Microsoft's Phil Spencer Not Sure if Minecraft Sequel Makes Sense

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Microsoft's Phil Spencer Not Sure if Minecraft Sequel Makes Sense

Minecraft Spread

Phil Spencer explains the desire to "meet the needs of the community" first before moving on with Minecraft.

After Microsoft first acquired Mojang, fans were understandably concerned for the series' future: would the tech giant treat the IP with respect or attempt to move in a direction that wouldn't sit well with the leagues of fans across the globe?

It looks like the latest decision regarding everyone's favorite block building game might make some waves within the community -- but only because there really isn't a clear answer just yet.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently spoke with GameSpot about the company's purchase of Mojang, during which he divulged that Microsoft is in fact in the process of determining the direction the IP should go in. Some diehards clamor for a sequel, but Spencer isn't quite sure that's what's best for Mojang's $2.5 billion dollar baby.

"I don't know if Minecraft 2, if that's the thing that makes most sense," he confided to GameSpot, explaining further that what the community wants, as well as what the community needs, is going to have to come first. He went on to note that the series has "such headroom as an IP," and as such he loves what Minecraft means for the entire industry as a game with so much potential to grow.

Whatever happens with the franchise, Microsoft has vowed that the previously established versions of Minecraft not on Microsoft systems, such as the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita editions, will not be shuttered. So while the future is a bit uncertain, at the very least fans will be able to continue playing across several different mediums -- until something's been decided, anyway.

Source: VG247, GameSpot

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okay, so they're not going to force out a sequel if they don't think it's the best option, fair enough, but did he just admit that they don't know what to do with the IP? they spend billions to secure the IP and have no idea what to do with it? I can't decide if that's infuriating or hilarious

Oly J:
did he just admit that they don't know what to do with the IP? they spend billions to secure the IP and have no idea what to do with it?

I don't think it matters if they know yet. The way an article I read put it Steve is the Mario for this generation, they'll have plenty of time to make their money back, even if it is all on merch.

One thing I get pissy about is when people to refer to a single game as a "series" when there hasn't been anything but speculation that there might, keyword might, be a sequel. Its not a series, its one friggin' game.
Now if they release a second one, then by all means call it a "series". This expectation of sequels is one reason why we get watered down versions of great games. STOP EXPECTING SEQUELS!
Please?

If there is to be a sequel or reboot of Minecraft, I guarantee that it'll be free-to-play with Facebook integration and content pay-walls. Ya, it'll suck.

I think he's absolutely right, Mincraft 2 doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is DLC expansion packs that add new items and content within the existing world. Why make your customers pay $20 for a copy of Mincraft when you can get them to pay $80 through the course of a ton of shitty $5 item packs.

As for the mention of the buyout, my friend and I were talking about that. Had they spent the same amount of cash on improving their Windows Phone, they probably could have turned that failure around. Hell, if they had just looked at the top 2000 apps on the Android and iTunes store, the could have handed out a million dollars to each of those companies for them to make a Windows port of the app. A million dollars! To two thousand developers to make the top 2000 apps! How is that not a better idea than buying Minecraft!

Signa:
I think he's absolutely right, Mincraft 2 doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is DLC expansion packs that add new items and content within the existing world. Why make your customers pay $20 for a copy of Mincraft when you can get them to pay $80 through the course of a ton of shitty $5 item packs.

Skin packs and other upgrades, yeah I agree that'd be the smart way to go forward. Instead of trying to sell a sequal it'd be better to offer upgrade packs, such as expansions etc.

Oly J:
okay, so they're not going to force out a sequel if they don't think it's the best option, fair enough, but did he just admit that they don't know what to do with the IP? they spend billions to secure the IP and have no idea what to do with it? I can't decide if that's infuriating or hilarious

They might just have wanted to slap "From the makes of Minecraft " on whatever they have the studio churn out next.

Or maybe they genuinely believe the team is talented and can replicate Minecraft's success with a completely different IP.

Really, there's several reasons to buy a studio, even if you don't intend to do anything with it's flagship title.

The latest version 1.8 still has bugs.

Console versions of Minecraft are obsolete, their version doesn't have horses, so I assume it's version 1.5.2 or before.

There's work to do, nobody should be even thinking of a sequel.

rasputin0009:
If there is to be a sequel or reboot of Minecraft, I guarantee that it'll be free-to-play with Facebook integration and content pay-walls. Ya, it'll suck.

Yeah, it'll pretty much just be an excuse to rip out content then sell it back as DLC. Standard Big Business practices.

Jiggle Counter:
The latest version 1.8 still has bugs.

Console versions of Minecraft are obsolete, their version doesn't have horses, so I assume it's version 1.5.2 or before.

There's work to do, nobody should be even thinking of a sequel.

Not to mention that the terrain sucked since Beta 1.8. I do see a trend in 1.8 updates screwing things over. Will the trend continue.

The past few updates have been rather lackluster in my opinion. I wonder if Microsoft plans to up the content.

Oly J:
okay, so they're not going to force out a sequel if they don't think it's the best option, fair enough, but did he just admit that they don't know what to do with the IP? they spend billions to secure the IP and have no idea what to do with it? I can't decide if that's infuriating or hilarious

Welcome to the world of Big Business, where mergers are based not on common sense, but on whether the property for sale is Hot or Not! Minecraft is big right now, so better snap it up and damn the expense.

I'm still not sure why paying billions for Minecraft at all made sense. As I've said before it's kinda late to chase this bandwagon let alone pay a kings ransom for it. Making a sequel is about the only step that makes any sense now that they have it. *shrugs*

The only way I see this getting a sequel is when MS wants to do away with the non-MS versions of the game. I have to be honest, I will be completely surprised if they don't cut Mod support for this somehow. They are so hostile towards modding on the PC. But, I'm not gonna sit here and fear monger. I can only hope they keep it as open as it is, because that is actually the reason for it's continues success.

Jsan the Candyman:
The past few updates have been rather lackluster in my opinion. I wonder if Microsoft plans to up the content.

That was one of the worries I had when Microsoft bought Mojang, as I'm always wondering if Microsoft will do what Mojang did originally... ie. mojang sold a game, you bought it ONCE, Mojang would continually improve it with updates which weren't sold as DLC.

I admit, if mojang sold their updates as DLC, like if the horse update costs $5, I probably would've been stupid enough to buy it. But it would've changed my state-of-mind towards the overall experience.

If the update was free, and there were bugs, I'm fine with it.
If the update was paid DLC, and there were bugs, I'd deliver them bloodied spleens and angry letters in the mail.

Even if they do create expansions, I thought that everyone who purchased during beta would never have to pay for those, didn't it say that? If so, could Microsoft still make those people pay for expansions?

Why would anyone spend over 2 billion dollars on something they don't intend to use?

Answer: No one would.

Answer #2: Something is going to be done.

No there is only one route they can go here if they don't want this to make no sense. The top heel buying the services of a face for protection turns them heel...that character can't just keep acting like they have done, they have to change their character in some way.

The first option would be Minecraft 2 exclusive to Xbox One.
The second option would be to release a Minecraft 2 and have it on everything, Sony and Nintendo I don't think are going to mind (no reason to).
The third would be to go the route of the second above but put up paywalls everywhere except the Xbox One version, heck make it online only while at it.

However if this is another one of Microsoft's "classic" storylines than what'll happen is they'll not bother with Minecraft and put Mojang making Kinect games.

Everyone's talking about DLC/item packs, but the mod scene has already delivered so much content that it's hard to imagine what they could really add.

Still, there's probably a bit of money to be made by ripping off the most popular mod ideas and charging $5 to anyone who is too extract a few files.

What?! Microsoft bought Mojang?!
Holy cow, how did I miss that?
Suddenly I feel retroactively dirty for ever playing that game.

OT: I guess before Microsoft makes a sequel they should concentrate on actually finishing the original Minecraft: get rid of the ugly developer textures (HA, yeah right); add some decent goals other than build, build, build; and fix all the glitches, wonky fluid physics, and all the other rough, rough edges.

I see no use in a sequel because what exactly will it offer that the original does well?

I am slightly confused. Minecraft is not really the sort of game that would benefit from sequels. Should it not just always have new stuff until they run out of ideas? A sequel would have to be something so great that the normal system can't handle it...and Minecraft doesn't exactly have like a high graphics demand...

Oly J:
okay, so they're not going to force out a sequel if they don't think it's the best option, fair enough, but did he just admit that they don't know what to do with the IP? they spend billions to secure the IP and have no idea what to do with it? I can't decide if that's infuriating or hilarious

Hilarious to the point of invoking fury? I'm going with that.

OT: That's a change. I wonder when they'll consider the community's needs "met".

Jiggle Counter:
The latest version 1.8 still has bugs.

Console versions of Minecraft are obsolete, their version doesn't have horses, so I assume it's version 1.5.2 or before.

There's work to do, nobody should be even thinking of a sequel.

Next console update is PC 1.6.2. Witches, Wither, Horses etc.

Well, there isn't really anything you can improve to the basic concept of minecraft, so a sequel really doesn't make any sense.
Minecraft seems more like the kind of game that's better off with more polishing and mods than with sequels.

Minecraft is less a game than it is a platform, so a 'sequel' isn't going to make as much sense as an engine overhaul. What Microsoft needs to do before trying to unpack that monstrous notion is push for a proper modding API on the PC while the console catches up to current. Then figure out a good way for console users to access the Minecraft modding community, at least the bits that aren't tearing each other's throats out, so they can /at minimum/ play with mods.

It isn't going to be an easy ball of yarn to unwind, but I think it can be done and might even be worth it.

Not that the console community isn't already doing some fairly cool stuff on their own:

I'm going to voice an unpopular opinion and say a Minecraft 2 would actually be a good thing. The code for Minecraft is a complete mess, and it desperately needs to be rewritten from the ground up. This would take far too much work to be an update, and wouldn't be worth the manhours to release it for free. Minecraft 2 would mean that they can actually make money from starting from scratch and making everything run way smoother.

You can read this thread from the Optifine creator to see some of what I'm talking about:
http://www.minecraftforum.net/forums/mapping-and-modding/minecraft-mods/1272953-optifine-hd-a4-fps-boost-hd-textures-aa-af-and#c43757

Signa:
I think he's absolutely right, Mincraft 2 doesn't make sense.

What does make sense is DLC expansion packs that add new items and content within the existing world. Why make your customers pay $20 for a copy of Mincraft when you can get them to pay $80 through the course of a ton of shitty $5 item packs.

As for the mention of the buyout, my friend and I were talking about that. Had they spent the same amount of cash on improving their Windows Phone, they probably could have turned that failure around. Hell, if they had just looked at the top 2000 apps on the Android and iTunes store, the could have handed out a million dollars to each of those companies for them to make a Windows port of the app. A million dollars! To two thousand developers to make the top 2000 apps! How is that not a better idea than buying Minecraft!

What you fail to realise is that Microsoft have not purchased a developer or a game, they have purchased the chiĺdren of the world. If a family has money to spend, the kids play Minecraft. Look to the long game.

On a mechanics standpoint: No, a Minecraft sequel doesn't really make much sense, especially considering that there isn't really anything that could be added into a sequel that cannot already be added into the original game via official support or via mods. On a business standpoint however, a sequel absolutely makes sense: Microsoft just spent $2.5bil on Mojang and the Minecraft licence, and they have got to get their money back somehow, and I doubt that trickle sales for Minecraft or Scrolls is going to make up for that cost. Something is going to be done with Mojang and Minecraft, because otherwise they just wasted a lot of money for nothing, it is just what that is that is going to be a little weird.

I was hoping for something like Minecraft Universe - some kind of neutral hub world where you can trade and interact with other players and you can't build or destroy obviously.
Then everyone in the game can get their own certain slice of MC world, similar to how they do in MMO's when they have housing areas, and they can choose biomes/setting and certain biomes and bigger areas would be in-game upgrades (knowing Microsoft they'd be paid addons) or whatever. It would definitely work best on pc.

It seems to me the only thing Microsoft can really improve on is the social/online aspects

Well that's Minecraft 2 confirmed then!

Jsan the Candyman:

Jiggle Counter:
The latest version 1.8 still has bugs.

Console versions of Minecraft are obsolete, their version doesn't have horses, so I assume it's version 1.5.2 or before.

There's work to do, nobody should be even thinking of a sequel.

Not to mention that the terrain sucked since Beta 1.8. I do see a trend in 1.8 updates screwing things over. Will the trend continue.

The past few updates have been rather lackluster in my opinion. I wonder if Microsoft plans to up the content.

on
You mean that one that massive expanded the size of biomes, thus finally making some decent looking area generation.

LittleMikey:
I'm going to voice an unpopular opinion and say a Minecraft 2 would actually be a good thing. The code for Minecraft is a complete mess, and it desperately needs to be rewritten from the ground up. This would take far too much work to be an update, and wouldn't be worth the manhours to release it for free. Minecraft 2 would mean that they can actually make money from starting from scratch and making everything run way smoother.

You can read this thread from the Optifine creator to see some of what I'm talking about:
http://www.minecraftforum.net/forums/mapping-and-modding/minecraft-mods/1272953-optifine-hd-a4-fps-boost-hd-textures-aa-af-and#c43757

I have to agree. Minecraft in not-Java would be something I could play again. I quit because of constant unloaded chunks (world holes) and bloody item-id conflicts. It doesn't seem like they were able to add a modders api like they thought, either.

There are a handful of developers active today who know how to make a moddable game (there were more 10 years ago). The majority of moddable games have god awful mod APIs, compared to which a Java game without a mod API is better simply because Java is so easy to decompile.

And this is why Notch should have sold the IP to Valve rather than Microsoft.

The results are showing already.

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