Microsoft Corp. confirmed Monday that it has agreed to purchase Mojang, the company behind the popular video game “Minecraft”, for $2.5 billion. The acquisition, which is due to close later this year, could help strengthen Microsoft’s Xbox and mobile businesses.
Minecraft, which allows users to construct digital worlds out of Lego-like blocks, attracts fans of all ages across the globe. The game has sold more than 50 million copies and generated more than $100 million in profits since its 2009 launch.
A statement from Mojang on Monday said the decision to join Microsoft came at the hands of Minecraft creator Markus Persson.
“Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance,” Mojang said. “Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never [Mr. Persson’s] intention for it to get this big. … He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance.”
For Microsoft, this will be the largest deal struck since Satya Nadella started as the company’s CEO in February. And Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets & Co, explained why it’s a good business move for the tech giant:
“Acquiring the Minecraft game through the Mojang acquisition gives Mr. Nadella & Co. the right product at the right time as the company continues to invest in its Xbox strategy and begins its foray into the intensely competitive mobile-phone space with Nokia now under Microsoft’s hood and the restructuring plan under way,” Ives said.