MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that it is buying Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5bn.
Just as rumours had suggested, Microsoft today announced that it has acquired Mojang, although it has spent more than the speculated $2bn price.
Not all of the details have been announced yet, but Microsoft said that it will continue to make Minecraft available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and Playstation. It's unclear if any future Minecraft titles will be available only on Xbox.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement, "Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year.
"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."
Mojang has shed some more light on the buyout, revealing that the company's founders - Notch, Carl, and Jakob - will be leaving the firm.
"We don't know what they're planning," Mojang said in a blog post. "It won't be Minecraft related but it will probably be cool."
While Microsoft said that the Mojang team will be brought under Microsoft Studios, where other exclusive franchises such as Forza Motorsport, Halo and Fable reside, it seems some are still unsure about their future.
The blog post continues, "Though it's too early to confirm which of us will continue working on Minecraft or other projects, we predict that the vast majority (if not all) Mojangstas will continue to work at Mojang for the time being."
Mojang also shed some light as to why it has sold to Microsoft, saying former owner of the company Notch decided that he didn't want the responsibility of owning such a huge company.
"Over the past few years he's made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He'll continue to do cool stuff though. Don't worry about that.
"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.
"We're confident that Minecraft will continue to grow in an awesome way."
Notch added in his own post on Pastebin, "I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.
"I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.
"It's not about the money. It’s about my sanity."
Microsoft's acqusition of Mojang is expected to close later this year. µ
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