The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is in talks with Minecraft creators Mojang, to buy them for a rumoured $2bn. Twoooooooo billion. This is all according to a WSJ source, that we obviously can't verify, and might be a massive pile of plops. But if it is true, gone will be the days of trying to work out Notch's riches by adding up publicly stated Minecraft sales, replaced by calculators that just say "E".
It's impossible to report anything other than speculation here, but WSJ are saying their source reports a deal could be signed as soon as the end of this week. Mojang are naturally remaining silent on the matter, but we've fired them an email in case they rightly think RPS is the place to announce the news.
The rationale goes, Microsoft would spend this much money for the 50 million+ user-base it would come with. And of course the massive cashcow that is Minecraft, and the enormous amount of marketing opportunities that Mojang hasn't yet opted for. And DLC. And free-to-play. And forcing tiny infant puppies to play it in cruel laboratory sweat-shops. The rationale for accepting the deal would be TWO BILLION DOLLARS.
This isn't the first time such rumours have surfaced, and Marcus "Notch" Persson claims to have turned down $2bn offers before. And there is obviously a strong instinctive reaction to scream, "NO NOTCH, NO! DON'T DO IT!" But then you have to imagine someone offering you TWO BILLION DOLLARS - as in, infinity money - and turning it down.
Clearly the idea of a company with a track record for development studio survivals like Microsoft's, it's a chilling prospect for the future of Mojang. They do rather close them down. And obviously anyone who cares about Minecraft's future wouldn't be called "cynical" for supposing it might not be idyllic.
Then again, the whole story might be complete bunkum from a Murdoch paper. We just don't know! Exciting, isn't it?
Anyway, my price is two billion dollars. Give me two billion dollars, and I'll endorse your crap.— Notch (@notch) December 18, 2012