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Rumor: Microsoft May Acquire Minecraft Maker Mojang

An unnamed source close to The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is currently in discussions to acquire Minecraft developer Mojang AB in a deal valued at more than $2 billion. The source said that the deal could be signed as early as this week.

Mojang's popular sandbox construction game Minecraft was released in May 2009 as an alpha and launched as a retail product in November 2011. Since then, Mojang has sold more than 54 million copies of the game across the PC, consoles and mobile devices. According to the paper, the game and related licensed products generated $100 million in profits just in 2013 alone.

It's understandable that Microsoft may have an interest in Mojang. As of June 2014, more than 12 million gamers owned the Xbox 360 version ($20), and the Xbox One copy just made its debut on September 5, 2014. Even the PlayStation 3 version has proven to be popular, reeling in more than 3 million copies sold as of June.

Minecraft has become a cult hit, allowing players to jump into a blocky world and create anything, from calculators to the starship Enterprise to full-fledged cities. Players can turn on a "survival" mode that allows players to fend off creatures such as giant spiders, zombies, skeletons and even Creepers. Players can also choose to simply build in "creative" mode.

As it stands now, both Microsoft and Mojang are not commenting on the report. However, an acquisition by Microsoft would be a surprising move for Mojang given founder Markus "Notch" Persson's stance about remaining as an independent developer. The paper points out that Persson has in the past "shunned" investment from outsiders and even criticized Windows 8 before the platform was released.

If a deal between Microsoft and Mojang is reached, the purchase would be the first multibillion-dollar acquisition by Microsoft with new CEO Satya Nadella in place. The acquisition would be an unusual investment given Nadella has indicated that Xbox is not a core business for Microsoft, the paper pointed out.

If Microsoft acquires Mojang, what would happen to Minecraft, especially the versions on competing platforms? Likely nothing at all; you can't fix something that isn't broken, and the Minecraft franchise has shown that it's far from being broken.

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  • dovah-chan
    *that one time kotaku was ahead of someone*
    Reply
  • Urzu1000
    There seems to be a lot of rumors circling about this. I read about it on another news site a day or two ago.

    What I find strange is that they're purchasing it for $2 billion dollars. This doesn't feel like a logical business move on Microsoft's part. Most people who want to buy Minecraft already have, with the exception of children who are just getting old enough to want it.Unless they intend of course, to somehow release a Minecraft 2 at some point, and monopolize that.

    Anyway, I'm not believing anything that's based on rumors, especially when the rumors have come from out of nowhere. I've been with Minecraft since early Alpha, and I've followed the Mojang team through the whole journey. I can't imagine them selling out after all this. Although, I definitely would if I was them.
    Reply
  • alidan
    minecraft isnt a cult hit, here
    as of late june, it sold nearly 54 million copies across all platforms...
    if thats cult what the hell is the rest of gaming?
    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    54 million people equates to almost half of the size of the USA. That is quite a large following. But still I do not like the game myself due to the nature of how its programmed in java and redundancy of the game play.
    Reply
  • AEM
    54 million people equates to almost half of the size of the USA. That is quite a large following. But still I do not like the game myself due to the nature of how its programmed in java and redundancy of the game play.

    The population of the U.S. is roughly 310 million...

    Anyways, Notch mentioned before he doesn't support being bought out or interested in the money, so even if this was real, the deal will probably never happen.
    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    14147558 said:
    54 million people equates to almost half of the size of the USA. That is quite a large following. But still I do not like the game myself due to the nature of how its programmed in java and redundancy of the game play.

    The population of the U.S. is roughly 310 million...

    Anyways, Notch mentioned before he doesn't support being bought out or interested in the money, so even if this was real, the deal will probably never happen.

    woops x___x Should have said a sixth instead of a half. My mind keeps wandering off today. Sorry lol

    Reply
  • No way, Mojang is a bunch of independent devs. Microsoft never wold have bought them. The license for Minecraft is still a property of Notch and he have just given Mojang the right to exclusively develop it.
    Reply
  • minecraft isnt a cult hit, here
    as of late june, it sold nearly 54 million copies across all platforms...
    if thats cult what the hell is the rest of gaming?

    This number is nothing, many more (around 300 milllion I suppose?) downloaded the game ilegally.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    Most likely a false rumor.

    As mojang said themselves, even if they never sold another game, they still have enough money to last decades.
    Reply
  • derekullo
    I enjoy playing minecraft but with the cheap price of the game I would imagine the majority of the people that were going to buy it have bought it.

    I don't see how this could be a major asset microsoft would be able to make money off of, especially at $2 billion. $26.95 x 54 million copies = $1.4 billion
    Does not make much sense to pay 600M more than the gross profit the company claims it has made.

    Am I missing something?
    Reply