Microsoft has oficially announced today that it has acquired Minecraft developer Mojang in a $2.5 billion deal.
Mojang’s Owen Hill explained in a post on the company’s website why Markus “Notch” Persson consented to the sale.
“He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance,” Hill wrote, in part. “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.”
Hill also confirmed that Notch, as well as co-founders Jakob Porsér and Carl Manneh, will be leaving Mojang however the “vast majority” of the company’s employees will be staying.
Xbox Head Phil Spencer also released a statement, explaining that Minecraft will continue on its current course and the game will continue to be supported across all platforms.
“Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms,” Spencer said, in part. “Gaming is the top activity across devices and we see great potential to continue to grow the Minecraft community and nurture the franchise. That is why we plan to continue to make Minecraft available across platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
Notch took to his personal blog to confirm his departure from Mojang and explain to fans why he was leaving.
He said that a little while ago he started to realize that he didn’t have the connection with his fans that he thought he did. “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,” he continued. “If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.”
“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.”