Microsoft Corp. is in advanced talks to buy the Swedish company Mojang AB, who made the popular video game Minecraft. According to Bloomberg, Majong founder Markus Persson reached out to Microsoft a few months ago based on the positive working relationship on Minecraft for Xbox.
The game was made available for the newest generation of game consoles earlier this month. If this deal is struck, Microsoft will keep the game available for rival products. The two companies, as reported, agreed on an approximate price and have been working to on the details.
Persson, is believed to be present only till the transition process and will not remain beyind that. Persson founded Mojang in 2010. He coded Minecraft on a lark in 2009, while he was working at King.com, a U.K. gaming site.
Gamers could buy Minecraft on Persson’s website for 15 euros. In its first year, more than 1.75 million copies of Minecraft were sold. As of June this year, Mojang has sold more than 54 million copies of Minecraft in all forms and was the No.2 best selling game by physical retail copies sold in July for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The deal would bring a popular title into Microsoft’s software domain. It would help Microsoft appeal to a new generation of customers, especially on smartphones where Microsoft has struggled with both its homegrown Windows Phone devices and with apps on rival phone systems.
Minecraft is ranked in the top five among U.S. paid apps in the Apple and Google app stores. The game has also become an integral part of a growing trend to watch game play on video sites such as YouTube and Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon.com Inc. for close to $1 billion. Several Minecraft players on YouTube have attracted more than a billion views for their videos.