Microsoft bought Minecraft for HoloLens, Nadella says

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed in an interview that HoloLens was one of the major reasons his company spent $2.5 billion on the block-building game Minecraft and developer Mojang. HoloLens is an augmented-reality head-mounted display that puts “holograms” in the real world that you can interact with.
When Microsoft first showed off HoloLens earlier this year, one of the first demos was a Minecraft-style game that takes over your living room and blew our writer’s mind. It showed how the technology intermingles with the real world. Now, Minecraft will serve as a centerpiece of the HoloLens platform moving forward.
Minecraft is one of the few properties in the world that has the power to convince a generation of tech consumers to adopt something new. Gaming is the biggest app category on mobile, which was the last disruptive space, and Microsoft realizes it will need to make gaming work on HoloLens if the impressive hardware is going to change how humans interface with computers.
Nadella said that his team was looking for something that could demonstrate the power of HoloLens when it went to make the Minecraft deal. “Let’s have a game that, in fact, will fundamentally help us change new categories,” said Nadella. “HoloLens was very much in the works then, and we knew it.”
Minecraft’s popularity is nearly unrivaled. Across PC, consoles, and mobile, people have downloaded Minecraft more than 60 million times. Despite first coming on to the scene in 2009 and releasing as a full game in 2011, the game continues to outsell most other software every month into 2015. It’s a phenomenon.
Among the generation of children who grew up on it, it is like their Mario or Star Wars. It will forever shape their concept of what a video game is, and Microsoft now controls that and is using it to push ahead into something entirely new.