By Jeff Neuenschwander / September 15th, 2014
Last week, we reported that Mojang, the developers behind Minecraft, were in talks with Microsoft about a potential sale. Today, we can confirm that a sale has been confirmed as the two companies have reached an agreement. Microsoft will buy the Swedish developer for $2.5 billion USD.
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, wrote a letter to fans on the acquisition. Here’s a little bit of what he had to say:
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.
As for why Mojang approached Microsoft, it appears that the incredible success of Minecraft had affected creator and Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson. From Mojang’s post on the subject:
Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance. 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.
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.
The sale is still pending for any closing conditions as well as regulatory review. It is expected to close later this year. And while the amount is massive, Microsoft is expecting to break-even on the sale in fiscal year 2015.