Report: Microsoft to Buy Minecraft Dev Mojang for $2.5 Billion - Update 3

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Report: Microsoft to Buy Minecraft Dev Mojang for $2.5 Billion - Update 3

Latest report values the Minecraft developer acquisition at $2.5 billion.

Update 3: An update from Microsoft's "Head of Xbox" Phil Spencer confirms that, although there are no details in his remarks about the purchase price. He did say that there would be another MineCon next year.

The accompanying video on the Xbox site has Spencer waxing poetic about why Microsoft was willing to pay a reported $2.5 billion for Mojang and Minecraft.

In addition, Mojang founders Marcus "Notch" Persson, Carl Manneh, and Jakob Porser, will be leaving the company.

Update 2: Reuters is reporting that the Microsoft-Mojang deal will be announced on Monday. The source says the deal for the Minecraft developer is worth $2.5 billion, a $500 million increase over the figure originally reported.

The report says that Windows Phone is the driving force behind the acquisition, with Microsoft wanting the mobile version of Minecraft to be its killer app.

Update: Bloomberg has added to its own Mojang-Microsoft report, citing three unnamed sources who echo what is in the original WSJ report. Along with confirming the $2 billion-ish price tag, Bloomberg says the Mojang acquisition discussions started after Notch and his team had "a positive working relationship on Minecraft for Xbox."

After completing the project (Minecraft: Xbox One Edition, based on the timetable), Microsoft and Mojang worked out a basic outline for a deal, with details still being worked out.

Bloomberg's sources also say that Notch would help during the transition period (if the deal is finalized), but he would exit the company after that period is complete, presumably leaving him to pursue other projects and interests.

We've yet to see any tweets from the typically-active Notch on the matter, although someone did dig up a tweet from 2012 which fits in with this saga quite nicely (h/t Melissa)

We'll be sure to update again if any new news arises. We have still not received an official response from Mojang, while Microsoft sent a "no comment" our way.

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition 3x3

Original Story: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that an acquisition deal between Microsoft and Mojang is close to completion. The deal, according to the Journal's sources, would value the Minecraft developer at roughly $2 billion.

Microsoft and Mojang declined to comment on the matter to the Journal. We will update this post as soon as more information becomes available.

Mojang, led by Markus "Notch" Persson, has sold 50 million-plus copies of Minecraft worldwide, on platforms including the PC, Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation, and Xbox. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition was released just last week, as was a version for the PlayStation 4.

While Minecraft has been an overwhelming success, it's also Mojang's only major game release. The studio's next big release, Scrolls, is still in development.

We have reached out to both Mojang and Microsoft about the report. Mum's the word from Mojang so far, while a Microsoft rep sent a "We do not comment on rumors or speculation," response our way. Notch is seemingly too busy playing with Rubix Cubes to comment

Developing...

Source: WSJ

Permalink

I hope this isn't true. I am holding out hope that the Wii U will get Minecraft.

Damn, that's a lot of scratch. Wasn't he a nameless broke (poor) nobody just, like, 10 years ago?

That has to be an error somehow...
Microsoft made an effort to shut down everything games-related inhouse.
And why should Mojang DECIDE to be bought, anyway? They have enough money...

edit: Oh what wonderful times they were when News tried to get two independent sources to confirm a story.
The Escapist is only reporting on the report, but the Wall Street Journal has only one guy...

Hey remember when we needed more than a rumor to write news, like when Google bought twitch and everyone reported on that.

You know, considering the amount of work put on Minecraft by Mojang after its initial popularity boom (barely) I say that it may actually turn out allright, at least they will be working on something instead of twirling their fingers.

*Sniff*

Thar be a shitstorm brewing...

No.

No, no, no, no, No, No, No, NO NO NO NO NO!

FUCK. Well, I hope that we all enjoyed the time that Minecraft has spent on Playstation and PC, because you can kiss a sequel goodbye unless you're on an Xbox.

WeepingAngels:
I hope this isn't true. I am holding out hope that the Wii U will get Minecraft.

Agreed.

OT: I really hope it isn't true. I have nothing against Microsoft (mostly), but Mojang has NOTHING to gain in terms of what they can do by going along with this deal. They already have enough money to buy a country and then some. This acquisition would make sense if Mojang was struggling or required certain resources that Microsoft could offer. But Mojang is in a perfect spot to never need that kind of support. Hell, they turned away from Steam and Valve and were still amazingly successful on the PC market.

Hiramas:
That has to be an error somehow...
Microsoft made an effort to shut down everything games-related inhouse.
And why should Mojang DECIDE to be bought, anyway? They have enough money...

edit: Oh what wonderful times they were when News tried to get two independent sources to confirm a story.
The Escapist is only reporting on the report, but the Wall Street Journal has only one guy...

There IS a big difference between an internet source (where finding a second one would be smart) and the one of the largest and most respected publications in this planet's history. The Wall Street Journal isn't exactly Kotaku.

SilverUchiha:

WeepingAngels:
I hope this isn't true. I am holding out hope that the Wii U will get Minecraft.

Agreed.

OT: I really hope it isn't true. I have nothing against Microsoft (mostly), but Mojang has NOTHING to gain in terms of what they can do by going along with this deal. They already have enough money to buy a country and then some. This acquisition would make sense if Mojang was struggling or required certain resources that Microsoft could offer. But Mojang is in a perfect spot to never need that kind of support. Hell, they turned away from Steam and Valve and were still amazingly successful on the PC market.

Agreed.

Mojang is up to their ears in dosh.

If they're selling out to Microsoft, its because they're done - as in, done making games. With a 2bill$ pricetag every member of the studio will be minted.

Two s

LarsInCharge:

There IS a big difference between an internet source (where finding a second one would be smart) and the one of the largest and most respected publications in this planet's history. The Wall Street Journal isn't exactly Kotaku.

Well, i said that The Escapist is only reporting on the WSJ Report.
And they only have one source, but I guess they make sure it is true.
Never the less, confirming a source is a big part of journalistic work, but today's News outlets are not much better than commenters yelling "first!"

Oh come on Devin. Im sure that sourcing something that most of us might not actually be able to read (it requires a paid subcription, no less) doesnt count as valid.

Invalid as of the update.

LarsInCharge:

Hiramas:
That has to be an error somehow...
Microsoft made an effort to shut down everything games-related inhouse.
And why should Mojang DECIDE to be bought, anyway? They have enough money...

edit: Oh what wonderful times they were when News tried to get two independent sources to confirm a story.
The Escapist is only reporting on the report, but the Wall Street Journal has only one guy...

There IS a big difference between an internet source (where finding a second one would be smart) and the one of the largest and most respected publications in this planet's history. The Wall Street Journal isn't exactly Kotaku.

Its still doesnt mean theyre entirely above clickbaiting. Whether or not its true or whether it actually happens, this issue is going to attract alot of people who love Mojang and/or love/hate Microsoft.

And mentioned above, the sourced report is behind a paywall.

This sounds like lies. Notch constantly says he likes being his own boss and also likes to make video games. Selling out to Microsoft would be the opposite of what the guy likes. I can smell the bullshit through my computer screen.

For shits and giggles, let's assume the report is true and try to jot down some believable reasons as to why this is happening:

-Internal conflicts at Mojang could cause them to want to sell and disband, but that would be silly.

-Notch and the rest of Mojang are young (mid-30's?), so retiring would also be incredibly silly.

-Extremely ridiculous plans for Minecraft that require more funds than the absurd amounts of cash that Mojang already has.

-Notch is held hostage in the basement of Bill Gates' house, and this deal will be the only thing that can save him. This is probably the most realistic reason out of the bunch.

this seems to me to very a very weird story.

last i heard MS acquisition war chest was supposedly pretty much empty...and while Minecraft is ofc huge...where does Mojang go after Minecraft...nowhere id guess...

Notch will walk away ofc...imo that's a near certainty.

oh wait...Mincraft is multiplatform...so this is basically the Tomb Raider exclusivity thing again...except permanent...

oh dear...oh dear...

my brother and his kids are not going to be happy if this does what i think it might...

Soviet Heavy:
FUCK. Well, I hope that we all enjoyed the time that Minecraft has spent on Playstation and PC, because you can kiss a sequel goodbye unless you're on an Xbox.

There have never been any plans, or reason, for a sequel to Minecraft, because Minecraft is in infinite-development. Anything that a less-reputable studio (read: literally every AAA company in the world) would lock behind the purchase of a sequel, Mojang would just patch into the original game for free, just like they've been doing since the beginning.

Devin Connors:
...with a PS4 version due in the near future.

Mate, it came out on PS4 last Wednesday (Thursday in NA)

Hahaha. This is hilarious if it's actually true. Two billion dollars for a company that has made one game and acted as publisher for another. Microsoft must be really desperate to keep the Xbone going if they're prepared to splosh that kind of cash just to get their hands on the IP.

If this goes through, Mojang will be the new Rare. Notch, Jens etc will all take off into the sunset with their developer cred and wads of cash, Microsoft will slap the Mojang name onto whatever crap they feel needs more advertising, and they'll make Minecraft an XBone + PC exclusive and milk it dry.

Imagine the shitstorm brewing in the Minecraft community though. Notch will be derided as an absolute hypocrite for pulling support for Occulus Rift but giving in to Microsoft, and talk will begin about which clone to jump ship to.

Steve the Pocket:

Soviet Heavy:
FUCK. Well, I hope that we all enjoyed the time that Minecraft has spent on Playstation and PC, because you can kiss a sequel goodbye unless you're on an Xbox.

There have never been any plans, or reason, for a sequel to Minecraft, because Minecraft is in infinite-development. Anything that a less-reputable studio (read: literally every AAA company in the world) would lock behind the purchase of a sequel, Mojang would just patch into the original game for free, just like they've been doing since the beginning.

Well, there is room for a sequel. Let's be honest here.
If this hypothetical Minecraft 2 did to Minecraft, what Starbound did to Terraria...I think I'd never leave my house ever again. :D

I know what, I think this would actually be a good thing.

Just what exactly has Notch actually done for Minecraft? Sure he created the actual core game, but the overwhelming majority of the content for the game comes from mods. Notch's actual additions to the game over the years have been very minimalistic and some even accused Notch of being lazy. If MS gets the licence, then perhaps they will actually do something with it.

Megacherv:

Devin Connors:
...with a PS4 version due in the near future.

Mate, it came out on PS4 last Wednesday (Thursday in NA)

Ha ha ha, this is the second time now that someone from the Escapist has cited something as being "coming soon" that already came out. And this time they literally cite another Escapist article that explicitly gives the date. How do you even fail that hard at journalism? People at the Daily Mail would be laughing at this.

hakkarin:
I know what, I think this would actually be a good thing.

Just what exactly has Notch actually done for Minecraft? Sure he created the actual core game, but the overwhelming majority of the content for the game comes from mods. Notch's actual additions to the game over the years have been very minimalistic and some even accused Notch of being lazy. If MS gets the licence, then perhaps they will actually do something with it.

Yeah, like stop the free updates and make everything from here on be paid DLC.

Steve the Pocket:

Megacherv:

Devin Connors:
...with a PS4 version due in the near future.

Mate, it came out on PS4 last Wednesday (Thursday in NA)

Ha ha ha, this is the second time now that someone from the Escapist has cited something as being "coming soon" that already came out. And this time they literally cite another Escapist article that explicitly gives the date. How do you even fail that hard at journalism? People at the Daily Mail would be laughing at this.

hakkarin:
I know what, I think this would actually be a good thing.

Just what exactly has Notch actually done for Minecraft? Sure he created the actual core game, but the overwhelming majority of the content for the game comes from mods. Notch's actual additions to the game over the years have been very minimalistic and some even accused Notch of being lazy. If MS gets the licence, then perhaps they will actually do something with it.

Yeah, like stop the free updates and make everything from here on be paid DLC.

Because those free updates came so often and had so much stuff in them right? Like I said, 90% of minecraft is the mods.

Normally I would agree that MS comming and taking a game so that it can be filled with DLC would be a bad thing, but considering how little Notch actually does with Minecraft I think it would actually be an improvement.

There have actually been quite a few updates to minecraft since it first went on sale. I'm probably forgetting a lot of them so maybe someone can help me out.

- Pistons
- Redstone
- New enemies
- New animals
- New plants
- New biomes
- towns and other structures
- minecarts, tracks etc
- The nether
- Survival multiplayer
- Hunger
- fish
- Enchanting
- Achievements
- Beds
- Dispensers
- Note blocks
- Maps

I feel like I got my 10 dollars worth anyways. It's kind of surprising to get updates at all considering I bought it a few years ago for 10$. I think the devs mostly keep themselves busy porting the game to every non-nintendo product out there.

The 2B valuation seems high, but I guess Occulus went for that and they have yet to release consumer hardware. Hell Skype went for 2.5B and that was made in an apartment in Estonia so what do I know?

i dont like the thought but i also think its unlikely

id be a stupid idea anyways, minecraft is avaliable for playstation platforms and PC, it would give MS no tactical advantage, plus 2 billion isnt just anything, and the xbox division is already losing tons of money

*throws gamepad* GOD. FUCKING. DAMN IT.

Please be false. I still have hope that Minecraft would be brought to my Wii U, since the gamepad would be perfect for that kind of game.

Also, assuming this report would be true, how would this work out for the PS3 and PS4 versions of the game? I don't see Microsoft allowing a game it owns to be sold on their biggest competitors system.

Please don't be true.

Devin Connors:

While Minecraft has been an overwhelming success, it's also Mojang's only major game release. The studio's next big release, Scrolls, is still in development.

Well they certainly aren't buying it for Scrolls. That game is dead-on-arrival, assuming it ever does get officially released. Had 15 minutes of beta fame and has since struggled to even maintain a community of a few hundred. Hearthstone has well and truly killed any hope that game had of flourishing.

Ownership of the minecraft licence is a pretty powerful thing. I mean, aside from the game, there's millions of dollars of merchandising attached to it as well.

This would probably also see the end of amateur youtube content since Notch's allowance of monetisation would cease to be a thing and we all know how MS likes to handle it (See Halo)

And we thought Bayonetta 2 being a Wii U exclusive was bad. If this is true there would be a meltdown of monumental proportions. Seriously, we would have to make an actual monument to commemorate such an event.

If this is true, this would just be MS trying to find a way to beef up their first party arsenal; the thing that has always bugged me about MS (and to a lesser extent Sony) is how they've never tried to properly expand their first party repertoire. They have Halo and Fable, but then you look at how badly they managed Rare and how few exclusives they have. Seriously, were they so busy throwing out wads of money to 3rd parties that they forgot to keep a little to themselves? Seriously guys, you eventually have to build up your own studios in order to have a selling point for your console and just a handful of titles isn't going to cut it. Consoles can't just be 3rd party machines.

This seems pretty iffy to me. I don't really see why Mojang would need to be bought out, because the revenue generated from the sales of Minecraft on one platform alone is probably enough to make sure that Mojang is set for life.

LarsInCharge:

Hiramas:
That has to be an error somehow...
Microsoft made an effort to shut down everything games-related inhouse.
And why should Mojang DECIDE to be bought, anyway? They have enough money...

edit: Oh what wonderful times they were when News tried to get two independent sources to confirm a story.
The Escapist is only reporting on the report, but the Wall Street Journal has only one guy...

There IS a big difference between an internet source (where finding a second one would be smart) and the one of the largest and most respected publications in this planet's history. The Wall Street Journal isn't exactly Kotaku.

And yet the WSJ only has one source, the internet killed journalism a while ago, most people haven't noticed because the body is still sitting upright and smiling.

Mojang not commenting is suspicious though, normally you could expect them to dismiss it out of hand.

Is Minecraft really worth 2 billion? Jesus Christ Microsoft, you could have made 100 first party games with all that money.

I don't know why Notch is still so synonymous with Minecraft. It's not like he works on it anymore, and in fact the game he created has been basically re-programmed from the ground up. So, if this rumor is true, Microsoft is probably more interested in the current Minecraft developers than they are with Notch.

I hope this happens solely to see the illogical and irrational hatred over it.

Minecraft sucks, so no idea why MS is buying them. What, is there a Minecraft 2 on the horizon? I know people moan, but MS is a company and they buy and invest in other companies. Google has bought loads of companies and no one bats an eyelid - so would there be hate if Google bought out Minecraft? Its old, dont know why people are moaning, games on new and old gen and PC. So even though i dont care about Minecraft, i do wonder if they have another game up their sleeve. MS arent going to buy a company when their main game is already on the Sony console.

Billion? as in with a B?!?!?! Holy Fluq!

Dear Notch, You have our blessing to sell out. Please go for it.

I don't think they sell out.
After all, Notch was kinda iffy for the whole "Oculus Rift into FB Hands" thing for the same amount.
And well, by now we live in a time, where one can see what happens, to bought up Studios.

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