Minecraft is already making lots of money for Microsoft

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Minecraft

No one would argue that Microsoft's $2.5 billion Mojang acquisition was a bad business decision, but the results so far are staggering. According to the company's second quarter fiscal report, ending December 2014, first-party video game revenues were up 79 per cent–mostly thanks to Minecraft.

That's a $171 million increase, attributed in part to a six-year-old phenomenon. While Xbox exclusive titles Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Forza Horizon 2 also played a role, there's no question that Minecraft is already making Microsoft big money.

It comes as no surprise, since Minecraft is still selling at an astonishingly rapid rate: 18,301,925 people have bought the game on PC and Mac alone, while at the time of writing 10,552 have purchased in the last 24 hours. Those stats don't count purchases made on all other platforms including PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, iOS and Android.

While it's good news for Microsoft, it's still unclear what the company's purchase means for the game and its community. So far Microsoft has exercised a conspicuously hands-off approach to the game, which is a sound strategy given its enduring success, and especially since the company expects to break even (opens in new tab) on the purchase during the 2015 fiscal year.

2015 looks set to be an important year for Microsoft: Windows 10 releases late this year, which will support the company's new HoloLens technology.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.