Although it started from humble beginnings as a slightly buggy alpha made by just one person, Minecraft has since become the third best selling game of all time. Having raked in millions for the team behind it, Minecraft recently got a new owner in the form of Microsoft who forked over $2.5 billion to purchase developer Mojang Studios and their most well known title along with it.
But with that lofty figure overhead, many players grew fearful of Minecraft‘s future. How would Microsoft change it? Would they understand and listen to what Minecraft players want or would they disregard them in order to make back what they spent?
In truth, we won’t know the full picture for some time as the Xbox maker tries to figure out how to manage or improve one of gaming’s hottest properties. We do have a small idea though as the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has now revealed where he thinks Minecraft should go.
Speaking to IGN, Spencer answered the question that’s been on everyone’s lips; will there be a Minecraft 2?
“I don’t know if Minecraft 2, if that’s the thing that makes the most sense. The community around Minecraft is as strong as any community out there. We need to meet the needs and the desires of what the community has before we get permission to go off and do something else. It doesn’t mean that everything we’re going to do is going to map to 100 percent of their acceptance, because I don’t know if there is any topic where 100 percent of people agree. But we look at Job 1 is to go out and meet the needs of the Minecraft community first, and then we can think about ways that we can actually help grow it. That’s our sole focus.”
He also referred to Microsoft as “shepherds of the IP”, saying that Minecraft is “great game to add to [their] portfolio”. However, while Spencer’s words may tick all of the right boxes on paper, many will remember that Peter Molyneux, the former Creative Director of Microsoft Game Studios Europe, recently revealed that Microsoft used to think Minecraft was ‘rubbish’.
Spencer’s plans for the future of Minecraft may also trouble those worried that Microsoft will simply just abandon non-Microsoft platforms. He added that;
“I think what we’ve learned through Xbox Live is something that we can help in unifying a little bit of what happens with Minecraft today. If I’m on PC I get access to the mod servers; if I’m on console or the mobile editions, I don’t. We’re looking at how do we bring that whole system together a little more. Because there are other games out there that let me move from screen to screen fairly seamlessly.”
Because of their Windows Phones and Windows desktop units, mobile and PC are two platforms where Microsoft has a vested interest (although their lack of PC support has recently come under fire) and could actively benefit. So even as Spencer says that he’d “love to bring it to more screens out there” it seems incredibly unlikely that Minecraft on PlayStation, Mac, Android and iOS would get to take advantage of a unified system.
Spencer didn’t reveal dates or a timeline for their plans though, so it could be some time before we see Microsoft’s vision of Minecraft out in the open.