Rumors circulated throughout the media last week that Microsoft was preparing to acquire Mojang, the makers of the massively popular game Minecraft. On Monday, Microsoft officially announced that it is doing so.
The company says it has reached an agreement to acquire the Stockholm-based game developer for $2.5 billion, and that the Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which is also behind Halo, Forza, Fable, and others.
Microsoft says its investment in the cloud and mobile technologies will enable Minecraft players to benefit from “richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect” across the community.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year. 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.”
“The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft,’” added Mojang CEO Carl Manneh. “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.”
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, said, “‘Minecraft’ is one of the most popular franchises of all time. 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.”
Spencer talks more about the deal here.
Microsoft expects the acquisition to be “break-even” in its Fiscal Year 2015 on a GAAP basis, and notes that it is subject to customer closing conditions and regulatory approval. The company expects the deal to close later this year, and says more details will be available upon closing.
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