UPDATE: $2.5 billion sale of Mojang to Microsoft confirmed
Microsoft’s buyout of Mojang is expected to be announced later today, and the previously rumoured fee of $2 billion has risen to an even more staggering $2.5 billion deal. Microsoft's aim with this purchase is reportedly to expand Minecraft’s mobile reach, a move that could prove decisive or ultimately futile for Microsoft’s attempts to keep Windows Phone relevant.
We first heard of the deal late last week, when it was revealed that Microsoft was readying a $2 billion deal, for which Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson was expected to pocket a mammoth $1.4 billion. Since then the offer has shot up $500 million and Microsoft has made its intentions for the future of Minecraft a little clearer.
Currently occupying around 2.5 per cent of the global smartphone market, Windows Phone has some catching up to do if it wants to take on the might of Android and iOS. Reports indicate that Minecraft will be created for Microsoft’s mobile platform and its range of Surface tablets after Notch said last year that he wouldn’t be developing a version for Windows Phone because of the tiny audience.
The phenomenon that is Minecraft has made its way onto nearly every platform since its alpha release on PC in 2009, including PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS and Android, leaving Windows Phone out in the cold. The move makes sense to capture some of the more than 50 million people playing Minecraft, with Microsoft also planning to license out the IP for Minecraft toys and movies further down the line.
The good news for those currently playing Minecraft is that Microsoft currently has no plans to remove the game from rival platforms for the foreseeable future. Do you think Minecraft could be the kickstart that Windows Phone needs? Or is focusing on mobile a forecast of doom and gloom for the bestselling game? Let us know!