A report by the Wall Street Journal indicates that Microsoft is poised to purchase Mojang AB – the company behind the popular digital building game Minecraft – for a staggering $2 billion.
According to the WSJ, both Microsoft and Mojang’s CEO, Carl Manneh, refused to comment on the rumored deal. The small independent Swedish game development company was founded in 2009 by Markus Persson and introduced the world to an alpha version of Minecraft, eventually releasing it to the general public in 2011. Currently, versions of Minecraft are available on a wide range of platforms including mobile devices and consoles.
If true, this would be a big shift in thinking at Mojang as in the past they have steered away from venture capital funding and buyouts.
Mr. Persson said Mojang “does not exist to make as much money as possible for the owners.” Instead, he said, “Mojang exists because I got lucky with ‘Minecraft,’ and it got way bigger than I could handle on my own.”
“Every time a big money making deal comes up that would make a lot of money, it’s of course very tempting, but at the end of the day we choose to do what either makes the most sense for our products, or the things that seem like fun for us at Mojang,” he added.
Minecraft first came to consoles via the Xbox 360 with a 6 month exclusive before heading to the Playstation 3, indicating a somewhat favorable relationship between Mojang and Microsoft. Within the first 24 hours of being released for the Xbox 360, the game became profitable so it’s not a stretch to see why Microsoft would want to acquire such a hot property – especially given the fact it has sold over 54 million copies across all platforms since it first launched, a number that will only climb after it’s recent release on the Xbox One and PS4.
In this day and age, buyouts are all too common and the amount of money some companies are willing to pony up for those lucky enough to be potential targets seems to be exponentially increasing. It may only be a matter of time before Microsoft, or another company with deep pockets, can convince Mojang to accept a buyout of some sort.
Do you think Microsoft is on the verge of acquiring Mojang? If so, do you think this is a good move for Mojang? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!