Minecraft sold to Microsoft for $2.5bn (Wired UK)

Mojang has today announced that the rumoured buyout by Microsoft
is going ahead for “a smooth $2.5 billion” (£1.54 billion), while
the founders are also leaving the company.

Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft and
majority shareholder at the Swedish game company, agreed to the
deal after the massive success of the world-building sandbox became
too much. “He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of
owning a company of such global significance,” wrote Mojang’s Owen
Hill in today’s confirmation announcement. “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.”

This is a telling tale considering the fate of other
Mojang projects over the years, including the mildly disappointing
Scrolls and the canned space sandbox

Joining Notch in his exodus from the company will be
co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porsér, whose futures
are yet unknown. “We don’t know what they’re planning,” Hill
announced. “It won’t be Minecraft-related but it will
probably be cool.”

As for the future of everyone’s favourite
block-based construction simulator, Hill believes
Minecraft will continue to evolve and update as it has
under the company’s own steam, without any negative imposition from
their new overlords. “We don’t know specific plans for
Minecraft’s future yet,” Hill wrote. “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

“It’s not about the
money. It’s about my sanity.”

In a blog
post, Notch explained: “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
it’s 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.”

In his sign-off, Notch continued: “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

“It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

However, with the success of
Minecraft and Microsoft’s own gaming interests to protect,
the question of platform exclusivity is a hot topic. Especially
with the rug-pulling of Tomb Raider’s sequel being Xbox One exclusive still
fresh in everyone’s minds from Gamescom. On the subject, Hill said:
There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of
the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android
versions of Minecraft to stop. Of course, Microsoft can’t make
decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they
might make in the future.”

The second half of that statement
seems like a gaping hole of possibilities for underhand tactics to
come into play, but at least the currently existing forms of
Minecraft — from your mobile to your fridge-freezer — won’t
disappear any time soon. Mojang was keen to emphasise how little
will actually change for end users throughout the announcement,
insisting you can still tweet and talk about your experiences as

Speaking of the reasoning behind
Microsoft as opposed to the doubtlessly countless numbers of
suitors for the company, Hill wrote: “There are only a
handful of potential buyers with the resources to grow
Minecraft on a scale that it deserves. We’ve worked
closely with Microsoft since 2012, and have been impressed by their
continued dedication to our game and its

We’ll see how this does (or
doesn’t) change things over the next several years that
Minecraft is bound to live

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15 September 2014 | 1:09 pm – Source: wired.co.uk


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