Microsoft confirms US$2.5bn Mojang purchase

15 Sep 2014

Microsoft has confirmed it has now agreed to a deal to buy Mojang, the maker of Minecraft, for US$2.5bn with founder Markus Persson leaving the company.

Detailing the purchase on their website, Mojang will now be integrated into Microsoft Studios which they promise will bring significant technical improvements to the incredibly popular sandbox creation game and the deal is expected to go through before the end of this year.

The game which has proven popular across all platforms and with children and adults alike made over US$100m alone last year with the Swedish company employing 40 staff, the majority of which are expected to move over to Microsoft Studios in the US.

Also confirming the deal online, Mojang themselves posted on their blog to speak about the deal while allaying fears that the game will drastically change under the leadership of Microsoft by saying “everything is going to be OK.”

Persson has stated that his decision to sell the company came as a result of him feeling daunted by the scale to which Minecraft developed as a franchise and wants to step back away from a CEO position to focus more on game development.

Few options for buyers

Speculation of the deal had been mounting last week with all details bar the final price seemingly confirmed from this with many people questioning how Persson would operate under Microsoft who he had previously been critical about regarding their mobile operating system, Windows Phone.

Seemingly however, Mojang believed Microsoft were one of the few companies who would have the financial clout to buy the game developers: “There are only a handful of potential buyers with the resources to grow Minecraft on a scale that it deserves. We’ve worked closely with Microsoft since 2012, and have been impressed by their continued dedication to our game and its development.”

There has been criticism from a number of fans of the series who, according to the BBC, have taken to online forums to question whether the relatively open-source policy Mojang operated under with regard to the game will continue under Microsoft and the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer.

One fan said: “Not only will it cost more money to play the game it will cost people their jobs too. Many people play Minecraft and upload it to YouTube as their career, but if Microsoft takes over there will for sure be copyright issues.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic