The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, according to "a person with knowledge of the matter", Microsoft is in "serious discussions" to buy Mojang, the studio that made smash hit Minecraft.

The deal is reported to be worth a whopping $2 billion, and "could be signed as early as this week".

UPDATE - Bloomberg now reports that Minecraft creator Markus Persson is "unlikely" to remain with the company once the sale - if confirmed - goes through.

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We've contacted both Microsoft and Mojang for comment, and will update if we hear back.

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It's worth remembering that in June this year, Mojang founder Markus Persson wrote in a blog post:

Mojang does not exist to make as much money as possible for the owners. As the majority shareholder, I'd know. Every time a big money making deal comes up that would make a lot of money, it's of course very tempting, but at the end of the day we choose to do what either makes the most sense for our products, or the things that seem like fun for us at Mojang.

Microsoft Near Deal to Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang [WSJ]