10 September 2014

Microsoft Buys Swedish Minecraft Company?

Microsoft logo The big business news here in Sweden today  has been Microsoft's acquisition of the Swedish game company Mojang AB. So far none of the parties have confirmed the purchase, but according to The Wall Street Journal the deal is near.

Mojang and Minecraft
Mojang logoMojang AB is the company behind the independent game Minecraft, a survival sandbox game that has been sold in 50 million copies. But Minecraft is more than a game, and I think that is the reason for Microsoft's interest in Mojang.

Minecraft is used in schools, and in the Block by Block project Mojang has partnered with The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to let people plan urban public spaces using Minecraft.

The owner of Mojang is a young Swede, Markus Alexej "Notch" Persson. When he founded his company in 2009 he gave it the name "gadget" – "mojäng" in Swedish. The Minecraft success has attracted interest from many important investors, but so far "Notch" has refused all outside investments. Now it sounds as if he has changed his mind.
Safari Park Photo

Third Nordic acquisition
If the Mojang deal is completed, it will be the third Microsoft acquisition of a Nordic company in a few years. Being a Swedish software developer, I cannot help but feeling proud of being part of the Nordic ingenuity. Even if Microsoft has shown no interest in a investment – yet!

Skype logoIn May 2011 Microsoft bought Skype, a company I still have strong feelings for as I worked there between 2005 and 2010. I was one of the first 100 people employed, and during my time as Product Manager for Skype Toolbars I experienced the immense growth of the company.

In April this year came the long awaited purchase of Nokia Devices and Services. The affair with Mojang is more of a surprise, and it will be interesting to see what it will lead to.

Peter Kalmstrom
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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