Microsoft is adding yet another market for its popular Minecraft video game, announcing that it has acquired the rights to MinecraftEdu from Teacher Gaming LLC. MinecraftEdu adapts Minecraft into a teaching tool, featuring a library of lesson plans for subjects such as STEM, history, language, and art. Microsoft plans to rename the service Minecraft Education Edition and launch it on a free trial basis this summer.
The regular version of Minecraft was designed to encourage an interest in game design and programming in children, but MinecraftEdu caters specifically to the needs of the educator. Teachers can adapt the game's virtual world to their own needs, and easily download modifications made by other instructors. At the time of the acquisition, MinecraftEdu was used in 7,000 classrooms across 40 different countries worldwide. Microsoft's brand power is expected to sharply increase this number.