At the end of 2006, during the “media hype”, circulated the rumor of an interest of Google to buy Linden Lab and throw in the fascinating (but problematic, as it would be seen in the following years) virtual worlds sector. They were not revealed official figures though someone had shot: not less than 1.65 billion Dollars, i.e. the same amount Google paid for Youtube in October 2006. It all came to nothing but recently new rumors resurfaced about an interest from Facebook, which may seem so unlikely even saw that it was the same Facebook to buy, last March, Oculus Rift fo 2 billion Dollar. For now, however, nothing has been announced.
Instead, what could be announced later this week or more likely the next (as it was, see below the breaking news, ed), according to three sources cited from Bloomberg, is that it is time to jump into the fray can be Microsoft. Xbox game console’s producer would in fact have already started negotiations with the shareholders of Mojang, i.e. the company that developed the highly successful Minecraft (of which we wrote some times ago and that in the meantime has come to 1.8 release). Also in this case the figure would be the same as always: around 2 billion Dollars.
It would be a “premiere” for the new Ceo of the group founded by Bill Gates, Satya Nadella, that last February replaced his predecessor in the role, Steve Ballmer, who is trying to refocuse the group known for softwares like Windows, Office or Explorer to web services and cloud-based computing.
Even more than in the case of Google-Linden Lab or Facebook-Linden Lab the operation appears to have a sense of both commercial and financial: Minecraft is one of the coolest “titles” on Xbox, while Microsoft has several billions of Dollars of liquidity in foreign subsidiaries and could therefore invest “optimizing” its capital (and avoiding having to pay over taxes, which would be the same if repatriate cash). Even Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, has always held good relations with the American company and therefore could eventually be convinced. After all would have over 2 billion good reasons.
Microsoft has officially announced the acquisition of Mojang, but for an amount higher than that hypothesized: 2,5 billion Dollars. Definitely good news for Markus Persson, I wonder if you can say the same for fans of Minecraft and virtual worlds in general. Btw, if you want to find out more, continue to follow us as well on the website also through our account on Twitter or our fanpage on Facebook (but remember: Mondivirtuali is even on Flickr, on Scoop.it and on Paper.li).