TORONTO – Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire Swedish video game developer Mojang – maker of the incredibly popular game Minecraft – much to the disappointment of gamers.
The software giant has put together a bid of around US$2 billion for the company, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal citing “people familiar with the matter.” If the deal is legitimate, it means Microsoft would be adding Minecraft to its arsenal of video game products.
Minecraft is a “sandbox” game that allows users to build and interact with other users freely, without any scripts or goal-based gameplay.
Since being released for PC’s in 2009, the game has become a fan favourite and has since launched on Android, iOS and on gaming consoles like Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s own Xbox system. The game is currently the number one paid app on both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.
But fans hold the game’s creative, indie-background dear to their hearts – stirring up online protests over Microsoft’s rumoured takeover.
Many have been using the hashtag #SaveMinecraft to protest the move.
If the acquisition does goes through it would make 35-year-old Minecraft creator Markus Persson a billionaire. Ironically, Persson is well known for participating in public feuds with tech giants and defending independent video game developers.
In fact, Persson publicly bashed Microsoft on Twitter when the company wanted to certify Minecraft in 2012.