Microsoft is acquiring a learning tool called MinecraftEdu from Teacher Gaming LLC.
Terms of the deal, announced by Microsoft on January 19, were not disclosed. Microsoft is not buying Teacher Gaming itself, but only the MinecraftEdu line from Teacher Gaming, which will continue to do business in Finland and New York City.
The MinecraftEdu acquisition is a follow-up to Microsoft's acquisition of the Swedish-based Mojang, the maker of Minecraft, for $2.5 billion in September 2014. Minecarft has been the the highest-selling paid app on iOS and Android.
MinecraftEdu is a learning tool in game form. It's a version of Minecraft specifically tuned for classroom use. Teacher Gaming's site describes the software as made by teachers, for teachers.
Microsoft plans to build out Minecraft Education Edition, based on MinecraftEdu, and launch a free trial of the product this summer.
"Minecraft Education Edition will be shaped by a growing community of educators throughout its development this spring and through the educator community online at http://education.minecraft.net," according to Microsoft's blog post.
Until Minecraft Education Edition is ready, existing customers of MinecraftEdu can continue using the product as usual, according to a blog post on Teacher Gaming's site. Existing customers also will get a year free of Minecraft Education Edition once it is available.
Microsoft officials have positioned Minecraft not only as one of the company's productivity software and services offerings aimed at the education market, but also as a development tool. Microsoft is continuing to invest heavily in gaming as it is a big money-maker, especially in the mobile space.