Microsoft on Monday announced it has acquired Minecraft developer studio Mojang for a whopping £1.5 billion ($2.5 billion).
“At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise” the software giant announced.
The popular Minecraft game, which lets players build structures using individual blocks, has sold over 50 million copies across all hardware platforms including Microsoft’s Windows and Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3, Apple’s Mac and mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android since its 2009 release.
It was the second best-selling game in terms of physical retail copies sold in July for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, just behind Sony’s “The Last of Us.”
The popular block-building game earned Mojang over $100 million in profits last year as the game and subsequent merchandise proved to be quite popular with youngsters.
Announcing the deal Mojang spokesman Owen Hill in statement said founder Markus “Notch” Persson felt the company was becoming too big for him to handle alone, so the only option left with him was to sell Mojang. Furthermore he said Notch was impressed with Microsoft’s continued dedication to game and its development.
Hill confirmed that that Notch along with Mojang’s other two founders will be leaving the company, although he didn’t say as exactly when their departure would take place, while, the rest of the Mojang team would continue to work at the company for the time being.
He added that Mojang’s focus, post acquisition, will be to re-create Minecraft with new content and features. Minecraft will continue to support PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android platforms, Hill said.
Microsoft also assured that it would “continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC” and that Minecon, the annual Minecraft-themed convention, would continue to take place next year.