Although rumors had been going around for a while, it has now been made official. Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft for a cool $2.5 billion. Crazier still is the estimation that they will make up the $2.5 invested by June 2015!
Understandably everyone is worried about the other platforms Minecraft was available on. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer assured that Microsoft will be supporting the initial plans for supporting Minecraft across iOS, Android and PlayStation.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had a few things to say about how the acquisition, “Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year.”
"Minecraft is more than a great game franchise - it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”
"The Minecraft community is passionate and diverse, ranging across all ages and demographics. We respect the brand and independent spirit that has made Minecraft great, and we'll carry on the tradition of innovation to move the franchise forward.
"Our investments in cloud, Xbox Live and mobile technology will enable players to benefit from richer and faster worlds, more powerful development tools, and more opportunities to connect with the Minecraft community."
Although the current Minecraft lead developer Jens Bergensten will remains at Mojang, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson as his Mojang co-founders will be leaving. Notch new the massive following Minecraft had and had addressed his decision in a post on his website. His letter follows:
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.
A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I've had so much fun with work. I wasn't exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.
I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn't understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn't have the connection to my fans I thought I had. 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.
As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately.
Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don't expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won't feel a responsibility to read them.
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.