Microsoft Buys Minecraft Maker For $2.5 Billion

xboxminecraftIt’s official — Microsoft has decided it wants to play a lot of Minecraft, and it’s willing to pay $2.5 billion for the right to do so. The company announced today that it reached a deal to purchase Swedish Minecraft developer Mojang.

Microsoft believes the deal will be completed by the end of the calendar year, putting Mojang and its 100 million or so downloads of Minecraft — and all the users that come with those downloads — under its umbrella.

The game was already one of the most popular computer and mobile games ever when a console version of Minecraft finally launched on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in 2012. Since then, Microsoft claims that players have spent a total of 2 billion hours on the game just on that console alone.

The game has subsequently been made available on the Xbox One as well as both the PlayStation 3 and 4 from Sony.

Some games owned by Microsoft, most notably the Halo series, are held back from competing platforms, but in spite of the Microsoft acquisition, the company says Minecraft will continue to be made available on all its current platforms.

One of the most important aspects of the Mojang acquisition is the loyalty of Minecraft users. Microsoft says that around 90% of paying Minecraft players on the PC have played the game within the past 12 months.

“‘Minecraft’ is one of the most popular franchises of all time,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “We are going to maintain ‘Minecraft’ and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future.”

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