In what may be the most unexpected rumor of the year, Microsoft is reportedly close to completing a deal that will see it acquire Mojang AB, better known as the studio that makes Minecraft .
The story comes out of the Wall Street Journal , which quotes "a person with knowledge of the matter" saying that the deal is near completion. The source claims that the deal could be signed this week and will be worth more than $2 billion when it's completed.
The report is particularly extraordinary given Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson's notorious commitment to independence, exemplified by his decision to pull the plug on the development of an Oculus Rift version of Minecraft when Oculus VR was acquired by Facebook. But even more to the point is the question of how this acquisition could possibly benefit Microsoft. Minecraft is hugely popular but it's also hugely cross-platform—the PlayStation 4 version launched less than a week ago, and the PS Vita edition is scheduled for November. Mojang's other game, the collectible card-based Scrolls, has not been as popular as Minecraft.
We've reached out to Mojang for comment and will update if and when we receive a response. In the meantime, why don't you go have a look at Notch's rig ?