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Microsoft acquires Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 bn

MUMBAI: A week after it was reported that Microsoft was gearing up to acquire Swedish game company Mojang, the software giant has confirmed that it is acquiring the ‘Minecraft’ maker in a deal worth $2.5 billion.

Microsoft Corp announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang and the company’s iconic ‘Minecraft’ franchise.

The Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which includes the studios behind global franchises ‘Halo’, ‘Forza’, ‘Fable’ and more.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said, “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year. Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

Microsoft’s investments in cloud and mobile technologies will enable ‘Minecraft’ players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, powerful development tools and more opportunities to connect across the ‘Minecraft’ community.

The statement further mentioned that Microsoft expects the acquisition to break-even in FY15. Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in late 2014.

Mojang CEO Carl Manneh said, “The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft. As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future.”

Available across multiple platforms, ‘Minecraft’ is a popular video game, with over 100 million downloads on PC alone, by players since its launch in 2009. It is also one of the top PC games of all time, the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for iOS and Android in the US.

Microsoft plans to continue to make ‘Minecraft’ available across all the platforms on which it is available today including PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.

Xbox head Phil Spencer stated, “Minecraft is one of the most popular franchises of all time. 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.”