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Microsoft to reveal US$2.5 billion acquisition of company behind Minecraft (Updated!)

By Katrina Canlas - on 16 Sep 2014, 10:17am

Microsoft to reveal US$2.5 billion acquisition of company behind Minecraft (Updated!)

**Updated on 16/9/14, 10:00AM**: Microsoft has confirmed that the US$2.5 billion deal and has said that it will continue to make Minecraft available across all platforms. Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox business also said, "The Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we’ll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward. Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community."

Original Post:

Reports are now suggesting that Microsoft will announce a US$2.5 billion deal later today for the developers of Minecraft, Mojang, in a move to bolster its mobile platform.

The company is desperate to pull users to its mobile platforms. which, according to recent estimates, only has about a paltry 2.5% share of the market. To do so,Microsoft has identified Minecraft as a possible means of attracting more users onto its mobile platform.

Minecraft is an open world sandbox game where users are free to do just about anything. There are multiple game modes including survival and adventure modes, but its creative mode, where users are given unlimited resources to build and the ability to fly is perhaps the most popular and well-known. Minecraft players have used this mode to create some truly impressive cities such as this recreation of Westeros from Game of Thrones.

Minecraft has also proved to be immensely popular on iOS and Android and is often one of the top paid apps on both the App Store and Google Play. However, Minecraft is not available on Windows Phone yet, though it will be if the acquisition comes to pass. Analysts believe that Microsoft is looking to give Minecraft players a "unique and compelling" experience on Windows Phone that cannot be had on other devices as a means to sell its devices to Minecraft fans.

Dave Bisceglia, Chief Executive of Tap Lab said, “It seems like Microsoft is looking at Mojang and Minecraft as a way to tap into this enormous cultural phenomenon. If you look at iOS, Minecraft has been a top-grossing game for quite some time, if Microsoft could on Windows phones give players a unique and compelling experience that you can't get on the other platforms, that could be a driver to sell devices to existing Minecraft fans.”

Analyst Rick Sherlund of Nomura also echoed Bisceglia's views and stated, "We don’t view this acquisition as a signal of Microsoft's intent to double down on Xbox but consider it an attempt to better address mobile on a cross-platform basis."

It seems optimistic to think that Minecraft could be the key to boosting Windows Phone, but then again, fans of the game have been known to be a pretty hardcore bunch. Only time will tell.

Source: The Verge