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It’s now official: Microsoft owns Mojang and Minecraft

Microsoft now officially owns Minecraft developer Mojang, at the cost of $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion).

The deal was first announced in September, and it was expected to be closed before 2014 ended, so Redmond certainly managed to shuttle it through swiftly enough.

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, announced on his Twitter feed at the end of last week: "It's official, today we welcome Mojang to the Microsoft Studios family. We're excited for the possibilities ahead w/the Minecraft community."

Of course, now Redmond officially has the reins, thoughts turn to what sort of real impact this move will have on the game and its large community going forward.

Microsoft has already been making a lot of assurances, as you can imagine. Even when the deal was first announced, Redmond was very quick to say that this wouldn't mean Minecraft would become some sort of Xbox/Windows exclusive. (Though the mobile version of the game is now in the works for Windows Phone, finally, although it's not clear how long that will take).

Related: Find your own house with full-scale UK Minecraft map

Mojang's COO Vu Bui has also been delivering reassurances, and last month he said that user feedback would remain critical when it comes to developing the game. Bui stated: "Nothing's really changing. We have no plans on anything changing."

Markus Persson, creator of the game, said of his reasons for the sale: "I can't be responsible for something this big. It's not about the money. It's about my sanity."

How Microsoft will steer the game, we shall just have to see, but at least short-term they'll have to keep things on an even keel or risk open rebellion from the fervent player base.