Minecraft developer Mojang has officially been acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion, with founders set to depart from the company.
Following a long-series of reports, Microsoft & Mojang officially announced that the Sweden-based developer of Minecraft, will be acquired for $2.5 billion. It has also been reported that the studio's three co-founders Markus 'Notch' Persson, Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser, will leave the company to pursue other interests.
“Though it’s too early to confirm which of us will continue working on Minecraft or other projects, we predict that the vast majority (if not all) Mojangstas will continue to work at Mojang for the time being.
The founders: Notch, Carl, and Jakob are leaving. We don’t know what they’re planning. It won’t be Minecraft-related but it will probably be cool."
Mojang also posted that the deal would not result in the deletion of Minecraft games and apps on non-Microsoft platforms.
"There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop," the studio wrote.
"Of course, Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future."
Microsoft head of Xbox, Phil Spencer also wrote about the acquisition, confirming it. The Xbox firm also said in statement that it is expecting to break-even on its $2.5 billion purchase "on a GAAP basis," meaning "generally accepted accounting principles" as soon as the end of this fiscal year in July 2015.
On the other side of the fence, Notch is leaving Mojang behind and preparing to get out of the spotlight. In a post on his personal blog, Persson wrote about developing a game gaining so much traction, and how it impacted him.
"I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world." he wrote "Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting."
"As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately."
The Alpha version of Minecraft was originally launched on PC in 2009, before officially being published as a full release in 2011. Since then, the game has sold more than 15 million copies on PC alone. It was subsequently ported on Xbox 360, PS3, iOS and Android, with the Xbox One and PlayStation version being launched last week, and a Vita port being scheduled later this year. It is believed the game has sold nearly 54 million copies across all platforms.