Microsoft buys Minecraft creator Mojang for $2.5bn

By Matt Martin, Monday, 15 September 2014 14:15 GMT

Microsoft has confirmed it is buying Mojang, creator of Minecraft.

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“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.”

Despite Mojang becoming a Microsoft studio, it has said it will continue to support Minecraft on formats such a PlayStation and Android.

However, the co-founders of Mojang – including Markus ‘Notch’ Persson – will be leaving the company.

Over on the Mojang website, the company explained some of the reasons behind the decision.

“As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance.

“Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that.”

On support for Minecraft on non-Microsoft formats, Mojang added: “There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future.”

Here’s the word straight from Microsoft:

“Available across multiple platforms, Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in history, with more than 100 million downloads, on PC alone, by players since its launch in 2009. Minecraft is one of the top PC games of all time, the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for iOS and Android in the US.

The Minecraft community is among the most active and passionate in the industry, with more than 2 billion hours played on Xbox 360 alone in the past two years. Minecraft fans are loyal, with nearly 90 percent of paid customers on the PC having signed in within the past 12 months.

“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “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,” said Carl Manneh, CEO, Mojang. “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.”

Microsoft plans to continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.

“Minecraft is one of the most popular franchises of all time,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “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.”

Microsoft’s Phil Spencer discussed the deal in the video below:

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