Microsoft has announced it is to purchase Minecraft developer Mojang in a $2.5bn deal in a statement of intent by the firms new CEO, Satya Nadella.
The move will see Mojang developers join Microsoft Studios, well-known for its Halo, Forza and Fable franchises, with Microsoft expecting to turn a profit on the venture at some point next year.
Each of Mojang’s founders will move on to separate projects however with its CEO Carl Manneh writing directly to the games fans to say: “The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft.’ As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future.”
Nadella said: “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Nadella. “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.”
Mojang is the largest takeover that the technology firm has embarked upon since taking over Nokia’s devices business in a $7.2bn deal.