'No change' to Minecraft publishing following Microsoft buy

'No change' to Minecraft publishing following Microsoft buy

Microsoft has paid $2.5bn (£1.54bn) for Mojang, the developer of Minecraft, throwing future licensing strategies for the brand into question. However Egmont said there was "no change" to its publishing programme after the acquisition.

Egmont’s Minecraft book publishing programme is one of the industry’s success stories this year, and sales of the four books published so far - The Official Beginner’s Handbook, The Official Redstone Handbook, The Official Construction Handbook and The Official Combat Handbook – totalled £6.6m for the January-August period, according to Nielsen BookScan data.

A fifth book, Blockopedia, will hit the shelves on 4th December.

Microsoft said it will continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms on which it is available today (PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation) but did not give any further information about how it plans to develop the brand.

Egmont's PR director Katy Cattell said: "There’s no change to our rights or publishing programme and we’re really looking forward to publishing Blockopedia this December."

On the Mojang website, spokesman Owen Hill said the creator of Minecraft, Markus Persson (also known as Notch), didn’t want the responsibility of owning the company any more.

“Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang,” said Hill.

He said Persson chose MIcrosoft because “there are only a handful of potential buyers with the resources to grow Minecraft on a scale that it deserves. We’ve worked closely with Microsoft since 2012, and have been impressed by their continued dedication to our game and its development. We’re confident that Minecraft will continue to grow in an awesome way.”

The founders of Mojang, including Persson, are leaving the company.