Notch approached Microsoft about rumored Mojang buyout, says Bloomberg

Yesterday's all-but-unbelievable rumor is today's "looking like it might actually be so," as reports that Minecraft studio Mojang is on the verge of being acquired by Microsoft continue to surface. Even more interesting, the word on the street is that the idea of the buyout came not from Microsoft, but from Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson himself.

Bloomberg has now joined the Wall Street Journal in reporting that Microsoft is in negotiations to buy Mojang. It says that "three people with knowledge of the talks" have confirmed that the negotiations are underway, and that as previously reported, the deal will ultimately be worth more than $2 billion.

The reports were initially so hard to believe largely because it seemed so unlikely that Notch, who shut down development of the Oculus Rift version of Minecraft when Facebook acquired Oculus VR, would ever surrender his company to a massive corporate entity like Microsoft. But according to the report, not only did he agree to it, it was actually his idea in the first place; he "reached out to Microsoft a few months ago, based on a positive working relationship on Minecraft for Xbox," it says, and the two companies have been hammering out the details ever since. If and when the deal goes through, it's expected that Notch will assist with the transition but won't stay with the company beyond that.

As for why Microsoft would drop $2 billion on a game that's been around for a half-decade and is already out on just about every platform known to mankind, the belief is apparently that Microsoft can continue to grow the player base, and thus its revenues, by exploiting its "position in videogames and computers," and through increased licenses in toys and movies.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.