As a child I was brought up on Nintendo franchises. My much older brother was a gamer long before me, I got my start playing games thanks to his hand me down consoles. Gaming was an expensive hobby and hand me down game collections made the hobby accessible to me as a young child. The result of all this is that Nintendo dominate my thoughts of gaming as a child.

I have a wealth of fond memories relating to Nintendo franchises and consoles from growing up. Travelling across the land as Link, jumping over large gaps as Mario, capturing Pokemon as I set out on my quest to be the very best. Many of these franchises have failed to keep themselves fresh over the years, but I still buy every Nintendo system on day one. I don’t really care if it’s as good as it’s competitors, I feel like I owe it to the company that owns my childhood. I feel like I owe it myself to keep supporting them in the hopes they bring me just a little more of that childhood wonder.

Recently, Microsoft bought Minecraft Developer Mojang for almost $2.5 Billion USD. News of this sale leaked a little while before it was officially announced and initially I had some trouble understanding just where the profit was to be made in the acquisition. Microsoft was buying a studio with a single popular released game, after that game has already been released on the vast majority of gaming platforms and making the acquisition without bringing the studios three founders on board. I just didn’t understand why Microsoft wanted to spend five times the cost of creating and marketing Destiny on having the name associated with Minecraft on it’s roster of software.

What took me a little longer to really process was how much of a huge deal Minecraft is to a lot of young gamers who do not yet have their own disposable income. There is an entire subset of young impressionable gamers who have grown up in a world where a family friendly socially connected multiplayer game made by just a few people is the one game everyone and all of their friends plays. Minecraft is the one title that ties together an entire segment of the video game market who are still a number of years away from their own readily available funds, a market Microsoft wants to capture early.

Let’s look down the road a little. If we ever see a Minecraft 2 on Xbox consoles, that’s going to sway a huge number of newly spending gamers toward the system. If we reach next generation and there’s a HD texture pack edition of Minecraft on the new Xbox that’s going to fuel the nostalgia and buying habits of a huge number of gamers. Microsoft are not playing the short term game, they’re counting on being the ongoing home of your nine year old nieces childhood. They’re counting on her committing to Xbox for life because it’s the only place to relive her youth as she grows.

As someone who has stuck by Nintendo through thick and thin this acquisition makes a lot of sense. Nintendo won me over because my childhood introduction to video games belongs to them. Microsoft have created a core audience they’ll be able to count on for console generations to come by owning Minecraft. By owning these childhoods.

About The Author

Founding Member

Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email: Laurak@indiehaven.com

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  • scannerbarkly

    Good read! Interestingly enough the same effective ownership seems to have played a major role in Notch’s decision to sell and move on, he didn’t want that responsibility anymore and I am willing to bet he didn’t ever think he would have to take on that role.

  • What follows are my personal opinions;

    I don’t know that I agree with your article. I play Minecraft, and I consider it to be my “primary game.” Granted, I’m not of that age group so I can’t speak for those who are, but I would personally never play an Xbox version of Minecraft. Nor would I play an “HD Minecraft.” I would likely never be willing to play a Minecraft 2, for that matter.

    – I do love the Xbox, but Minecraft functions best on a PC. The world may as well be infinite when playing on a PC, but is minuscule in comparison on a console.

    – Minecraft textures were designed a certain way, and making them “HD” would take away from the game’s core.

    – Minecraft is, at heart, a game about nothing. There is no real (or, at-least, defined) storyline. There are no quests; and while it could be argued that there are objectives, those objectives are optional and arbitrary. You can complete them whenever you like. Minecraft 2 seems like it would be a fruitless endeavor.

    {Edited for formatting mistake.}

    • Could be Microsoft just wants to soften its image. The game is very popular with kids all over the world and it isn’t always played like a traditional game. It crosses cultural divides. When you are Microsoft you can afford to do that sort of thing. At the end of the day no one other than MS really seems like a good fit to buy it up, and Notch didn’t want the burden anymore. I can see why. It’s pretty paper thin, still it’s probably the only proper classic game that everyone can agree on to appear in a decade or so.