According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is close to a deal that would see them buying Mojang AB for more than $2 billion.
Mojang AB is a Swedish Indie game developer founded by Markus Persson; they are the makers of the immensely popular Minecraft video game. Minecraft is an open world game where players have the freedom to build nearly anything they can imagine while avoiding dangers. There are large communities that rebuild fictional worlds, such as WesterosCraft – a community that is building the entire Seven Kingdoms from Game of Thrones.
This is very surprising twist for the company as Notch (Markus) is a favorite in the indie gaming community, and one who has largely avoided outside influences such as venture capital. He even canceled Minecraft for the Oculus Rift after the company was bought by Facebook – which makes this potential deal even more surprising.
While there was potential friction early on with Microsoft, as Notch stated that Windows 8 could be very bad for indie gaming, Minecraft has arrived on the Xbox One and continues to be loved by its fans on Windows.
It is easy to see the appeal of this deal to Microsoft. Minecraft has sold more than 50 million copies since its launch in 2009, providing Mojang AB with $100 million in profits for 2013. Minecraft is an immensely popular and engaging franchise, and it could soon belong to Microsoft.
Image Credit – WesterosCraftFurther reading: Microsoft, Minecraft