Hold up, bro, 'cause what

Microsoft is going to buy Minecraft? For real?

Yes, it's for real. Technically, what Microsoft would be purchasing is Mojang, the Swedish video game studio responsible for all things Minecraft. (They've also published two other games called Cobalt and Scrolls.) Owning Mojang would give Microsoft full ownership over Minecraft and all media and tie-in products.

Once you get past the "Microsoft buying Minecraft" part — which approaches insane levels of unbelievability, for reasons you'll read about in a moment — you might think the real jaw-dropper is that the deal is said to be adding up to $2 billion. Minecraft is huge, make no mistake. But $2 billion?

Well, consider that it's sold more than 50 million copies across a variety of platforms ranging from PC to consoles to smartphones and tablets. Last year alone, it raked in $100 million. It's one of the biggest gaming success stories of the last decade. So maybe that $2B number isn't the crazy part after all.

No, perhaps the real shocker is that Minecraft creator Markkus "Notch" Persson would be willing to touch Microsoft with a two-billion-foot pole. Persson has been notoriously outspoken about his dislike of huge corporations over the years, despite being courted by many of them.

For example, he canceled a planned Oculus Rift version of Minecraft after the company was purchased by Facebook. Similarly, back in 2012 he split no hairs about his opinion of Windows 8, calling it "very, very bad for Indie games."

So what caused Notch to do such a dramatic 180?

According to Bloomberg, Persson himself initiated the deal with Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer. As it turns out, the two of them are good friends (and Minecraft's success on Xbox probably has nothing to do with that). Notch reportedly began talking to Spencer about the deal a few months ago, with the details being hammered out in the time since.

Notch is probably able to swallow the whole thing better since, again according to Bloomberg, he's planning to leave Mojang shortly after the acquisition is finalized. That deal is expected to close by sometime next week.

Minecraft would give Microsoft a shiny new jewel in its video game crown, which frankly the company could use after the Xbox One launch debacle. Redmond also stands to gain from expanding the property's licenses for toys, TV/film, and in-game purchases. And that's just the obvious stuff. Imagine what Microsoft will come up with when given time to throw its full weight behind this wildly popular franchise.

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