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Get your hard hats ready, boys and girls, because it looks like we have a new bit of content to crawl through in the rumor mill. Yesterday it came out that Microsoft could potentially be looking to purchase Mojang, the studio behind the insanely popular Minecraft game. Now even more buzz is circulating the developer’s founder, Marcus “Notch” Persson, specifically that he would likely leave the company were the purchase to go through.
According to initial reports, the Wall Street Journal received an inside tip that Microsoft (You know, those folks responsible for Windows and that Xbox One gamey box system) was in the market to purchase Mojang AB for a cool $2 billion.
This isn’t exactly surprising news, when you get right down to it. Microsoft, Sony, EA and the like are known for buying up smaller companies that produce money-making or creative content. The idea behind such purchases is that now you have a powerful new ally in your first party stable and, in this particular case, it wouldn’t be crazy to assume that, say, Minecraft X: The Next Adventure would then be exclusive to Microsoft platforms. Third party exclusivity is never really set in stone these days, so having ownership of future Mojang properties would be a big win for Microsoft, especially since they aren’t currently making a heck of a lot of first party games for their new console.
While Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang wouldn’t change anything much for current versions of Minecraft, it would be interesting to see what impact such a purchase would have on future games from the developer. Assuming the sale is legitimate, however, one big change could come in the form of leadership. According to Bloomberg, the sale of the developer could mean the loss of Marcus “Notch” Persson, the guy responsible for Minecraft in the first place.
According to Bloomberg, purchase talks began a couple of months back, when Persson approached Microsoft.
“The two companies quickly agreed on a framework and approximate price and have been working out the details since,” according to the Bloomberg report. “Persson will help out with the transition, though he is unlikely to remain beyond that, according to the person.”
This, of course, would not mean the death of Minecraft. Notch may have built the game from the ground up but, at this point, it has evolved into the product of a number of individuals working at the studio, as well as input from the ridiculous number of fans playing the game. In fact, the modding scene has turned Minecraft into an entirely different kind of beast.
If all of this holds up, it would undeniably be a big get for Microsoft and potentially bolster the appeal of the Xbox One to customers still debating which next gen console to get. Until something official comes out of Microsoft or Mojang, however, we need to take everything here with a grain of salt.