Microsoft has agreed a $2.5 billion (£1.5 billion) deal to acquire Mojang, the game developer behind the popular Minecraft franchise. The acquisition is expected to be completed late this year.
The Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios, which is behind the Halo, Forza and Fable franchises. However, company founder Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson is leaving the business.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year. 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.”
Minecraft launched in 2009 and has been downloaded more than 100 million times on PC alone, making it one of the most popular video games ever.