Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang, the Stockholm-based game developer behind the Minecraft franchise. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion. The acquisition comes with a catch though; creators of the game that lets people use Lego-like blocks to create new digital worlds, Markus Persson and Jens Bergensten are not joining Microsoft, but say will be starting new projects.
The Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which includes the studios behind global blockbuster franchises Halo, Forza, and Fable, among others. “Microsoft’s investments in 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 Minecraft community” said the company in a statement.
Available across multiple platforms, Minecraft has been one of the most popular video games in history, with more than 100 million downloads on PC alone, since its launch in 2009. The Minecraft community has played more than two billion hours on Xbox 360 alone in the past two years. Nearly 90 percent of paid customers on the PC having signed in within the past 12 months.
Microsoft plans to continue to make Minecraft available across PC, iOS, Android, Xbox, and PlayStation.
Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in late 2014.
[Image courtesy: Mojang]