Minecraft’s developer, Mojang, is in talks to be taken over by Microsoft, according to reports.
It has been suggested that Mojang might sell for more than $2 billion.
In June, the Swedish studio said it had sold about 54 million copies of its hit world-building game. Since then it has also been released for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, further boosting sales.
Mojang’s founder, Markus “Notch” Persson has previously publicly criticized Microsoft.
Ahead of the release of the Windows 8 operating system, Notch Persson had claimed that the company was “trying to ruin the PC as an open platform” because it had wanted to certify third-party titles before their release.
Notch Persson had also been a vocal supporter of independent studios, saying in 2012 that: “The more studios that can remove themselves from the publisher system, the more games that will be made out of love rather than for profit.”
According to Bloomberg, it was Markus Persson who “reached out” to Microsoft a few months ago.
It said that a source suggested that if the deal went through, Notch Persson would help with the transition, but was unlikely to stay on afterwards.
The New York Times reported that a person briefed on the talks had said that Markus Persson was expected to leave within six months, but added that Mojang was keen to hold on to its younger developers.
A spokesman for Microsoft said: “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.”
Mojang also declined to comment.
Minecraft was first released in 2011, and has since become the third bestselling game of all time and something of a cultural phenomenon.
Mojang has worked on other titles, but they have either fallen short of Minecraft’s success – such as the role-playing game (RPG) Scrolls.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report negotiations between Mojang and Microsoft, saying that the deal could be finalized this week.
It noted that this would be the first multibillion acquisition by Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, since he took charge of the company.