Microsoft is currently discussing the possibility of acquiring Mojang Studio, which is behind the creation, distribution and promotion of Minecraft, Bloomberg claims, citing as many as three sources close to the deal.
The same source tells The Wall Street Journal.
Mojang will cost the company of Satya Nadella, to put it mildly, not cheap. Both publications, which received first-hand information about the planned purchase, talk about a fantastic $2 billion. And the entire amount, it seems, will be paid by the cache.
According to rumors, the deal was first discussed a few months ago. It is based on the joint positive experience of launching Minecraft on Xbox. The companies quickly agreed on the price, but they discussed the details of the agreement for a long time.
It is assumed that the purchase of Mojang will give Microsoft a strong brand with which the company will be able to more successfully promote its consoles and mobile devices. And these are not empty words: today Minecraft earns not only on the implementation of digital copies. Toys and even collectible figures are produced under the brand of the game, not to mention notebooks and Lego sets.
Theoretically, the purchase will also allow Microsoft to make Minecraft exclusive to Xbox and Windows Phone. Whether the corporation’s devices will become a more interesting acquisition in the eyes of buyers after this is a very controversial question, but if the deal is not a rumor, such a scenario is quite possible.
However, if you follow common sense, the deal seems to be a “duck”.
Firstly, $2 billion is a lot for a company like Mojang. Last year, the total sales of the studio, consisting of less than 50 employees, amounted, according to The Wall Street Journal, to $ 325 million, the profit accounted for 1/3 of this amount.
But the problem is not that it will pay off for a long time. The question is, will it pay off at all? Mojang is a one-game company. Apart from Minecraft, she has no more hits. And, to be honest, it is not expected (the success of Scrolls is questionable).
Does it make sense to buy a brand for such money (not a service that can accumulate users, but a popular product distributed using a paid model even on mobile devices)? Unlikely. And we are sure that Microsoft understands this perfectly.
Secondly, Mojang founder Markus Persson is known as one of the pillars of the indie movement, a man who wrote in his blog that his company “exists to make money for its owners” and harshly criticized the sale of Oculus RT to the Facebook social network. Moreover, Persson also opposed Microsoft’s initiative to create a closed platform from a PC.
The step of selling a company by such a person is self-discrediting (although what you can’t do for $ 2 billion).
Thirdly, $2 billion is a lot for Microsoft, whose sales for the quarter ended in June of this year amounted to $23.38 billion. The profit accounted for $4.6 billion. This is not bad, considering that now, in general, is not the best time for the company: Windows 8 and Surface can be safely called failures; Windows Phone has remained in the catching up OS league for four years; Xbox One is inferior in sales to PS4. And against the background of all this, to make a risky purchase, to buy 40 people for billions? Is it reasonable? Plus, recall that Nokia cost Microsoft a little more, it was bought for $ 7.2 billion.
But this, if you think sensibly… At the same time, the modern digital market is a bit crazy, because we are so often talking about billion-dollar purchases. And therefore, even in the deal between Mojang and Microsoft, for some reason, it is believed.