In a $2.5 billion deal announced today, Microsoft acquires Minecraft developer Mojang. The purchase had been rumored for the past week. Microsoft confirmed the transaction today, with Xbox division executives doing the happy dance for being able to earn money off every Minecraft sale, including sales of Minecraft on PS4.
Mojang, the Stockholm-based game developer, will join Microsoft Studios by the end of the year. The Mojang acquisition is expected to close in late 2014.
Microsoft plans to use its cloud and mobile technologies to enable Minecraft players to “benefit from richer and faster world … and [give them] more opportunities to connect across the Minecraft community.”
Microsoft plans to continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation. That revelation shouldn’t be surprising, as the licensing fees and revenue are the primary reason Microsoft acquires Minecraft developer Mojang.
Minecraft is one of the most popular video games in history, with more than 100 million downloads on PC since 2009. The game has since launched on multiple home consoles, including a Minecraft PS4 and Minecraft Xbox One Edition within the past few months.
Minecraft is the most popular online game on Xbox and the top paid app for both iOS and Android in the United States. That doesn’t mean the game’s become a mobile- or console-only experience. Nearly 90 percent of paid Minecraft PC customers have signed-in within the past 12 months.
Microsoft’s Xbox chief, Phil Spencer, said the company’s goal is to retain that community if not strengthen it further.
In a post on Xbox Wire, Spencer said “We’re excited to confirm that MINECON will continue next year. We’ll look to create even more ways for the vibrant community of YouTuber’s, innovators, bloggers and players to connect with each other — both in person and online. We will have much more to share in the coming months.”