The future for PlayStation versions of Minecraft was thrown into doubt on Tuesday after business sources claimed that Microsoft was preparing to buy the game’s developer, Mojang, for as much as $2 billion.
However, new details have emerged from purported inside sources speaking to Bloomberg, who claim that “Microsoft will keep Minecraft available for rival products” should the deal go ahead. That would suggest, but does not confirm, that Minecraft is likely to remain on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 regardless of whether Mojang is purchased.
Those unnamed inside sources add that Markus Persson, the principal developer of Minecraft and founder of Mojang, would likely depart from the company if the deal is completed.
People said to be familiar with negotiations add that it was Persson who apparently “reached out to Microsoft a few months ago, based on a positive working relationship on Minecraft for Xbox”.
It is said that Xbox business head Phil Spencer has a close relationship with the Minecraft maestro. That bond meant both parties “quickly agreed on a framework and approximate price and have been working out the details”, according to Bloomberg’s insiders.
These claims remain unverified, though the number of business sources claiming that Microsoft is hoping to buy the studio suggests that the speculation is not baseless.
Persson founded Mojang in 2010 following the breakout success of Minecraft. The game has since been ported to numerous devices, from phones to tablets to all the major game consoles, save for Nintendo’s. Sales have surpassed 54 million units.
Microsoft’s rumoured acquisition of Mojang would be particularly surprising following comments from Mojang’s co-founder, Carl Manneh, last year.
“We are living the dream, really,” Manneh said. “An exit would be huge, but do we really need that money? In our case, we have the cash flow. We have more money than we need.”
Minecraft was most recently released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game continues to make it onto both digital and retail top 10 sales charts month after month.
Should the buyout go ahead, it is unclear if Sony would allow a Microsoft game to exist on its system.
Update: In a statement sent to GameSpot, Sony said: “We cannot comment on any acquisition, however we can confirm that we very excited Minecraft is now available on PS3 and PS4 and coming to PS Vita later this year.”
Microsoft has said it does not comment on speculation.
Source: SONY, Gamespot and Bloomberg.
Published by: 20th CNetwork.