Players Wary Of A Microsoft 'Minecraft' Acquisition

The reportedly impending acquisition of "Minecraft" developer Mojang has players worried Microsoft might ruin the game's indie, creative spirit.

Players Wary Of A Microsoft 'Minecraft' Acquisition
Nathan Rupert / CC BY NC ND 2.0

"Minecraft" fans feel they're facing an uncertain future after news of a possible Microsoft acquisition started making the rounds on Tuesday. 

For those who don't know, "Minecraft" is an open-ended adventure and construction game. Players break and build blocks to create worlds, collect supplies, battle monsters and — hence the name — mine and craft items. (Video via Mojang)

Now that the cat's reportedly out of the bag, we're seeing headlines featuring the phrases "culture clash," "change Minecraft forever" and even "fans spooked."

That's likely because "Minecraft" developer Mojang has, up to this point, remained largely indie in spirit and operation. The company's co-founder, who goes by Notch, has always been vocal about his distaste for large companies like Microsoft. 

And the game's players have largely followed that mentality. The Wall Street Journal, which had one of those "culture clash" headlines, quotes one player who asked, "Why pay $2 billion for something just to alienate all the fans?"

The player is referencing how a possible acquisition by Microsoft could result in a lot of players choosing to abandon the game, which would be the opposite of Microsoft's goal. Earlier reports suggested the company hoped to boost the popularity and sales of its devices with the virally popular "Minecraft."

And we can't forget reports Notch might leave Mojang sometime after its acquisition by Microsoft. That in and of itself could cause loyal players and followers to abandon the mines.

Wired says many players are concerned Microsoft could place too much focus on its own devices, like Xbox One and Windows Phone, resulting in a degraded "Minecraft" experience on the PC, PlayStation and other platforms, like iOS and the Mac.

But not everyone's so quick to take the gloom-and-doom route for a Microsoft-owned "Minecraft." A writer for IGN says that hefty $2 billion price tag is a really good sign. 

"While it's certainly true that plenty of acquisitions bigger than this have been botched, generally you can assume that any company that spends billions of dollars understands what they're buying, and what makes it so valuable."

And a writer for The Verge notes Microsoft has a bit of experience growing a business. The company's "muscle and management could be a way to secure the future of Minecraft as a game and brand."

Still, all of this remains a big anxiety-filled "what if" for players until they hear word from Microsoft or Mojang. Up to this point, both companies have given no official comment on the reports. 

This video includes images from Nathan Rupert / CC BY NC ND 2.0, Getty Images and Victor Engmark / CC BY NC SA 2.0, and music from Kevin MacLeod / CC BY 3.0.