By now, the news has settled in and, to the surprise of some, Microsoft hasn’t yet done anything to ruin their newly acquired, 2.5-billion dollar intellectual property, Minecraft. It still begs the question, though, aside from the game’s undeniable popularity and wild hit status with children and adults alike, what about this once-independent digging-and-building game made it worth that kind of coin? Why would Microsoft, a company that tries to stay on the edge of the hottest things in gaming, put that level of investment into a low-resolution, basic kind of game? I’ve got some ideas.
This is probably the easiest and most obvious choice, although it may seem like a bad idea at first. By producing separate follow-up games, Microsoft would enable themselves to take the existing structure and completely rework it with a fresh coat of high-definition paint without doing the one thing that Minecraft fans seemed the most worried about going in: changing the game they already play and love. Updates to the graphics system or gameplay wouldn’t sit well with current players, but expanding on it through entirely new games could expand the audience without putting a strain on the current fanbase.