When did Microsoft buy Minecraft and for how much?

Minecraft is officially a part of Microsoft (Image via Minecraft (Left) and Microsoft (right))
Minecraft is officially a part of Microsoft (Image via Minecraft (Left) and Microsoft (right))

Minecraft was initially developed by Swedish gaming studio, Mojang (which was later renamed Mojang Studios). Markus "Notch" Persson served as the game's primary creator, while Jens "Jeb" Bergensten took over from him when the game was released fully in 2011.

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Mojang was acquired by Microsoft in September 2014 in a $2.5 billion deal. The move paved the way for the game to be introduced to a larger selection of platforms and a new audience: Xbox players. Additionally, they have kept a steady chain of updates in progress, ensuring that new content keeps making its way to the community.

Another major feature that was added to the game after the acquisition was a rework of PVP in the "combat" update. While the community was divided on whether it was a good change or an unnecessary one, it did send shockwaves through the system as it brought upon an attack cooldown system.


Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang: Everything Minecraft players need to know

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Initially, the game’s creator, Markus Persson, had no intentions of selling the game. A plethora of high-profile companies had already approached Mojang with offers of up to $1 billion, including Activision Blizzard, Valve Corporation, and Electronic Arts (EA).

Additionally, firms like Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners had also shown interest in acquiring the company. However, all their requests were denied since Mojang already had an adequate amount of money.


Closing in on the deal

On June 17, 2014, Notch sent out a tweet that signaled that he wanted to leave. The tweet was a result of a great deal of pressure and unhappiness that Notch was experiencing. The primary reason for this was the grand scale of the game's success, and the limelight it forced him into.

Following the tweet, Microsoft, among many others, came to Persson with an offer to acquire Mojang. The offer was discussed by Persson and his hired financial advisors from the investment firm JPMorgan Chase.

Subsequently, the deal went public and it was announced that $2.5 billion would be spent on the entire acquisition. On November 6, 2014, Mojang officially became a part of Microsoft Studios.


Aftermath of Minecraft's sale

Markus Persson ended up leaving Mojang after the acquisition, having earned $1.8 billion from the deal. In a farewell letter that he had published on his personal website (formerly notch.tumblr.com; now inactive), Markus had talked a fair bit about why he did what he did. From his words, it was clear that the events leading up to the acquisition had taken quite a toll on him.

"I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world."
"A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges"
"I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big."
“It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

More of the same followed on twitter:


A look at Minecraft and Notch's current scenario

Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang was one of the biggest things to ever happen to the game. Minecraft is one of the most-loved games ever.

With a monthly player base of almost 140 million players, the game's popularity isn't any closer to taking a hit. According to a 2021 fact sheet from Xbox News, the game has sold more than 238 million copies, making it the best-selling video game of all time.

The game recently released one of its biggest updates, the Caves and Cliffs part 2 update, and is set to release another major update this year.

Notch is still an extremely popular figure within the Minecraft community. In 2020, he made an appearance in Dream's Minecraft Manhunt series, and has since taken to posting Factorio and Satisfactory gameplay on his YouTube channel and Twitter.