Microsoft today announced the acquisition of Mojang, the company behind the popular crafting game Minecraft. Both Microsoft and Mojang confirmed the Redmond company paid $2.5 billion for the gaming franchise in a deal expected to close in late 2014.
Microsoft bought Minecraft following the game's success on the Xbox platform and PC, where it has logged over 100 million downloads since its 2009 launch. Though its financial interests are focused on the Xbox and Windows PC, Microsoft confirmed that Minecraft development will continue on all existing gaming platforms, including iOS, where Minecraft Pocket Edition [Direct Link] consistently ranks near the top of the paid app charts.
"Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC."
As part of the deal, Mojang founders Carl Manneh, Markus Persson (Notch) and Jakob Porsér are leaving the company to work on new projects. The remaining team will continue to work at Mojang under the guidance of Microsoft, which expects to recoup its investment by the end of 2015.