what ever happens, it is gunna be interesting. So long as the pc community stays active and growing we should be in the clear. I only have the console version, but if the pc community starts to die then it's bad for everyone. I think Microsoft will start focusing in console because it will help them sell more xbox ones. People have always been saying that they wish console edition would be worked on more and looks like it's about to happen. As the phrase goes, be careful what you wish for. The community IS the game, and the biggest portion is the pc players. I really hope Microsoft respects that and focuses their efforts towards the computer version...
While I'll still feel the price tag was high, I really don't think Microsoft is too concerned about future game sales beyond not wanting to be completely shut out of the phone market or shut out of the console market if Sony had bought Mojang instead of Microsoft. The market for the game itself both on the PC and the Xbox 360 and PS3 is probably pretty much saturated and I'm sure Microsoft realizes that. Most future sales of the game itself will be on the Next Gen consoles and phones... where the modding community has not been super active anyways.
The other areas where Microsoft probably best hopes to make back their investment is in merchandising the brand (that is, in royalties from other companies wanting to use the brand in their own products, like Lego and whatever studio makes the movie. With the huge success of the recent Lego movie, even a mere brand-related royalty could represent substantial income.
As Geneo pointed out, $2 billion is a lot of money... but right now it's almost pocket change to Microsoft... and well, they've managed to prevent themselves from getting shut out of the market completely thereby protecting the already significant investment they've made in the Xbox 360 and Xbox One Editions of the game. Will they shut down the PS3 and PS4 Editions or shut down the modding community?... I don't think they'll bother with any of that. They'll just let anything up to the 1.8 PC version run out it's course.
Will they release a Minecraft 2... certainly, if there is enough interest that they would get a return on the investment it would take to develop it. Will MC2 get released on all platforms... we'll just have to wait and see just how far the "leopard" might go towards changing it's spots.
Figured it pretty was a done deal when the likes of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times picked it up... although the community seemed to want to deny it. I think it can be a good thing if the community will just settle down a little to just wait to see what Microsoft starts to do with it. Right now, the group with the biggest potential for ruining the game overall is the community itself. I get disconcerted when I read people saying things like they intend to do clearly illegal things (like pirate the game) and such. So far, all Microsoft has done is bought shares in a company that the principle owner clearly wanted to sell... thereby, giving the company and the game a chance to continue on without it's founder. As you say, most likely not much will change about general operations for at least a few months and maybe as long as a year.
If you look between the lines, it's been obvious for quite a while that Notch wasn't comfortable dealing with managing an ever larger company. the problem is that working by yourself pays horribly. Plus I suspect the whole recent problems with the EULA pushed him over the edge. Why deal with all these headaches when you can take a big check to take care of all your conceivable financial needs and going back to work on small interesting projects.
The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
in microsofts eyes, they need to make back there money. Minecraft 2 will probably happen fairly soon. imagine how much they would get if everybody who plays minecraft spent anouther £20 to get the new version. I don't know how many players there are, but I feel like that would be the best way to start pushing there way till the profit zone. until they make 1.5 billion back they are in a loss. minecraft 2 would not only set them on there way but it would also leave the regular version in peace for a while, giving the community some time to settle down.