Microsoft has announced that it will buy Minecraft creator Mojang, as predicted by rumors swirling around last week. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, and will cost Microsoft $2.5 billion.
In a blog post, Xbox head Phil Spencer wrote that the iconic video game would diversify Microsoft’s portfolio and help bridge the distance between 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 founder Markus Persson has been vocal about his disdain for big firms, so it should come as no surprise that he will be moving on from Minecraft, as reported by Mojang. He allegedly felt overwhelmed by the game’s success:
“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.”
In a farewell note on his own blog, Persson explained that he never wanted to be thrust into the spotlight: “I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”
Microsoft has also confirmed that the popular Minecraft convention MINECON will be held next year as planned, and that the company hopes to “create even more ways for the vibrant community of YouTubers, innovators, bloggers and players to connect with each other.”