Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2 billion - report

UPDATE: Notch initiated buyout and will leave once complete, source says.

UPDATE 10/9/14 9.55am: Minecraft creator Markkus "Notch" Persson instigated talks with Microsoft to sell developer Mojang, a new source has claimed, and will leave the company for good when the deal is complete.

That's according to a new Bloomberg report, which claims that Persson was attracted to the idea of a deal after striking up a close relationship with recently-promoted Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

The positive experience of working with Microsoft on the hugely successful Xbox versions of Minecraft is also said to be a factor.

But Minecraft is also now available on PlayStation 4 and PS3 and a Vita edition is also due for release. It's unclear what would happen to the ongoing development of the game on Sony's platforms in the event of a Microsoft buyout.

Both parties have so far declined to comment on the reports.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/9/14 11.55Pm: Microsoft is allegedly nearing a deal to acquire Mojang, the creator of Minecraft and Scrolls, for $2 billion.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, this deal could be finalised as early as this week.

Minecraft has gone on to sell 50 million copies since its release in 2009, while Mojang made $100 million in profits last year.

This would be a surprising move, if it happens, because Mojang founder Markkus "Notch" Persson has always been critical of giant corporations. In fact, he cancelled the Oculus version of Minecraft once the VR company sold to Facebook.

Microsoft is continuing its long and storied tradition of not commenting on rumours or speculation, and we've reached out to Mojang and will update should the studio shed more light on the matter.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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