The rumours have proved true – Microsoft has bought out Minecraft developer Mojang for a cool $2.5 billion.
However, the game won’t become a Microsoft exclusive, and will continue to be available for other platforms.
“Our relationship with Mojang began when we initially talked to the team about bringing Minecraft to the console,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer said. “Minecraft quickly became the top online game on Xbox Live, with over two billion hours played on Xbox 360 in the last two years. That working relationship set the ground work for other opportunities. We’ve long seen the incredible potential of Minecraft.
“At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
Mojang’s Owen Hill posted his own message on the company’s website.
“It was reassuring to see how many of your opinions mirrored those of the Mojangstas when we heard the news,” he said. “Change is scary, and this is a big change for all of us. It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK.
“We can only share so much information right now, but we’ve decided that being as honest as possible is the best approach. We’re still working a lot of this stuff out. Mega-deals are serious business.”
He went on to explain that selling the company was taking a big weight off the shoulders of Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft.
“Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance,” Hill said. “Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big.
“As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. 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.”
Indeed, Notch will be leaving Mojang along with co-founders Jakob Porsér and Carl Manneh. “We don’t know what they’re planning,” said Hill. “It won’t be Minecraft-related but it will probably be cool.”