Microsoft bought Minecraft (in part) because of HoloLens, CEO says

Minecraft for VR could "fundamentally help us change new categories," according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
2 min read


Last September, Microsoft paid a whopping $2.5 billion to buy Mojang and its sandbox hit Minecraft. At the time, some wondered why Microsoft was making such a move. Now, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said in a new interview with The New York Times that HoloLens was a major part of the decision.

"Let's have a game that, in fact, will fundamentally help us change new categories," Nadella said. He also said that hen the deal was announced last year, "HoloLens was very much in the works, and we knew it."

During the HoloLens announcement event in January, Microsoft showed off a Minecraft tech demo, though the company was clear that this was very much a work-in-progress. But it's not hard to imagine the appeal of Minecraft in an environment beyond a PC or smartphone.

GameSpot's sister site CNET tried Microsoft's HoloLens Minecraft demo back in January. Editor Nick Statt wrote, "The demo turns an entire room into a lively game world, punching holes into tables and through the walls to reveal interactive environments that can be changed with the tap of a finger."

While a Minecraft HoloLens full game or experience may still be a long time off, Minecraft is already a money-maker for the company. In Microsoft's latest quarter, Minecraft was a bright spot on an otherwise downtrodden financial report for the Xbox division.

Microsoft has not announced any real games for HoloLens yet or revealed when the headset will ship or what it will cost. But that news may be coming soon, as we learned this week that Microsoft is bringing HoloLens to E3. The company also recently signed a deal with game engine giant Unity (maker of HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft), which could pave the way for more games on the headset.