What you need to know
- Mojang Studios, the team behind the expansive Minecraft franchise, has undergone some leadership changes.
- Helen Chiang, who has headed the studio for nearly six years now, is taking on an expanded role as Xbox's Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Game Content and Studios.
- Chiang will still maintain oversight over Mojang Studios, but her previous position has been handed to Åsa Bredin, who has been at Mojang for several years now.
UPDATE Dec. 4 @ 3 p.m. CT — Minor update to the article to clarify that Helen Chiang is now the COO of Xbox Game Studios. Article previously suggested Chiang was still strictly a part of Mojang Studios. The rest of the article remains unchanged.
Helen Chiang has been the head of Mojang Studios for nearly six years now, and in that time has helped ship multiple Minecraft games like Minecraft Dungeons and Minecraft Legends, released a bevy of Minecraft updates, and expanded the world's most popular video game to more devices and more people. Now, it seems Chiang is moving into an expanded role at Xbox Game Studios as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Game Content and Studios.
This is a pretty sizeable shift in the leadership of Mojang, but it should be noted that business will more-or-less continue as usual. Chiang is maintaining oversight over Mojang Studios and the ever-growing Minecraft franchise. Taking over for Chiang as studio head is Åsa Bredin, who has been with Mojang for a little over two years and has served for the last few months as head of core Minecraft. Now, Microsoft has confirmed to Windows Central that Bredin is the new studio head of Mojang in Chiang's place.
What's next for Minecraft under this new leadership? The ongoing creative survival game recently crossed over 300 million copies sold, a milestone not reached by any other video game in the world. Minecraft is preparing to celebrate its 15-year anniversary in 2024, and we're expecting surprises in that department. One update we know is coming is Minecraft 1.21, which has been confirmed (along with its first official features), although it's still a long way off from a full release. You can catch up on recent Minecraft news through our Minecraft Live 2023 coverage.
In other Microsoft news, our very own Jez Corden recently interviewed Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer about Xbox, Game Pass, handhelds, and much more. For example, Spencer confirmed that the ability to buy and play your own games through Xbox Cloud Gaming is still coming. The Xbox leader also talked about his Lenovo Legion Go, and how Xbox now has to keep up with the expanding handheld market. It's not just about handhelds, though, as Xbox is also working with partners to bring a full-fledged Xbox mobile store to your phone.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.