Microsoft Corp. is said to be close to purchasing Mojang AB, the Swedish company behind the popular “Minecraft” video-game, for around $2 Billion.
Minecraft which has a legion of young fans could reinvigorate Microsoft’s 13-year-old Xbox video-game business. Since its release in 2009, over 50 million copies of “Minecraft” are sold and it earned more than $100 million in profit last year. The game is already available on Xbox, as well as on Sony Corp.’s PlayStation, PCs and smartphones.
The video-game by Majong has become a sensation with its open-ended possibilities that let the players to build anything in a Lego-style world filled with dangers like zombies and giant creatures. The game has also spread its roots into the physical world, with toys sourced from in-game creatures.
Its sale was saw as a surprising turn, as Markus Persson, Minecraft’s founder, has been hailed by some in the gaming community for his criticisms of Microsoft Operating system Windows 8.x.
The deal would bring a popular title into the company’s software domain. Microsoft already has Its Xbox line of games, Xbox on Windows Phone and games sold through its several applications stores.
Before Microsoft another giant Facebook Inc. also acquired gaming company, and recently spent $2 billion on Oculus, a virtual reality gaming headset.
It is the first multibillion-dollar acquisition by Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, since he was named to the top job in February. He has signaled that Xbox isn’t a core business for Microsoft but views video-games as a way to expand the company’s footholds in PCs and mobile phones.