Microsoft has bought Mojang, the famous Swedish indie game developer behind ‘Minecraft,’ for $2.5 billion.
Ever since ‘Minecraft’ originally debuted in its alpha state on the PC back in 2009 with its unique open building block gameplay and 2D pixel inspired graphics, but its popularity rose through its constant updates and inevitable full release in 2011. Being released on a variety of other platforms from PS3 to the iOS since then, ‘Minecraft’’s popularity has only served to skyrocket among millions of gamers and mainstream audiences. So it’s no wonder that Microsoft has decided to purchase Mojang to help boost their gaming industry efforts.
Microsoft has had previous experience with Mojang when the two collaborated to port ‘Minecraft’ onto the Xbox 360 two years ago. Since the port’s release, the game has become one of the top online games on the system.
Wall Street Journal had previously reported earlier this week that Microsoft had been in discussions to purchase Mojang for a value of more than $2 billion. However, up until now, Microsoft had refused to make any official comments on the deal. Today’s official announcement via Microsoft Xbox News finally confirms the deal and future plans for the franchise.
“We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we’ll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward,” said Xbox head Phil Spencer in a news post, “Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community.”
Spenser added: “At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
Alongside the announcement of Mojang’s purchase, the three original founders of the company Markus “Notch” Persson, Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser have announced via the Mojang website that they will be leaving the company to pursue new opportunities.