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Report: Microsoft-Minecraft deal could be announced Monday

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Reuters is reporting that Microsoft's rumored acquisition of Minecraft maker Mojang is now $2.5 billion and that the deal will be formally announced on Monday.

Microsoft is believed to covet Mojang and its user base because it would help expand the Windows Phone business. Rumor of the deal spread earlier this week, with a report by Bloomberg saying Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson himself had negotiated a $2 billion transaction.

Minecraft, as of June 2014, has sold nearly 54 million copies across all of its available platforms since its debut in 2011, and just last week launched on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Though the game is very popular on Android and iOS devices, Minecraft is not available on Windows Phone. Analysts view Microsoft's acquisition not as consolidating its position on its Xbox consoles, but giving it a strong user base with which to grow its mobile business. Persson, two years ago, was sharply critical of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.