The release of the popular video game Minecraft in China is finally confirmed.
The video game created by Mojang will be launched in the country through its partner NetEase, a top game developer in China. Mojang is owned by tech giant Microsoft.
BBC announced that the collaboration between NetEase and Mojang was officially announced last week. The partnership will enable a NetEase affiliate to license the PC and mobile versions of Minecraft for a period of five years. Microsoft company Mojang will also modify its game to better suit their new Chinese audience.
Neither Mojang nor NetEase revealed the exact date of the release, however. Details of the financial collaboration are still unknown. The Xbox One version of the game costs USD20 (AUD28) in the US while the mobile version costs USD7 (10AUD).
CEO Jonas Martensson of Mojang said, “We’ll always embrace opportunities to bring Minecraft to new players around the world. NetEase understands our long-term vision for Minecraft and supports Mojang’s ideals.”
According to CNN, the deal is considered significant for Mojang, which has a solid fan base for its game. With 100 million players, releasing their game to a big country like China will certainly improve the customer base. China is considered a huge internet and gaming market with around 705 million internet users. That is more than double of the U.S. population.
Mojang’s collaboration with a Chinese company is logical knowing that China has unique business and regulatory environment. Mojang can then concentrate on designing its game to better fit the new customer taste while allowing NetEase to take on any distribution concerns.
NetEase is already the maker of China’s most popular mobile game, Meng Huan Xi You, a game based on a famous novel and legend of China.
Minecraft was initially launched in 2011. It is a game that allows players to create virtual worlds using individual blocks. Microsoft then acquired the Swedish developer three years later.