Report: Microsoft trying to buy Mojang; Notch “unlikely” to stay

The Wall Street Journal has recently reported that Microsoft is in “serious discussions” to purchase Swedish developer Mojang, best known for its sandbox phenomenon – Minecraft. According to “a person with knowledge of the matter”, MS is prepared to pay a whooping $2 billion for the studio, and said deal “could be signed as early as this week”. Further reports coming from Bloomberg say that Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson will in all likelihood step aside from the company once the sale goes through. Moreover, Bloomberg’s source says that MS’ deal was first discussed a few months ago, with Persson reaching out to them following their positive history working on the Xbox versions of Minecraft.

“The two companies quickly agreed on a framework and approximate price and have been working out the details since”, the Bloomberg report states. “Persson will help out with the transition, though he is unlikely to remain beyond that”. Persson leaving Mojang after the supposed deal goes down wouldn’t come as a surprise, as “Notch” wrote the following in a blog-post of his: “Mojang does not exist to make as much money as possible for the owners. As the majority shareholder, I’d know. Every time a big money making deal comes up that would make a lot of money, it’s of course very tempting, but at the end of the day we choose to do what either makes the most sense for our products, or the things that seem like fun for us at Mojang.”

Minecraft is a sandbox indie game originally created by Swedish programmer Markus “Notch” Persson, and later developed and published by Mojang. It was publicly released for the PC on May 17th, 2009 – as a developmental alpha version – and, after gradual updates, was published as a full release version on November 18th, 2011. A version for Android was released a month earlier on October 7th, and an iOS version was released on November 17th, 2011. On May 9th, 2012, the game was released on Xbox 360 as an Xbox Live Arcade game, as well as on the PlayStation 3 on December 17th, 2013. The game was released on the PlayStation 4 on September 4th, 2014, and one day later on Xbox One. All of the console editions are being co-developed by 4J Studios.