Wow, the rumors were right. Earlier this morning, Microsoft announced that it's agreed to acquire Mojang, the Swedish studio behind Minecraft, for $2.5 billion.
The plan is for Mojang to be incorporated into Microsoft Studios—and for Minecraft players to enjoy "richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect across the 'Minecraft' community." The game will stay available on all current platforms, including not just Windows and Xbox, but also iOS, Android, and PlayStation.
Microsoft doesn't say when the acquisition will close. Interestingly, however, it says the deal should break even during its 2015 fiscal year (so, by the end of October 2015). Microsoft expects Minecraft to be a pretty big cash cow, by the looks of it.
More information can found on the official Mojang blog. The Mojang guys say Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson never intended for his game to "get so big," and the associated pressure "became too much for him to handle"—hence the sale. Persson, along with Mojang co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porsér, will be departing the company once the deal is done. However, the "vast majority" of other Mojang employees are expected to stick around.
Mojang expects Minecraft will "continue to evolve, just like it has since the start of development." It adds, "We don’t know specific plans for Minecraft's future yet, but we do know that everyone involved wants the community to grow and become even more amazing than it's ever been. Stopping players making cool stuff is not in anyone's interests."