Mojang, creators of Minecraft, has today confirmed the rumours that the studio has been acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. Furthermore the studio has announced that all three of Mojang’s original founders, Markus “Notch” Persson, Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser are to leave following the studios acquisition.
Mojang’s Owen Hill delivered the announcement in a statement on the studios website, in which he stated, “Yes, the deal is real. Mojang is being bought by Microsoft.”
“Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance. Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big.”
“As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle. The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that.”
In an attempt to reassure the millions of fans that make up the Minecraft community, Hill explains; “Minecraft will continue to evolve, just like it has since the start of development. 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”.
“We can only share so much information right now, but we’ve decided that being as honest as possible is the best approach.”
In a video released by Microsoft, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox confirms Microsoft’s plans to continue to develop and make Minecraft available across all platforms, including the recently announced PlayStation version.
“This is a game that has found its audiences on touch devices, on phones, on iPads, on console and obviously on it’s true home on PC. Whether you’re playing on Xbox or PlayStation, Android or iOS, our goal is to continue to evolve and innovate with Minecraft across all those platforms.”
Reassuringly Spencer admits, “We’re going to learn a lot as an organisation about what it means to work with a community that’s as vibrant as the Minecraft community. And they should know from us that we come at this with a plan, and a real cornerstone of that plan is listening to the Minecraft community about what they’d like to see”.
In a post on his own personal blog Notch explained his reasons for going ahead with the Microsoft deal and why he intends to leave Mojang:
“I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world. Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me its changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.”
“I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”
“I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.”
“I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big. In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.”
“It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”
With many people still in shock over this news, and the future of Minecraft currently unclear, we can only hope that Microsoft listens to the remaining Mojang team and takes care of this game we’ve all come to love.