“For some, such a visible, high-level rejection could have been withering, but Phil didn’t give up.”
Microsoft’s purchase of Minecraft might have been one of the smartest purchases they have made in the last decade or so- it gives them control of a multi-billion dollar cross media franchise, it gives them a brand to introduce kids to their ecosystem early on, and it gives them yet another consumer facing brand.
However, as it turns out, Microsoft could have bought the property as early as 2011- and the only reason they did was because of Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s persistence.
“Early in Microsoft’s relationship with Mojang, before I was CEO, Phil presented an opportunity to purchase Minecraft, but Phil’s boss at the time chose not to move forward,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in his new book, Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone (via Yahoo Finance )
Nadella goes on to praise Spencer. “For some, such a visible, high-level rejection could have been withering, but Phil didn’t give up,” he says, continuing the story which culminates with Microsoft buying the property in 2014.
It was a smart move- and this story is one of those that further demonstrates the smart vision that Phil Spencer very clearly has. Microsoft has continued to make Minecraft available on every system and platform since after their purchase, and made it far larger and more valuable than it might have been as an exclusive. There is something to be said for how well they handled it.