week. You would have thought they would have rushed the buy through and then canned it."

      Microsoft have already launched their secret weapon for the Xbox One to attack the PS4.

      The Xbox One now has a DNLA media player that plays all common formats including DIVX / AAC and MKVs - and does NOT include Cinavia malware! So presumably the same will follow for Windows at some point.

      Full list of supported formats:

      3GP audio, 3GP video, 3GP2, AAC, ADTS, animated GIF, .asf, AVI DivX, DV AVI, AVI uncompressed, AVI Xvid, BMP, JPEG, GIF, H.264 AVC, M-JPEG, .mkv, .mov, MP3, MPEG-PS, MPEG-2, MPEG-2 HD, MPEG-2 TS, H.264, MPEG-4 AVC, MPEG-4 SP, PNG, TIFF, WAV, WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA Pro, WMA Voice, WMV, WMV HD.

      1. Mikel

        Re: Microssoft obviously missed a track

        So no H.265, VP8, VP9, WebM

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Microssoft obviously missed a track

        So microsoft launches a media box that plays lots of <ahem >"download optimised" movie formats to fight a console company that owns a movie studio. Lets see who owns most lawmakers.

  9. Eguro

    Coming soon

    The new MineCraft MMO - MCMMO!

    It's MineCraft, but now with a subscription fee! Huzzah!

  10. Daniel B.

    Oh please no

    MS would probably kill Minecraft as it currently exists. It is multiplatform and runs on Java, and it's available on most consoles. I'd guess they'd kill the PS3/4 versions, then proceed to port it to C# for extra suckage and Windows lock-in. Hopefully it won't happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh please no

      "port it to C# for extra suckage and Windows lock-in"

      C# is not Windows only - and is a zillion times better than Java!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh please no

        I'm a C# developer, yet I find your comment lacking any type of constructive content, driven purely by your childish fan-boy mentality.

  11. TimeMaster T

    Time to update and backup

    I'm going to update Minecraft tonight, download all the latest servers and mods I use and then back up the directories to an external drive/DVD-R so I'll be able to keep playing even after MS screws it up.

    I don't begrudge Notch for selling to MS even after everything he has said about how he doesn't want to deal with megacorps like MS. His priorities may have shifted for reasons we don't know about. I can imagine a lot of scenarios when I would sell my company to MS even though I hate them, and none of them involve just being greedy.

    1. wowfood

      Re: Time to update and backup

      As quoted from Penny Arcade (badly)

      I would sell my actual baby for £2.5 billion.

      With that cash, Microsoft probably have a contractual obligation Notch remains for X months / years. After which he can jump ship with cash in hand, and either retire for the rest of his life, or start up a new company.

      1. Eguro

        Re: Time to update and backup

        Well - he's not sticking around :)

  12. P. Lee

    "We're retiring the software on your computer"

    How does that happen?

    Anyone else find it amusing that only skype on windows has adverts and having adverts massively increases the latency when you switch to it? They don't even re-use the last advert and load the new one in the background.

    Interstingly, skype on my hp touchpad still works well...

    1. Hans 1

      Re: "We're retiring the software on your computer"

      Yes, and the ads are specifically crafted for Skype, you sometimes think some skype contact has called you, when in fact, it is just an ad with some link to a website ... Who do these advertisers think they can fool this way ?

      This is what i call a trojan, the software behaves differently from what you expect and takes you to rogue websites when you click a button named "Call back" (or whatever the ad desigenrs came up with) in the Skype ui.

      This meant I removed Skype from a mom and pop's computer since I cannot trust Skype nor can I explain to the elderly that that banner up there is in fact just an ad, despite it having "Call Back" buttons, they are in their late 70's.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "We're retiring the software on your computer"

        Well obviously skype had to change between being owned by a dubious internet company with no revenue stream to being owned by the premier supplier of business IT systems.

  13. king of foo


    They're gonna need more blue blocks...

  14. Levente Szileszky

    And the insanity continues - so much for the "but new CEO" hopes...

    ..., he's doing the same lunatic crap the angry, fat, bald, chair-throwing beancounter was doing.

  15. Panther

    thats stupid

    thats stupid 2.5billion mojang deserves more for what theyve done with minecraft

  16. Panther

    That´s wrong

    I play this game all the time. I think mojang should keep minecraft!

  17. Amorous Cowherder

    Seems daft to buy a product that's pretty much as bedded in as this is, it's pretty much run it's course and those who are into it now are pretty much the only ones who are, it's not going to get a huge upsurge in users at this late stage. I'm genuinely curious to know what opportunities MS sees in this, other than turning it into a pay-2-play game for existing users, "The base is still free but our new super add-ons will cost you!".

  18. Valerion


    They will make a bomb from merchandising. Minecraft is currently very poorly merchandised compared to other IPs (Moshi Monsters, Angry Birds etc). Every kid 8-12 that I know (and I mean EVERY kid) is Minecraft mad. My son most of all.

    Once they sort out the merchandising, make Minecraft: The Movie (and its sequels) and so on, they'll certainly recoup the cost.

    1. NightFox

      Re: Merchandising

      The shelves of my local Tesco might not yet be adorned with Minecraft socks, sandwich boxes and toothpaste, but they've already pulled off the ultimate coup - Lego

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