Minecraft developer acquired by Microsoft for $2.5bn

Microsoft has splashed out $2.5 billion on Mojang, the software developer behind the phenomenally popular Minecraft game.

Microsoft is believed to have made the purchase in an effort to ensure Minecraft remains available on its platform and to also bring it to the Windows Phone OS.

Mojang made more than 100 million in profit during 2013 and as the user base continues to grow, it is likely to continue as a lucrative revenue stream for Microsoft.

Ironically, the Minecraft creator, Markus Persson, previously stated there was no Windows Phone edition because the userbase on the platform is "tiny."

To-date Minecraft has sold in excess of 54 million copies worldwide and has 100 million registered users. It is one of the most popular paid-for games in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It has also recently been released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Microsoft confirmed the game will remain multi-platform as per the firm's commitment to making its software available across all popular systems.

"At Microsoft, we believe in the power of content to unite people. Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms," said to Phil Spencer, head of Xbox in a blog post.

"Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC."

In an attempt to quell the community outrage at the acquisition, Spencer suggested that Microsoft will not make any sweeping changes.

"We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we'll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward."

MineCon, an annual convention for fans that has been running since 2010 will also continue as planned.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.