Microsoft to Buy Mojang, Maker of Minecraft, Reports Say
Microsoft is reportedly getting ready to snap up Mojang, maker of Minecraft, the addictive video game that has attracted a strong following.What Minecraft lacks in finesse, it more than makes up in popularity. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is in advanced talks to acquire privately held Mojang, the Swedish maker of the multiplatform game, for more than $2 billion drawn from the company's overseas war chest Eschewing cutting-edge graphics for a blocky, somewhat retro look, Minecraft is largely known for a Lego-like gaming experience that has emerged as an outlet for the creative and inventive impulses of millions of users. According the official Minecraft statistics page, more than 16.6 million people bought the game for PCs and Macs. More than 8,000 copies were sold in the past 24 hours. Minecraft is also available on Microsoft's Xbox (360 and Xbox One) and in a "Pocket Edition" for Apple iOS and Android devices. Even Sony's rival PlayStation gaming platform is home to a version of the game. In total, Mojang has sold more than 50 million copies of Minecraft since its release in 2009. Last year, the company generated more than $100 million from the game and related merchandise. For Markus Persson (a.k.a. Notch), creator of Minecraft and co-founder of Mojang, the deal would mark a reversal of the company's ethos. "Mr. Persson has regularly thumbed his nose at large corporations with snarky tweets and blog posts," according to The Journal's Sept. 9 report. After Facebook snapped up Oculus VR in March—also for $2 billion—Persson canceled a version of Minecraft that was being developed for the virtual reality headset in protest.