Microsoft has been rumored over the past week to be in talks with Mojang about a $2.5 Billion buyout of the small indie studio responsible for Minecraft. The purchase is expected to be finalized today and is accompanied by this blog post by Minecraft creator Notch announcing he is leaving the company. The acquisition may be a way for Microsoft to boost it’s mobile presence considering the windows phone holds less than 2.5% of the market. What this means for Minecraft’s future is not entirely apparent at this point. The Mojang release says they will continue to support and update Minecraft as they always have. This is one of the largest game company acquisitions in history, however the purchase price is a small portion of Microsoft’s reported 86 billion real-time spendable dollars.
4J Studios’ Twitter account recently announced a small Minecraft update allowing for the transfer of save files from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One. The process involved is fairly specific — players may upload a single save file to a designated transfer location on their 360 edition, and then retrieve that file from the Xbox One. This is a repeatable process, meaning that players aren’t limited to transferring only a single save file, but the whole process will have to be repeated for each save file that players want transferred.
As already announced, players who own a copy of the Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft can upgrade to the Xbox One edition for just $4.99 — players just jumping into Minecraft on Xbox One will pay $19.99 instead. Downloadable content packages will transfer free of charge (players who paid for content on the Xbox 360 edition won’t get charged again on the Xbox One edition — that content, however, is not without cost), and trials of DLC content are now built right into the Xbox One edition of Minecraft, so players won’t have to download trials anymore.
One caveat to all of this: You must have connected to Xbox Live while playing Minecraft to qualify for the upgrade pricing and get DLC packs to transfer — and if you just connected or just bought the Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft, it will take up to 72 hours for that to register. Don’t buy at the higher price while you wait, because refunds aren’t being given out.
Microsoft is negotiating to purchase Mojang, the developers of Minecraft, for over $2 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal. Nothing is confirmed yet, but Microsoft’s interest is not surprising. The mega-hit franchise tops retail sales charts each week and shows no signs of stopping.
What is surprising is Bloomberg’s report that Marcus “Notch” Persson initiated the deal himself a few months ago. Sources say that pricing and framework have already been drawn up, so we could hear the official word in the next week or two.
As for Notch, sources also suggest that he will assist with the transition, but eventually part ways. Notch is known to dislike large corporations, as demonstrated by his public dismay over Facebook acquiring virtual reality platform Oculus Rift.
Minecraft, the super star of the sandbox game world is finally going to be available for the Xbox One starting this Friday, September 5th. The move to the next-gen console includes some pretty cool features including larger worlds and world transfers from the Xbox 360. Players who own the Xbox 360 version will be able to purchase the One version for $4.99, the price for new owners is $19.99. The world sizes claim to be up to 36 times larger, so look forward to bigger and more impressive creations in the near future.
Source: Xbox Wire
Thanks to a partnership between the BBC and Microsoft, Minecraft on the Xbox 360 will be receiving some Doctor Who themed DLC packs, the first of which has been announced to release this September. The first pack will include the Twelfth Doctor (that’s the new one played by Peter Capaldi, for readers who aren’t up on the show), Clara Oswald, and five other doctor/companion combinations in addition to some of the “most well-known adversaries” of the Doctor — thus far the Daleks have been revealed in a screenshot, but no other specifics have yet been announced. There is no word on whether this DLC pack will be coming to other editions of Minecraft — hopefully this content makes its way to Xbox One as well. Readers looking to have some wibbly wobbly timey wimey pixely blocky fun might just have to plug in their old consoles for now.
The Xbox One version of Minecraft may let you store your worlds on remote servers for online players to jump into while you are offline, according to developer Daniel Kaplan in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine.
“We are looking into different solutions, however we don’t know when it will work. A lot of people would enjoy that and we have got a lot of questions about it. It would be similar to what we’re doing on the PC.”
The feature would presumably be powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, but the idea raises a few technical questions. How expensive would it be to store the massive worlds created by players? Would they have to limit world size? If Mojang were to offer its own premium cloud service, how might it coexist with an Xbox Live Gold subscription? What if the servers go down?
Let’s hope that Mojang finds answers to these questions, because cloud servers would be awesome. At the very least, you will be able to play your worlds from the Xbox 360 version on Xbox One.
By now you’ve probably heard Marvel’s cosmic comedy Guardians of the Galaxy released on Friday and became a huge box office hit. Maybe you were one of the many who saw movie over the weekend. If you loved the blockbuster film, and also love Minecraft, you’ll be pleased to know that you can literally bust blocks with Star-Lord and company. The Guardians of the Galaxy skin pack is available now for $1.99, featuring 24 skins inspired by both the movie and the comics. Check out the complete character list, complete with screenshots, after the jump.
What do you get when you cross Minecraft with childhood memories of Saturday morning? A brand new texture pack! The Cartoon Texture Pack makes every block in the world colorful and silly, just like the cartoons of yesteryear. If you’ve ever wanted to trick your friends with a fake tunnel or drop a piano on the head of an unsuspecting
roadrunner creeper, these are the textures you’ve been waiting for. Check out the screenshots after the jump to see all the potential hijinks this pack has to offer. The Cartoon Texture Pack is available now for $1.
Smosh Games, creator of the Honest Game trailer series, has parodied Minecraft in their most recent video. There’s lots of excellent parody content to be had here, but the bit that will really hit home for many readers is in the cast list: “…starring stuff you’ve made — like a hole, or a table…and stuff other people have made, like Battlestar Galactica, or Minas Tirith.”
The full video is available below, and well worth taking the time to view. One quibble: while the “Pocket Edition” of the game (most of the portable editions with the exception of the release for PS Vita) isn’t nearly as good as the PC version, the console ports have been excellent, to which the continuing popularity of Minecraft on Xbox 360 and Xbox One can attest.
Gunscape is making its way onto Xbox One via the ID@Xbox program. Gunscape can perhaps best be described as a mix of Minecraft, Duke Nukem and Dungeon Keeper. Players can create levels for single player or online play; co-op and competitive multiplayer game types are both available as well. There is a campaign mode and players can even create their own campaign designs utilizing traps, geometry and monsters.
E3 featured a playable demo of the current Gunscape build alongside many other ID@Xbox projects. The indie support and focus on games at E3 has really been a fantastic change of pace from Microsoft’s 2013 approach to E3. Gunscape is scheduled to release for Xbox One one during November of this year.