Notch to exit Mojang after $2.5bn Microsoft deal

Written by David Hing

September 17, 2014 | 18:03

Tags: #markus-persson #minecraft #notch

Companies: #microsoft #mojang

The rumours that circulated last week around Microsoft lining up to buy Mojang have transpired to be true, albeit with the amount being off by half a billion dollars.

Microsoft is buying Mojang for $2.5bn and Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has decided to leave the company and work on smaller projects that don’t have the same vastness as the hugely popular block-building sandbox title.

Notch explains that part of the reasons for his decision to leave was the backlash over clarifications in Minecraft’s EULA statement, which prevented server owners charging for various in-game services, and a fear that his career trajectory would take him to the same places that Fez developer Phil Fish ended up in.

’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,’ said Notch on his blog. ‘I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.’

After the deal closes, Notch wants to go back to smaller Ludum Dare prototypes and small scale projects, going as far to say that if he ever starts accidentally creating something that gets as much traction as Minecraft, he would most likely abandon it straight away.

’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,’ added Notch. ’It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.’

It is unclear exactly how Minecraft itself will change after the Microsoft acquisition, but statements from Microsoft have clarified that they will not be putting a halt to the development and support of the title on any platforms without a Microsoft presence, such as the Playstation, iOS or Android versions.
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