Mojang Studios is finally moving Minecraft's Realm servers to Microsoft Azure instead of Amazon Web Services

A nice scenic view
A nice scenic view (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft, the world's most popular game, has had private servers known as Realms for years.
  • Since 2014, these private servers have been hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) servers.
  • Now, years after Mojang Studios was acquired by Microsoft, the game is moving to Microsoft Azure servers instead.
  • Apparently, the studios has been migrating tools and cloud services to Azure for a few years now.

It might surprise you to learn that Minecraft, one of the world's most popular and best selling games, runs its private Realm servers through Amazon's AWS servers for years now, instead of Microsoft's Azure cloud services. This is surprising only because Microsoft bought Mojang Studios, the creators of Minecraft, back in 2014 in a deal worth $2.5 billion. This is all changing now, with the company announcing that Minecraft is finally migrating to Azure as opposed to AWS.

This is a big move for Microsoft, as this allows Microsoft to offset the costs of keeping Realm servers alive as well as deny that business to one of its biggest competitors in the cloud space. According to a Microsoft spokesperson who spoke to CNBC, "Mojang Studios has used AWS in the past, but we've been migrating all cloud services to Azure over the last few years." According to the same spokesperson, the migration to Azure will be completed by the end of the year.

This shouldn't come as any surprise, of course, as it was inevitable that one of Microsoft's biggest investments would make the change to their own Azure platform, but some might wonder why it took this long. To answer this, Matt Booty, the head of game studios for Xbox, said in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz:

"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."

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Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer primarily focused on covering the latest news, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life, and have been with Windows Central and its sister sites since 2019. While originally brought on to write about all things Minecraft, Zachary has since expanded to write about practically everything that Windows Central covers. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.

5 Comments
  • What!??? They were hosted in AWS??? INSANE
  • Get ready for it being down every month like Xbox Live, Teams, and 365.
  • Realms actually goes down pretty frequently on their current AWS servers.
  • I'm surprised it took this long since they bought them almost 6 years ago.
  • Migrating code and infrastructure on an already complex and massive platform can be far more challenging than many people (including sometimes management) realize. I believe this slow, careful and hopefully transparent migration is a sign that Microsoft management learned its lesson from the disastrous Skype migration off of peer-to-peer architecture, where resulting instabilities contributed to mass abandonment in favor of competing platforms.