Microsoft is close to buying game studio Mojang, maker of the popular “Minecraft” video game, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The deal, estimated at more than $2 billion, could be signed as early as this week, the Journal reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.
Mojang is a small, independent game developer studio based in Stockholm, Sweden. Last year, the company made a profit of 816 Swedish kroner ($128 million) on 2.07 billion kroner in revenue ($360 million), according to the Journal.
Adding “Minecraft” and the studio behind it could provide a boost for Xbox and for Microsoft’s mobile efforts.
More than 50 million copies of the game have been sold since its release in 2011, according to The Associated Press, and it’s among the top downloaded mobile apps.
While Xbox and video gaming may not be central to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s vision of a Microsoft that’s focused on “productivity and platforms,” Nadella has indicated his support for Xbox, calling it “one of the most-revered consumer brands.”
He also indicated his support for gaming. “The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming,” he said in a July memo to employees that outlined his vision for the company. “We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. ”
A Microsoft spokeswoman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.