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Minecraft is already making lots of money for Microsoft

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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 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 is PC Gamer’s Australian editor and news writer. He mostly plays platformers and RPGs, and keeps a close eye on anything of particular interest to antipodean audiences. He (rather obsessively) tracks the movements of the Doom modding community, too.