Minecraft, the intellectual property that Microsoft purchased from Mojang for $2.5 billion in late 2014, has swept much of the Western world. Now, Microsoft is turning its attention to another potentially lucrative market: China.
Mojang announced on Friday that it has signed an exclusive agreement to license Minecraft for Pocket and PC to an affiliate in mainland China by the name of NetEase. Together, they plan to develop a version of Minecraft tailored for the Chinese market.
Mojang CEO Jonas Martensson said they'll always embrace opportunities to bring Minecraft to new players around the world, widening the community and giving them a new perspective on the game. Martensson added that NetEase understands their long-term vision for Minecraft and support Mojang's ideals.
Owen Hill, director of creative communications at Mojang, said the deal probably won't affect most existing fans because, well, they probably don't live in China.
NetEase was founded in 1997 and currently develops and operates some of China's most popular games and services. Several Western studios currently utilize their services, bringing games like Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls to Chinese players.
Neither party provided a timeline as to when we can expect to see a Chinese version of Minecraft nor do we know how much it'll cost gamers to jump in.
News of a Chinese version of Minecraft comes just a week or so after we learned about a new Super Mario Mash Up Pack for Minecraft players on the Wii U. The update, which launched on May 17, is free of charge.