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Minecraft lands on Windows Phone

Barry Collins
11 Dec 2014
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Minecraft appears in Microsoft's store just in time for Christmas

Microsoft has begun recouping some of the $2.5 billion it paid for Minecraft maker Mojang, by finally bringing the game to Windows Phone. The Pocket Edition of the game, which is now being published by Microsoft Studios, costs £4.99.

The Windows Phone version looks like a straight port of the Pocket Edition app that's been on iOS and Android for years. It includes both Survivor and Creative modes, and provides a local multiplayer option over Wi-Fi.

For Microsoft, it was a somewhat expensive way to ensure that the wildly popular brick-building game was ported to its struggling mobile operating system. Minecraft creator, Markus "Notch" Persson, didn't exactly see eye to eye with Microsoft, publicly criticising the company on Twitter before pulling plans to port the game to Windows 8. Persson objected to what he saw as Microsoft's attempts to make Windows a closed platform and urged people not to switch to Windows 8. 

Read reviews of the latest Windows Phones here

He seemed to overcome those moral objections when Microsoft showed up with its chequebook in September, however, claiming that Minecraft had become bigger than he ever imagined and that he was selling the company to preserve his sanity. "I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public," Persson wrote on his blog. "I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you."

Microsoft will hope that, by getting the game out just in time for Christmas, it can convince more of Minecraft's young fans to consider a Windows Phone. Microsoft's operating system has a worldwide market share of only 2.9%, according to the latest quarterly figures from analyst IDC, leaving it in a distant third place behind Android (84.4%) and iOS (11.7%). 

Even though it's now been out for a couple of years, Minecraft Pocket Edition remains enduringly popular. It was earlier this week named the best selling paid app for both the iPhone and iPad in 2014.

There's no sign yet of a version of the game in the Windows 8 Store, although there is of course a desktop version of the game for Windows.

You can download Minecraft Pocket Edition for Windows Phone here

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