Microsoft acquires the makers of Minecraft
Microsoft announced today that it intends to acquire Mojang, the Swedish developer responsible for open world game Minecraft. Microsoft will pay $2.5 billion for the acquisition which, according to Forbes, is the most substantial technology merger the company has initiated since CEO Satya Nadella first assumed his post in February.
"Minecraft," according to the game's official website, "is a game about breaking and placing blocks. At first, people built structures to protect against nocturnal monsters, but as the game grew players worked together to create wonderful, imaginative things."
Since its release in 2009, Minecraft has won a legion of dedicated followers. According to this Xbox.com article, it's been downloaded over 100 million times, making it one of the most popular games ever. Phil Spencer assured gamers that Minecraft will be available on iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox and PC. Spencer also confirmed that next year's Minecraft convention, MineCon, will still be held in 2015.
As a result of Minecraft's unanticipated success, Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson appears to have become disillusioned, stating in a blog post on notch.net that he will leave Mojang as soon as the acquisition deal has been finalized. Persson cited the pressure of being responsible for something so large, and which so many people interact with on a daily basis, as the crux of his desire to part ways with Minecraft.
Though he seems eager to distance himself from the runaway hit and return to work on smaller projects, he did seek to reassure fans of the game that they will not be losing the open world game they've helped to create:
"In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it's belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change," he wrote.