Minecraft is finally making the switch to Azure after approximately six years of relying on Amazon Web Services to operate. Microsoft, which acquired the game's developer Mojang Studios in 2014, has confirmed to CNBC that it has been working on the transition over the past few years.
The change marks a significant move for Mojang, which has been using AWS since 2014 to offer a subscription service called Realms. Basically, it allows users to quickly set up private spaces where they can play with friends. Microsoft acquired Mojang for $2.5 billion a few months after AWS revealed its partnership with the game studio.
It's not entirely surprising, though, that Microsoft will transition Minecraft to its own cloud platform given the huge investment it made on the game. A Microsoft representative told CNBC in an email: "Mojang Studios has used AWS in the past, but we’ve been migrating all cloud services to Azure over the last few years." Matt Booty, Head of Microsoft Studios, also explained in a recent interview with GamesIndustry why it took the company that long to end Mojang's reliance on AWS after its acquisition:
"It would be easy for a large organization to come in and say: ‘Hey, we’re going to show you how it’s done. We’re going to get you off this Java code. We’re going to get things moved over to C. We’re going to get you off Amazon Web Services and over to Azure. But it’s important to realize that the conditions that created Minecraft, how it came to be, are likely to be things that are difficult to recreate within a more corporate structure.”
Microsoft confirmed that the transition will be completed by the end of 2020. As of May of this year, Minecraft surpassed 200 million sold copies, so it makes sense for the software giant to migrate the popular title to its own cloud platform.