Microsoft Corporation Purchases Video Game, Minecraft for $2.5bn
“Microsoft has bought Mojang, the Swedish firm behind the popular video game Minecraft, for $2.5bn (£1.5bn).
The title, which has sold over 54 million copies, allows players to build structures with retro Lego-style blocks, as well as explore a large map and battle others.
The deal was announced by Xbox chief Phil Spencer.
Mojang, whose three founders will leave the company, assured fans that “everything is going to be OK”.
Some analysts have speculated the deal is designed to attract more users to Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices.
The acquisition comes a year after Microsoft bought the Finnish mobile phone firm Nokia.
Minecraft is one of the top-selling apps on both Apple’s iOS store and and Android’s Google Play, and has recently been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, further boosting sales.
Last month, it was the third most popular console game, according to market research firm NPD Group, despite being on sale for a while.
The game’s developer, Mojang, which was founded in 2009, brought in over $100m in profit last year, and employs about 40 people.
Microsoft said the Mojang team would join its game studio, which is responsible for titles such as Halo, Forza and Fable.
The tech giant’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said: “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”“