"Because it’s tiny. Both Symbian and Blackberry have more users than Windows Phone."
Markus “Notch” Persson, founder of Minecraft, speaking to Reuters last June about why they weren’t focused on creating the game for Microsoft’s mobile platform. We’ll see if $2.5 billion changes that. My hunch? Um, yes. (via parislemon)
Notch is outspoken and will no longer be involved post-acquisition. He made Minecraft incredible with broad, often clumsy strokes, it got too large and unwieldy to appeal to him, and he went back to experimenting and being opinionated on twitter.
Microsoft might create Minecraft for Windows Phone, but I think it will be an afterthought, a consequence of what they do with Mojang. I’d watch the Minecraft Launcher, that little screen that comes up before you actually start Minecraft. A little tinkering here and there, and you’ve got yourself a version of Steam that’s baked right into Windows, geared more toward kids and casual gamers.
I like Steam, but there’s a lot wrong with it, and it’s a huge target. If you could make downloading, playing, and buying/renting a game a seamless experience on Windows, you’ll win over PC gamers.
Mojang gives you 54 million users right off the bat. That’s pretty incredible. This acquisition is not about changing a video game or porting it to some (admittedly still obscure) platform. This is about access to 54 million gamers.
(Bold Emphasis mine.)
This is gonna be a bit of a tangent, but here’s why Microsoft buying Mojang and building a Steam competitor is a very, very good thing:
As much goodwill as Valve has as a gaming company and the purveyor of a very well-liked digital distribution platform, Steam has gotten large enough to where Valve is either unwilling or unable to actually handle the customer experience aspect of a multi-million person sales platform. Sure, Steam Sales gobble up cash like gangbusters, but genuine customer complaints or issues take weeks or even months to get a response - most of which simply come down to a better-worded variation of “not our problem.” The answer is the same whether it’s “the game didn’t work when it should,” “the debs blatantly lies about the game you approved for your platform” (see WarZ for just one example), or “my Steam account has been hacked and they’re racking up charges on my card” - not our problem.
And speaking of credit cards, even the threat of asking your credit card company to get involved in processing a chargeback will result in the complete ban of your Steam account (they refer to chargebacks as “payment fraud”), blocking all access to every game you’ve ever purchased. Yes, even if you’re legally in the right, doing anything at all to assert that by asking your financial partner to get involved is, to Valve, the same as “payment fraud” and their “zero tolerance” policy will get you punitively blocked from every purchase you’ve ever made on Steam.
In summary, do I like Steam? 99% of the time, yes. But underneath the slick purchase process and addictive sales, there’s a very poorly managed marketplace with zero customer support and some really fucking shady policies.