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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 (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab)

Mojang's COO Vu Bui has also been delivering reassurances (opens in new tab), 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.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.