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Microsoft Acquires ‘Minecraft’ for $2.5 Billion

The deal, which also folds the Swedish company behind the popular video game into Microsoft Studios, is expected to close before the end of the year

“Minecraft” and the Stockholm-based game developer behind it are joining the Microsoft family, the company announced on Monday.

The software giant will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion. The deal, which will pair the Mojang team with Microsoft Studios, is expected to close in late 2014, following customary closing conditions and any regulatory review.

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“Minecraft” — a virtual world that allows players to build, explore and battle — has been downloaded more than 100 million times on the PC, alone, since it was launched in 2009.

The game is also available on cellular devices, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Microsoft hopes its investment in cloud and mobile technologies will enable “Minecraft” players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the passionate community of users.

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“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said in a statement. “‘Minecraft’ is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”