27 October, 2022
The team announced that Markus "Notch" Persson and Carl Manneh, founders of Mojang, have resigned from the company after the acquisition. Mojang's official website confirmed that the purchase price was $2.5 billion. The Mojang community team stated that Notch refused to control such a large company and preferred to work on smaller projects. The sale was made to allow Minecraft to continue growing while allowing the founding team to pursue other interests.
Mojang does not give any assurances as to the future plans for Minecraft but said that it will continue business as usual. Microsoft claims it "respect[s] Minecraft's brand and independent spirit" and will continue projects such as MINECON, an annual convention that focuses on the game started by Mojang in 2010.
The community reaction to this news will be mixed. Minecraft fans who have been playing the game since its inception are likely to distrust the new corporate owners. However, the reasoning behind the purchase is sound. We'll have the opportunity to see if Notch can do it again, and the next generation of Lego equivalents.
Here are Notch's thoughts on the deal and his decision to leave the company he built. This is from his blog, which had crashed at the time this writing was completed. :
I'm leaving Mojang
I don't consider myself a game developer. I make games for fun and because I love programming and games. But I don't create games with the goal of making them huge hits. I also don't want to change the world. People are raving about how Minecraft has changed the world. It didn't happen by accident. It's flattering, and it's interesting to slowly get in the public spotlight.
It was a long time ago that I decided to quit Minecraft development. Jens was the ideal person to lead it, and I wanted new things. Although I tried to make it big again at first, I was unsuccessful. But, since I decided to stick to small prototypes, interesting challenges, and I have had so much fun with my work, it has been so much easier. Although I wasn't sure where I fit in Mojang, where people actually work, people told me I was important to the culture so I stayed.
A few weeks ago, I was suffering from a bad cold at home and the internet went wild with hate about me for a EULA situation that I had nothing. I was confused. I didn't understand. This was my frustration. I later watched the This is Phil Fish YouTube video and realized that I didn't have the connection I thought I had with my fans. I have become a symbol. I don't want to be a symbol. I don't want to be responsible for something that I don't understand. That I don't want to work on. I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm not a chief executive officer. I am a geeky computer programmer who enjoys sharing my opinions on Twitter.
Once the deal is done, I will be leaving Mojang to go back to web experiments and Ludum Dares. I will probably abandon any project that I accidentally create that gains traction.
Given my public image, which is already a bit skewed by me, I don't expect to be able to ignore negative comments, but at least I won't feel the need to read them.
This is contrary to a lot of my public statements. I don't have a good answer to that. I am also aware that many of you used me as a symbol for some perceived struggle. I'm not. I'm a person and I'm right there with you.
You are my best friend. You are all amazing. Thank you for making Minecraft what it is today. But there are too many of us, and I cannot be responsible for something as large as Minecraft. It is Microsoft's property now in one sense. It's been a part of your lives for a long time and will continue to be yours.
It's not all about the money. It's about my mental health.