Mojang Joins Microsoft; Founders Notch, Carl, Jakob Leaving

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Mojang Joins Microsoft; Founders Notch, Carl, Jakob Leaving

Minecraft Horse - Main

The deal is real; Microsoft has bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion.

The rumor has been out there for about a week, but it has now been confirmed. Microsoft is adding Minecraft developer Mojang to its development stable to the tune of $2.5 billion. Last week's reports from Bloomberg and Reuters indicated a deal between Mojang and Microsoft was close to completion.

Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, decided to sell the company after being the majority shareholder and watching the game grow worldwide. "[Notch has] decided that he doesn't want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance," a blog post on Mojang's website stated. "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."

Mojang stated the company founders, Notch, Carl Manneh, and Jakob Porser, are leaving. Notch shared his personal thoughts on the situation in a blog post, where he said he plans to go back to participating in Ludum Dare and small web experiments. "If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately," he wrote. "...It's not about the money. It's about my sanity."

Microsoft stated its relationship with Mojang began when the developer discussed bringing Minecraft to the console. Over the past two years, players have racked up a collective 2 billion hours played on the Xbox 360.

Both Microsoft and Mojang noted Minecraft will continue to be available on other platforms. "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," Mojang stated.

Mojang does not have the specific plans for Minecraft's future with Microsoft, but the developer said Microsoft wants to continue to make the Minecraft community grow.

Even though Notch, Carl, and Jakob are departing Mojang, the developer predicts many employees will continue to work at Mojang for now.

Additionally, Microsoft confirmed MINECON, a Minecraft fan convention that could not be held this year, is on for next year. More details will be available in the coming months.

Source: Mojang, Xbox Wire

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well we all can expect any new mojang games to be xbone exclusives, and new updates being paid DLC.

Welp.. it was a good game while it lasted.

I guess as a creator he didnt want to stand in the shadow of his previous work. I cant blame him, artists dont dote over a painting years after they finish if they want to make other works, they sell it or hang it and move on. But minecraft seemed like this ever evolving thing that no one ever wants to be totally 100% done and complete. Thats a lot of pressure. I guess he just wants to make more games for himself, tying the knot with his old work, sending it off into the void and starting fresh makes sense to me. I can hardly blame him. And since minecraft was worth so much obviously a corporate titan was going to be the entity rich enough to take the wheel.

BiscuitTrouser:
I guess as a creator he didnt want to stand in the shadow of his previous work. I cant blame him, artists dont dote over a painting years after they finish if they want to make other works, they sell it or hang it and move on. But minecraft seemed like this ever evolving thing that no one ever wants to be totally 100% done and complete. Thats a lot of pressure. I guess he just wants to make more games for himself, tying the knot with his old work, sending it off into the void and starting fresh makes sense to me. I can hardly blame him. And since minecraft was worth so much obviously a corporate titan was going to be the entity rich enough to take the wheel.

I think the obscene amount of cash might have been an incentive too

Mo' money, Mo'jang.

Also this had me rolling.

Also hope it means that local (to me) guys 4J Studios get a decent payday too, considering the work they've put in on the console ports.

And with the $2.5 billion Notch will finally fulfill his real dream - opening a real mining company.

I oddly just got back into playing Minecraft after bingeing during the 1.7 beta and quitting when 1.8 beta came out. I must admit, the fact that Notch wanted to ditch his own creation really makes me sad that the virulent aspects of the internet are disconnecting authors with their creation. I had always assumed previous times where creators abandoned their IP's were isolated incidents but with Notch, I kinda hate the way this whole online aspect of things is going. I find it interesting that we have been afraid of the triple A industry crashing for so long, we are starting to see the success stories of the indie scene start to disappear, for completely different reasons.

Let this stand as an example that everyone has their price. And I certainly can't blame Notch. I wonder where this leaves his 20-odd employees.

I've never played Minecraft, but I wonder what this would lead to regarding Microsoft product tie-ins and such, like Halo. And where does that leave current customers I wonder. I mean the legality, the mods, the servers, etc.

Does anyone else feel like we've got one step closer to a more grim, unfriendly version of the world Neal Stephenson presented to us in Snow Crash?

Because I have.

Hm... I can't decide if this is a betrayal or not, given Notch's previous statements about Windows 8. I can't begrudge him for wanting to bail on running a company though - as a developer myself (or more realistically just a CS grad student) I wouldn't want to be in the spotlight any more than he likely does.

Best of luck to him on his auteur projects.

AT God:
I oddly just got back into playing Minecraft after bingeing during the 1.7 beta and quitting when 1.8 beta came out. I must admit, the fact that Notch wanted to ditch his own creation really makes me sad that the virulent aspects of the internet are disconnecting authors with their creation. I had always assumed previous times where creators abandoned their IP's were isolated incidents but with Notch, I kinda hate the way this whole online aspect of things is going. I find it interesting that we have been afraid of the triple A industry crashing for so long, we are starting to see the success stories of the indie scene start to disappear, for completely different reasons.

Notch may have been the face of Mojang but he wasn't really an active part of Minecraft's development anymore anyway. At least by most accounts. He's already tried moving on, but his entire reputation is dwarfed by that of Minecraft.

Anyway.

Have there been any other times where a game owned by one of the big publishers was directly available on their competitor's consoles? I'm sure there have, but I can't really think of any right at the moment... but I really wish Microsoft would find another solution to their problems than "throw ALL THE MONEY at ALL THE THINGS!!!"

seris:
well we all can expect any new mojang games to be xbone exclusives, and new updates being paid DLC.

New mojang game, ha what a good joke. Mojang doesnt make new games, all they make is minecraft. They've been around for 5 years and all they've made is 1 game and 1 that's pretty much dead in beta.

Notch, sells out for 2 billion. Man am I laughing my ass off. No one has integrity the way people fantasize about integrity. As Ted DiBiase used to say, Everyone has a price!
So Notch and the ground floor guys just got a spectacular payout, and basically threw everyone who supported them over the whole ideal that they weren't sellouts because they didn't put Minecraft on steam under the bus.
Hell I don't blame them. If I were Notch and company, now resting comfortably in the more money than God range of rich, I'd retire. Why? One reason, they'll never ever top Minecraft. Just won't happen. The other? 2 billion is a lot of money, guaranteed a height of financial success one can never reach again. So retirement at an early age sound like a damn good idea. One can still do things post-retirement, but one doesn't have to do jack shit.

well i might get to finally see it on steam now

Whelp. I guess we'll see how it goes. Maybe Microsoft will actually be smart and not mess with a good thing too much. Of course, just judging by their history, I have no actual faith that will happen.

Can't get too mad at Notch and anyone else that had a say. As long as all the employees get some sort of slice of the payout (there's only about 30 so I wouldn't see why not), and they all have the option to bail, I'd say good on them. Any employee at Mojang could walk up to just about any developer and say "I worked at Mojang, can I have a job?" and more and likely get one.

Though I can't help to wonder what the hell Microsoft thinks they're getting out of this. I mean, even taking merchandising in account, unless they resort to horrible dickery (killing mods, and charging for updates, charging for running a server, charge for skins, increasing the price of the game, and other things that would assuredly backfire) I don't see how the hell they could recoup 2.5 -billion- with one company, even if it is Mojang. Let's not delude ourselves, they may be one magnificent pony, they've still only done one trick.

fluxy100:

seris:
well we all can expect any new mojang games to be xbone exclusives, and new updates being paid DLC.

New mojang game, ha what a good joke. Mojang doesnt make new games, all they make is minecraft. They've been around for 5 years and all they've made is 1 game and 1 that's pretty much dead in beta.

steve in project spark confirmed?

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Notch, sells out for 2 billion. Man am I laughing my ass off. No one has integrity the way people fantasize about integrity. As Ted DiBiase used to say, Everyone has a price!
So Notch and the ground floor guys just got a spectacular payout, and basically threw everyone who supported them over the whole ideal that they weren't sellouts because they didn't put Minecraft on steam under the bus.
Hell I don't blame them. If I were Notch and company, now resting comfortably in the more money than God range of rich, I'd retire. Why? One reason, they'll never ever top Minecraft. Just won't happen. The other? 2 billion is a lot of money, guaranteed a height of financial success one can never reach again. So retirement at an early age sound like a damn good idea. One can still do things post-retirement, but one doesn't have to do jack shit.

I can assure you that my price is significvantly less than 2.5 billion :P

Tbh I think people here will underestimate what the minecraft licence really brings microsoft, it's more than just the game.

Frezzato:
Let this stand as an example that everyone has their price. And I certainly can't blame Notch. I wonder where this leaves his 20-odd employees.

Considering he gave his employees million of dollars willy nilly, I'm sure they are covered.

So Mojang is as the dirtsheets said Microsoft's newest client, nice. I look forward to their new ring gear, theme, and finishing move.
Still they'll need a proper feud to get people really interested in them so I'd suggest Mojang vs Nintendo...or is that too quick? Maybe starting with just one of Nintendo's clients would be better.

Andy Shandy:
Mo' money, Mo'jang.

Also this had me rolling.

Also hope it means that local (to me) guys 4J Studios get a decent payday too, considering the work they've put in on the console ports.

What is the context of the avatar on that twitter? All I see is Kaz doing the four horseman gesture.

The White Hunter:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
Notch, sells out for 2 billion. Man am I laughing my ass off. No one has integrity the way people fantasize about integrity. As Ted DiBiase used to say, Everyone has a price!
So Notch and the ground floor guys just got a spectacular payout, and basically threw everyone who supported them over the whole ideal that they weren't sellouts because they didn't put Minecraft on steam under the bus.
Hell I don't blame them. If I were Notch and company, now resting comfortably in the more money than God range of rich, I'd retire. Why? One reason, they'll never ever top Minecraft. Just won't happen. The other? 2 billion is a lot of money, guaranteed a height of financial success one can never reach again. So retirement at an early age sound like a damn good idea. One can still do things post-retirement, but one doesn't have to do jack shit.

I can assure you that my price is significvantly less than 2.5 billion :P

Tbh I think people here will underestimate what the minecraft licence really brings microsoft, it's more than just the game.

I freely admit I'm mercenary. Everything has a price and I'll agree to it, but then sometimes the price is out of the range of what the person who wants said thing done can pay.
I also don't believe anyone ever sells out, they just buy in to a different life.

Well BBC news was covering it so either Clif Richard has bought it or the rumors were 100% true. We shall have to watch and wait to see if Microsoft screws the pooch at all. I'm hoping they know that the formula isn't fuckable with without destroying what made it special and popular.

roseofbattle:

The rumor has been out there fro about a week,

0/10, see me after class.

In related news, Windows 9 will be replacing the unpopular "tile" desktop of the previous iteration with new-and-improved "blocks."

Me55enger:
Does anyone else feel like we've got one step closer to a more grim, unfriendly version of the world Neal Stephenson presented to us in Snow Crash?

Because I have.

I wish. But I've yet to see privatized highways, smart wheels, the resurgence of ancient Babylonian, or pizza delivered by the Mafia.

Besides, the Enterprise has already been scrapped, so no Raft.

This is more like Jennifer Government.

Man, with that kind of money, Notch can now buy untold amounts of silica gel packets! /DesertBus7Reference

shrekfan246:

Notch may have been the face of Mojang but he wasn't really an active part of Minecraft's development anymore anyway. At least by most accounts. He's already tried moving on, but his entire reputation is dwarfed by that of Minecraft.

I understand that and that is also part of my point. Despite Minecraft expanding away from Notch's control, he continued to be the one who was mentioned in the various hateful messages directed at anything Minecraft or Mojang or even Indie related. I read through the comments thread for the Rumor post on this buyout and most of the hateful commenters blamed Notch for things, or claimed it was Notch's fault that Minecraft did _____ or whatever they disliked was Notch's fault. Games are almost never a one person operation but the biggest name attached takes the majority of the fire and I get the feeling that Notch will continue to get spammed with hatred for long after this deal is done whenever Minecraft does something a person dislikes. I don't think Notch will get the escape he wants by leaving Mojang and that worries me because I would like to see him keep doing things, but if Minecraft gets horribly corrupted by this deal that we internet people like to speculate, Notch wont be able to do anything without getting spammed hate for "abandoning" Minecraft to an evil corporation. I am interested to see how much longer the industry can sustain this massive amount of abuse without drastic changes.

Internet fame scares good people from innovating more than once.

That's what the headline should be.

2.5 Billion? Well...I would sell out for this amount of money to be honest. But for Mojang itself? Well...Mojang will be the new rare?
1. Great Developer with an intersting perspective of videogames
2. Beeing bought by MS
3. All the founding staff leaves
4. End up making Kinect games

I guess Minecraft will stay the way it is. But I wouldn't be suprised if Big Updated become every rarer as they already are. But I think MS would be just stupid if they touch modsupport and stuff. If MS actually does this and changed MineCraft that much...they could have just burned 2.5 billion dollars.

BUT: I guess:
In one or two years: MineCraft 2 will be announced. "Exclusivly" for XBONE (means for about 6 months) and will be F2P with a huuuuuuuuge ingame-shop so you have to pay for say recipes for Diamond Tools or more space in your inventory.

Christ. Hope Microsoft doesn't fuck this up too badly. Just let the employees do their thing and keep updating the game. The money will print itself. DON'T FUCK IT UP MICROSOFT!

The most important thing for me is that microsoft doesn't get in the way of mod makers. Even if there was never another official update to the game, the mods would still role out add a ridiculous amount of content to the game. If anyone here is a fan of the game and hasn't done so already, I highly recommend that you try out some of the massive mod packs out there such as those that can be found on Feed the Beast, Tekkit, ATLauncher, as well as others.

Also, does anyone here have any insight on how the merchandising for minecraft works or if microsoft will be getting a cut of it as a result of this deal? I seem to see that crap everywhere so I imagine it would be fairly lucrative

Well, i hope it was worth it for Microsoft.

Though im struggling to see what MS thought dropping $2bn on Mojang is going to get them. Yes, it gets them Minecraft, but that ships already sailed unless they start cranking out paid DLC and/or sequels.

Andy Shandy:
Also this had me rolling.

Thanks for that. Really made my day.

Rozalia1:
So Mojang is as the dirtsheets said Microsoft's newest client, nice. I look forward to their new ring gear, theme, and finishing move.
Still they'll need a proper feud to get people really interested in them so I'd suggest Mojang vs Nintendo...or is that too quick? Maybe starting with just one of Nintendo's clients would be better.

Andy Shandy:
Mo' money, Mo'jang.

Also this had me rolling.

Also hope it means that local (to me) guys 4J Studios get a decent payday too, considering the work they've put in on the console ports.

What is the context of the avatar on that twitter? All I see is Kaz doing the four horseman gesture.

Man all those reference and no classic Ted Dibiase "everyone's got a price"?

AT God:
I am interested to see how much longer the industry can sustain this massive amount of abuse without drastic changes.

I'd be more interested in seeing the internet suddenly realize that flinging anger and abuse at every little thing they even slightly don't like isn't the way to improve things, but that's a fleeting hope right there.

Maybe once they've pushed out every single person trying to make something unique and interesting and all we're left with is actually the fiftieth iterations of Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, Battlefield, et al and they start wondering why we don't get anything new anymore, they'll finally see that their methods are doing far more harm than good. Though it hasn't worked so far...

Fair play to Notch. That's good business that is. Everyone in business should have an exit strategy, otherwise it's just a job.
Now he gets to retire on the back of the good fortune he had.

Do I feel betrayed? Absolutely not!
Will Microsoft mess with it? Probably, but they'll probably improve on some aspects... make a rubbish sequel but the 3rd version will be amazing.

Notch just robbed Microsoft and they don't even realize it. Amazing!

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