Microsoft in talks to buy Minecraft maker Mojang for over $2 billion

Microsoft is in "serious discussions" to buy Mojang, the creator of the massively popular online game Minecraft, for more than $2 billion dollars.

The new report comes from the Wall Street Journal, who hinted that the deal could potentially come later this week. Mojang has long prided itself on being an "indie" company and keeping its in-house development team fairly small, so selling to Microsoft would be the largest development for the company thus far. Mojang currently employs 22 staffers, but less than half are developers and artists for Mojang's games.

Minecraft earned over $100 million in profits last year, and has sold more than 50 million copies to date since it was first made purchasable in 2009. Expanding from its PC roots, Minecraft is now available on every major platform including the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, as well as smartphones.

In addition to Minecraft, Mojang also develops Scrolls, a collectible card and strategy game similar to Blizzard's Hearthstone. The company is also expected to publish Cobalt, a sidescroller currently being developed by Oxeye Game Studio.

While specific details are unmentioned, the deal could give Microsoft further access to distribution and promotion of Minecraft games on its console systems, as well as a major say in the continued development of the game. 

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson has been no stranger to turning down potential business in the past, famously cancelling an Oculus Rift port of the game in March when it was revealed that Facebook had purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion. Considering how outspoken Notch has been about his displeasure for Windows in the past, when he told Microsoft to stop "trying to ruin the PC as an open platform," this deal is an interesting divergence from his previous beliefs.

Still, the talks are reported to be in the late stages, so Mojang may become a part of the already massive Microsoft empire very soon.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Source: WSJ | Image via Microsoft

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