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Report: Microsoft Near Deal to Acquire Minecraft Developer Mojang, Notch “Unlikely” to Stay if Deal Pushes Through

If you were miffed at Microsoft for its timed-exclusivity agreement with Square Enix regarding Rise of the Tomb Raider, then we might be in for something much, much more.

According to a report on the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is in serious talks to purchase Mojang — the studio behind the hit game, Minecraft. The deal would be valued at over $2 billion and could be “signed as early as this week.” At the time of publication, both Microsoft and Mojang have declined to comment on the acquisition.

Adding credibility to the report, is Bloomberg, who reported that Mojang founder Markus “Notch” Persson, approached Microsoft “a few months” ago to buy the company due to his positive working relationship working with Microsoft. The report adds that Persson is “unlikely” to stay at Mojang once he’s helped out with the transition.

While there’s no doubt Minecraft is a hit commercially, what baffles me in this buyout is Microsoft’s goal. By now, almost every gaming device that can run Minecraft has it out; is Microsoft planning to pull the game from non-Microsoft owned devices , then (which is unlikely since Bloomberg’s report says Microsoft intends the game to be available on rival platforms)? Or maybe it saw the next game from the studio and thinks it might have the potential to match Minecraft’s success? Your guess is as good as mine at this point.

What do you think of this rumor? Will it even matter to you if Microsoft does indeed acquire Mojang? Sound off and let us know.

[Source: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg via Gematsu]