Microsoft has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Swedish game developer Mojang, along with the company's lucrative Minecraft franchise, for $2.5 billion.
As part of the deal the Mojang team will join forces with Microsoft Studios in order to make Minecraft a richer, more streamlined experience, using cloud and mobile technology.
Minecraft's creator Markus 'Notch' Persson is leaving the company, however.
Microsoft has explained that it expects its $2.5 billion acqusition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis.
A worldwide community
With the acqusition of Minecraft, Microsoft is looking to ensure that the game's global community are given more opportunities to connect and share: a vision that means the firm won't be turning Notch's baby into an Xbox exclusive.
Indeed, Microsoft has confimed that it will ensure Minecraft remains a multiplatform title by continuing to support the game on PC, Mobile, Xbox, and PlayStation hardware.
“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
“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.”
Mojang CEO Carl Manneh has also attempted to calm fans worried by the change, explaining that the move is simply one more chapter of an 'incredible story'.
“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,” said Manneh.
“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.”