It doesn’t need to be a long discussion. Two major things happened when Microsoft bought Mojang. 1) Non-profitable projects (and features) were cut loose, and 2) Realms. Minecraft “Java” isn’t a steady earner, because it’s not Lego. You buy one set and that’s all you ever need, everything else can be had for free. We’re seeing more of the same, now, with the introduction of Add Ons and the Minecraft Store, or whatever it is they’re calling it.
Tumbleberry and I didn’t have to spend any time discussing the matter; we decided that we won’t be selling ACME Resource Pack for money out of the blue, but now there’s a wrinkle: Microsoft has made it easy for us Average Joes to hop on in with our creative kit. Should we?
Make no mistake, I’m working on it; but of course it’s not my full time job and it will be a slow boiler. How many real users of Minecraft Portable Edition are there, anyway? Enough to warrant just less than 2K ratings on Windows Store, and by the way, that’s not a good sign for a game that must have something to the order of 50 million players. I stopped counting at the 40 million mark.
Minecraft is a mainstay, no question, but player fatigue has set in and Microsoft has got to know that in order to liven up the experience, user made content is required. They’re counting on our enthusiasm to prop up their payment model. I don’t take it as a good sign – either – that they were only able to rope a handful of content “partners”.
Do I sound displeased? Perhaps because I know Microsoft’s marketing history pretty well, but as such a visible public company… well, let’s just take a quick example: It wasn’t that long ago that Microsoft was hocking Windows Mobile phones, and since they weren’t selling, they figured they might pack-in MCPE. In a word, it failed.
Just this month they announced that they’re shutting down the Windows Mobile brand and its software support. That’s not good news, and Microsoft isn’t alone in their poor report with customers, but they’ve just got such a consistent history of not relating to us.
Hello Vista and Windows 8? Vista put their leading consumer Operating System on the brink, and yet they somehow managed to repeat the mistake? Big companies are capable of learning. Apple is nearly the most profitable company in the world. I don’t have the numbers, and I don’t care about them.
The point is that Microsoft isn’t learning. They’re canning more employees to “focus on the cloud”, and if you think that bodes well for Minecraft, don’t count on it. I’m hopeful, that’s why ACME Resource Pack will be sporting an MCPE version. Just remember, though, that Mojang is now a development division of Microsoft. They’ll only be there as long as they are deemed profitable.
Is that what Minecraft is really about? Something to think about.