September 15, 2014
The rumors were true: Microsoft is indeed buying Swedish company Mojang, the maker of popular video game Minecraft, for a cool $2.5 billion.
The acquisition, which is expected to close late this year, is a major coup for Microsoft and a boost for its Microsoft Studios with the team at Mojang scheduled to work on such projects as Halo, Forza and Fable.
Microsoft said its “investments in cloud and mobile technologies will enable Minecraft players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools.” The company said players will also have more opportunities to connect with fellow players.
“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”
Minecraft is a game about breaking and placing blocks to build structures to protect players against nocturnal monsters such as zombies. It has been downloaded on PCs more than 100 million times since its launch in 2009. It is available to be played on Xbox, as well as on Sony’s PlayStation, PCs, tablets and Smartphones.
Microsoft said it plans to continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.
“Minecraft is one of the most popular franchises of all time,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer said. “We are going to maintain Minecraft and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future.”
Mojang CEO Carl Manneh said the acquisition would open a new chapter in Minecraft’s story.
“As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future,” Manneh said.
In a memo sent to Microsoft employees in July, Nadella described gaming as the “single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money,” and promised to ensure Xbox continued to “delight gamers.”
The acquisition of Mojang is likely a big part of that promise.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.