• Microsoft buys Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5bn


    Although rumors had been going around for a while, it has now been made official. Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft for a cool $2.5 billion. Crazier still is the estimation that they will make up the $2.5 invested by June 2015!

    Understandably everyone is worried about the other platforms Minecraft was available on. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer assured that Microsoft will be supporting the initial plans for supporting Minecraft across iOS, Android and PlayStation.

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had a few things to say about how the acquisition, “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year.”

    "Minecraft is more than a great game franchise - it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

    "The Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we'll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward.

    "Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community."

    Although the current Minecraft lead developer Jens Bergensten will remains at Mojang, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson as his Mojang co-founders will be leaving. Notch new the massive following Minecraft had and had addressed his decision in a post on his website. His letter follows:

    I don't see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it's fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don't make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don't try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it's changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It's certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

    A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I've had so much fun with work. I wasn't exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

    I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn't understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn't have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I've become a symbol. I don't want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don't understand, that I don't want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm not a CEO. I'm a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

    As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately.

    Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don't expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won't feel a responsibility to read them.

    I'm aware this goes against a lot of what I've said in public. I have no good response to that. I'm also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I'm not. I'm a person, and I'm right there struggling with you.

    I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can't be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it's belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

    It's not about the money. It's about my sanity.

  • Minecraft PS4/Xbox One Will Only Support 8 Players


    4JStudios have recently been hard at working developing the latest versions of Minecraft for both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, and since they are fairly close to finally releasing these versions, the developers have had time to share more details on the differences between Minecraft PS4/Xbox One and Minecraft PS4/360.

    We already know that the worlds in the new versions of Minecraft console will be considerably larger than the worlds in the PS3 and Xbox One versions, which comes as great news for many players who have previously expressed their frustration with the limited world size on both Xbox 360 and PS3.

    The render distance will also be improved on the new Minecraft PS4 and Xbox One versions, giving players the chance to view more area of the world at once.

    Recently though, Roger Carpenter at 4JStudios revealed information on an area that the PS4 and Xbox One versions won’t improve on, at least at launch. When both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Minecraft are released, only eight players will be supported on multiplayer at once.

    This player limit is planned to be increased in the future, but it’s unlikely the console versions will ever have a player size as large as many PC servers are currently capable of.

    Minecraft for both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 has been set for a release later this year in August for a price of $19.99. Players with the PS3 or Xbox 360 version of Minecraft will be able to upgrade for $4.99 instead of $19.99.

  • Microsoft Mistakenly Passed On the PS4 Exclusive “Rime”


    It seems that Microsoft turned down an indie they should not have, especially since they got a chance to get it first. The game we are talking about of course is the now PS4 exclusive Rime, the dismissal of which now has been considered a mistake on Microsoft’s part.

    VG Leaks obtained some leaked documents which revealed that developers of the game, Tequila Works, initially pitched the game to Microsoft back when the game was still called Echoes of Siren to Microsoft. This was supposed to be an Xbox One exclusive. However when Microsoft rejected the idea the team then went and approached Sony, where the budget was approved and the game was reborn for the PS4.

    According to the leaked documents, the game was described as "Gauntlet meets Minecraft meets Jason and the Argonauts".  During the day the player has to explore an open world island, hunt for weapons, food, and tools. At night however, the player has to spend the time defending against the island’s monsters.

    This game was announced at Gamescom last year and the visuals remind me strongly of Ico, Journey, and Shadow of the Colossus. The art style too does seem reminiscent of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. This game has all the signs of success  as gamers have been waiting for a game like this for a while. With no news of The Last Guardian anywhere, this game might just fill the void.

    Just recently Microsoft Studios chief Phil Spencer mentioned on Twitter the reason for rejecting Rime. He actually came out and openly admitted he thinks that this decision might have been a mistake. Too early to tell now, but I have a feeling that Microsoft could have really used a game like this in their arsenal. Check out the trailer for yourself!

    RIME Reveal Trailer - http://youtu.be/V-JunUax8xg

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