Last week the WSJ published rumours of a Minecraft buyout and it has today been confirmed that the reports were bang on the money. Microsoft has purchased Mojang, the Swedish indie developer responsible for Minecraft, for approximately US $2.5b.
In confirming the deal, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that it “adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms.” Spencer went on to confirm that existing versions of Minecraft, including those running on PlayStation hardware, will continue to be supported by Microsoft and Mojang.
Company founder and Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has elected to depart Mojang following the sale. Expressing disillusionment with his public profile, Persson noted that he was not a “CEO”, but rather a “nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”
According to Persson, the sale will again allow him to concentrate on smaller scale projects. “It’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s about my sanity.”