Microsoft stockholders are fuming over the news that their $2.5 billion acquisition from Swedish game developer Mojang Studios was not the wildly popular world-building social media sensation ‘Minecraft’, but the low-tech, decades old, point-and-click logic game ‘Minesweeper’.
“When Microsoft approached us about purchasing ‘Minesweeper’, we sort of assumed they meant ‘Minecraft'”, said ‘Minecraft’ creator Notch in an interview. “But we kept our mouths shut and heard them out. Who were we to question the mighty Microsoft corporation, right?”
Mojang knew they had a potential windfall on their hands, but there was only one problem: they didn’t actually own ‘Minesweeper’. “We assumed it was public domain, which would mean no one could legally buy or sell it,” admitted Notch. “But luckily, we were wrong.”
After some investigation, Mojang traced the ownership to Hermann Minton, a 98-year old nursing home resident in Scarborough, NY. Minton had created the original ‘Minesweeper’ as a board game in the early 1950s.
“A really sweet old guy,” remarked Notch. “Sold us the rights to ‘Minesweeper’ for a dinner at Red Lobster and a promise to pay for his great-grandson’s education at the local vocational college.”
Having obtained ownership of the well-known but thoroughly played out game, Mojang immediately struck the deal errantly proposed by Microsoft just a few days prior.
“We had a hard time keeping a straight face during the contract signing,” laughed Notch. “We kept expecting that at any moment one of the Microsoft suits would say ‘Hey, wait just a minute!'”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella attempted to save face and reassure stockholders at an impromptu press conference yesterday morning.
“We are Microsoft. We don’t make mistakes,” insisted Nadella. “Did we purchase a well-established, infinitely expandable game that would grant us instant access to the hearts, minds, and wallets of over 10 million young gamers worldwide? No. We did not. Does that mean we have to give up and swallow the $2.5 billion as a loss? Absolutely not. People know ‘Minesweeper’. It is an engaging, ingenious game, we just need to bring it into the 21st century.”
Nadella envisions a re-imagining of ‘Minesweeper’ into the popular first-person massively multiplayer online role-playing game (or MMORPG) format used by such successful titles as ‘World of Warcraft’ and ‘Skyrim’: “We already have the brilliant development team behind our flagship ‘Halo’ franchise working on making ‘Minesweeper’ an expansive, immersive universe with hundreds of opportunities to purchase in-game downloadable content.”
One member of the ‘Halo’ team, speaking on condition of anonymity, said “We are sooo f-cked.”