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Minecraft to mob China

A five-year exclusive deal between Microsoft and NetEase includes creating a version of the game tailored for Chinese players.

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Microsoft seeks to expand Minecraft's influence with the new deal.

Microsoft

Microsoft and NetEase have signed a deal to bring the hugely popular video game Minecraft to China, the companies said Friday.

Microsoft, which owns Minecraft, signed a five-year exclusive agreement with NetEase, a China-based Internet technology firm, to license Minecraft's mobile and PC editions. As part of the deal, Mojang, Minecraft's creator, will develop a version of Minecraft specifically made for the Chinese market.

Microsoft bought Mojang, a Sweden-based game studio, in 2014 for $2.5 billion.

There are more than 100 million registered players on Minecraft, a building game that's become a cultural phenomenon. Released in 2009, the game lets players create their own worlds and explore others, with no particular goals or missions. Bringing the game to one of the most-populous countries in the world could help the game expand its popularity even more.

No specific date was announced for when Minecraft will launch in China.