Microsoft about to buy Minecraft outfit

showposter_1354981054Software giant Microsoft is close to inking a deal to buy Mojang the Swedish company behind the  “Minecraft” video game.

It is believed that Microsoft will have to write a $2 billion cheque for the company and everything could be announced as early as this week.

“Minecraft” is a game where players build structures with blocks to protect against nocturnal monsters which is a little like what Microsoft has been doing, without much success, in the mobile market.

The deal will add to Microsoft’s Xbox video game business, at a time when the competition in the video game console market is heating up.

Acquiring Minecraft gives Vole control of an online world that has become a blockbuster despite breaking a lot of the rules. Minecraft’s blocky graphics are crude it also is sold the old-fashioned way — by charging people to buy a copy.

The price varies depending on what kind of device people use to play the game, ranging from $7 on mobile phones to $27 for computer versions. A version of Minecraft for Microsoft’s Xbox, which has been a top seller for the console, costs $20.

The business is already lucrative. Mojang’s revenue was about $360 million last year, up 38 percent from the year before.

Mojang was co-founded by Markus Persson, who has said in the past that he did not want to sell the company or take money from outside investors.

Redmond has shipped five million Xbox One units to retailers worldwide since the launch. In the same month Sony   sold more than 7 million PlayStation 4 units and was struggling to keep up with consumer demand, so it must be hoping that Minecraft will drive more traffic to its console.