Minecraft is a sizable force in the gaming industry. Microsoft has seen big progress on their $2.5 billion investment in 2014, after buying Minecraft. The video game is ranked in the top five best games on most ranking lists. Depending on who’s ranking, Minecraft usually falls into the third slot after Wii Sports and number one Tetris. Minecraft has also shipped 73 billion copies since 2013. The game is cheap, fun, and there is even an education version that has been launched for testing around the world. Now Microsoft may have found a way into the China market. It is big news for China, Microsoft, and profits.
The Tech Market in China is Usually Volatile
Getting into, and staying in China for NGOs is tricky. Apple and Microsoft know of the woes all to well. In fact, Apple just invested a billion dollars into a Chinese ride-sharing company in order to smooth the waters. The tech market in China is worth a lot of money as well. It is estimated that the gaming industry in China is the second largest in the world. Worth roughly $18 billion. Hence Microsoft’s eagerness to bring Minecraft to the Republic. Other tech NGOs have been allowed to enter the market, but have had challenges staying in the good graces of the Chinese government.
New Chinese Minecraft Challenge
Some thought that the $2.5 billion price tag Microsoft paid was ridiculous. But they have had worldwide success, and the Asian market may be the next big build challenge. Last week Microsoft announced a five-year exclusive partnership with NetEase. NetEase is a Chinese publisher that will roll the game out for computers and smartphones. The Minecraft and Mojang deal is still a bit secretive. There have been no reports on how much money exchanged hands, or when Chinese gamers will be able to get their hands on the game.
The Challenge for Microsoft
Unfortunately, Xbox One consoles are not widely available in China yet. So sticking to the PC and smartphone platforms are the smartest choice. And dealing with the Chinese government to get a game into the market is even more challenging than before. NGO gaming companies will need six permits to get access to the Chinese market. Most strategies involve either partnering with a Chinese company or getting married to a Chinese citizen to begin a company to partner with. This sounds like a lot of work. But for Microsoft, it could pay off big.