Microsoft pay £1.5 billion for Minecraft

Paddy Burns, executive director at 4J Studios in East Liinton, which has worked on the Minecraft game. Pic: Phil Wilkinson

Paddy Burns, executive director at 4J Studios in East Liinton, which has worked on the Minecraft game. Pic: Phil Wilkinson

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Microsoft is to buy the maker of the popular game Minecraft for £1.5 billion.

The technology giant said it will buy Stockholm-based games firm Mojang.

It is not clear what the deal will mean for East Linton’s tiny 4J Studios, which was originally brought in by Microsoft to develop an Xbox 360 version of the game whioch quickly became a huge success.

Minecraft, which lets users build in and explore a virtual world, has been downloaded 100 million times on PC alone since its launch in 2009.

It is the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system in the US.

The deal is expected to close in late 2014. Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in fiscal 2015.

Microsoft is primarily known for business software like Word and Outlook, but this acquisition will help Microsoft expand its gaming division which also includes game franchises such as the Halo shooter game and Forza racing game.