Mojang, the company behind the wildly popular block-building adventure game Minecraft, could get scooped up by Microsoft for $2 billion.
Minecraft is an open-ended adventure and construction game. Players break and build blocks to create worlds, collect supplies, battle monsters — and mine, of course. (Video via Mojang)
According to a report by The New York Times, Microsoft is in "advanced talks" to acquire Mojang. The company is reportedly looking to buy the company to ensure Minecraft is available for all its devices.
"Minecraft is not currently available on Windows Phone. [It] has also not been adapted to take advantage of the graphical interface of Microsoft’s latest operating system for computers and tablets, Windows 8. The game is not available for purchase in the Windows Store, Microsoft’s online app store."
For those familiar with Mojang and Minecraft, this news could come as a surprise. The Wall Street Journal points out the company's co-founder Markus Persson has been skeptical of outside investment. He's even shot down the idea of an acquisition in the past.
The Journal quotes him as saying, "every time a big money-making deal comes up that would make a lot of money, it's of course very tempting. But at the end of the day we choose to do what either makes the most sense for our products or the things that seem like fun for us at Mojang."
So I guess getting acquired by Microsoft seems like fun. On the other hand, it's certainly fun for Microsoft and its new CEO Satya Nadella.
Bloomberg reports the game sold a whopping 54 million copies as of June, and in July it ranked in at number two for the best-selling game on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.
If Microsoft is able to bring the popular game to its myriad of devices, it could give the company's products a much-needed sales boost. Microsoft's Windows Phone pales in comparison to the popularity of Android and iOS devices.
As multiple outlets have pointed out, Nadella looked to be pulling focus from its Xbox 360 console. But a move like this one could show consumers and analysts just how important gaming and entertainment are to the company.
The Times says Markus Persson could leave Mojang sometime after its acquisition by Microsoft. Still, despite talks being labeled advanced, the deal could fall through.
This video includes images from Mike Cooke / CC BY NC 2.0, Kenming Wang / CC BY SA 2.0, Victor Engmark / CC BY NC SA 2.0, and Getty Images.