It seems odd that Mojang, the studio created by Markus “Notch” Persson that refused funding from Napster founder Sean Parker (not to mention Notch himself turning down employment at Valve) would give in to a buyout, but that’s exactly what The Wall Street Journal is reporting. According to sources, Mojang is currently “in serious discussions” with Microsoft. It’s possible that Microsoft is chasing Mojang’s talent and future potential with new games, but let’s be serious for a second. They obviously want Minecraft. Who doesn’t want Minecraft?
The WSJ report states that “a person with knowledge of the matter” is the main source of the rumors, claiming that Microsoft might be willing to put down over $2 billion for the independent company. Unsurprising, both Microsoft and Mojang declined to comment, but if there really is a deal brewing, it won’t be long before we learn more.
It’s important to consider what a Mojang buyout would do for Microsoft, and when you look at the incredibly lucrative tendencies of the Minecraft brand, it’s not hard to imagine the dollar signs swirling gleefully atop Microsoft’s collective corneas. The title has sold over 54 million copies in its lifetime, with the best numbers appearing on consoles. As the company behind Xbox One and Xbox 360, it’s clear why the Windows-maker wants in.
Minecraft is pretty much everywhere, from PCs, tablets, and phones, to last and next-gen consoles. There’s a Vita version in the works, and from there the final unconquered lands are Nintendo handheld and console platforms. If Microsoft has anything to say about it though, that day may never arrive.