Microsoft to buy Minecraft developer - report

$2 billion deal could be struck this week
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Microsoft is reportedly in talks to acquire the developer behind smash hit PC and console game Minecraft.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft could acquire Mojang for $2 billion as early as this week, "according to a person with knowledge of the matter".

Microsoft and Mojang have so far remained silent over the rumour.

Apparently, Microsoft first approached Mojang around three months ago, and Mojang hired extra advisors to help with the discussions.

If a deal is struck, Mojang creator Markus Persson reportedly may not stay for more than six months, but is trying to make sure Microsoft keeps Mojang's younger developers on board.

Minecraft has sold more than 50 million units across PC, console and mobile platforms.

Warwick Business School Professor of Practice, Mark Skilton, who has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry and researches cloud computing, said: "This move is a reflection of the 'platforming' strategy that Satya Nadellaand others recognise as critical to building a strong customer base.

"In the digital world the number of concurrent users directly drives many revenue charging models common in the cloud monetisation strategy. It fits Nadella's strong leaning towards the mobile/cloud/services model which is all about the connected volume of this. Microsoft started Xbox as a separate area but this move for Mojang demonstrates it's still very much a core platform for user traffic generation.

"The online gaming industry is fast moving from niche collective enthusiast to mass market and Minecraft is a logical move as big business follows the traffic numbers in the digital world."

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