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Microsoft’s Mojang Acquisition Means More Than Just Money

September 16, 2014

by Andrew Haak


Mojang logo

Microsoft is buying Mojang, the makers of Minecraft, for $2.5 billion. That’s really impressive when you consider that Mojang has only been around since 2009. The deal is the latest step in a recent triumph of platform companies – and a strong signal that what people really want is to contribute and participate, not merely consume. YouTube. Twitter. Facebook. Now Minecraft. They’re all platforms, and all worth billions.

Soon, our CEO, David Baszucki, will be publishing an article explaining how LEGO has paved the way for platform companies to succeed, and how the trend is just starting to infiltrate the gaming industry. We strongly believe Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft is symbolic of the future, so we want to get the discussion started today.

Among the article’s conclusions:

  • LEGO has crushed the competition in the toy industry by creating “a platform that allowed a much broader range of play and modeling, and endless possibilities for creativity.”
  • In gaming, franchises are extremely expensive, with development and marketing costs that might never be recouped via sales. Platforms like Minecraft, LEGO, and ROBLOX, on the other hand, improve and grow over time, acquiring word-of-mouth buzz without racking up huge marketing expenses in the process.
  • Minecraft’s acquisition is just the beginning of the platform explosion in the gaming space. In the future, it’s going to look much more advanced and command valuations far exceeding today’s going rates.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the article, which will be appearing here on the ROBLOX blog in the near future:

In the gaming space, we are very early in the platform explosion. Think about the size of the Minecraft platform relative to the fidelity of what users are building in Minecraft. With some simple one-sized voxels, Mojang was able to create a $2.5-billion platform with tens of millions of participants. Compare this to what will eventually be possible, and you can see the boundless future available to game platform plays.

We’re happy to see the industry recognize the power of the platform with Mojang’s Minecraft. The future is bright.