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Mojang: Our founders, including Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson, will depart

Mojang has now issued their own statement today about Microsoft buying their company, and the Minecraft game franchise, for $2.5 billion, confirming that the three founders of Mojang, including Minecraft's creator Markus "Notch" Persson, will now be leaving the development team they formed.

The statement said:

"Though it's too early to confirm which of us will continue working on Minecraft or other projects, we predict that the vast majority (if not all) Mojangstas will continue to work at Mojang for the time being. The founders: Notch, Carl (O. Manneh), and (H) Jakob (Porsér) are leaving. We don't know what they're planning. It won't be Minecraft-related but it will probably be cool.

The statement also offered a little more insight as to why Mojang was sold to Microsoft in the first place. It said:

"As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. He's decided that he doesn't want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. 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. He'll continue to do cool stuff though. Don't worry about that."

It added that the company was impressed by Microsoft's support of Minecraft, stating, "We're confident that Minecraft will continue to grow in an awesome way."

What is your reaction to "Notch" and the other founders of Mojang leaving the company?

UpdateMarkus "Notch" Persson has now issued his own statement on his personal blog, stating that after he leaves Mojang he plans to work on small game projects from now on. He also commented about how selling Mojang to Microsoft could be thought of as contradicting some statements he has made in the past about supporting independent game development. He stated:

"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."

Source: Mojang

146 Comments
  • Isn't Notch hardcore anti-Microsoft?
  • Strictly speaking, I think Notch was anti Windows 8.
  • Even more strictly speaking, I think Notch was anti-Metro and Windows Store.
  • But he is not anti-money :-D
  • Pecunia not olet...
  • Exactly, none is anti money.
  • he was anti microsoft because while he argued it was anti-store, he didn't have a problem with letting the restrictive iOS and Android appstores have it, both are identical to the windows store. he also pretends money didn't matter, well if so why did he sell out to iOS and Android where he clearly used to store to monetize his game?
  • He's tired of people like you: http://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM
  • I think Notch is completely full of shit
  • Notch isn't *completely* full of shit, but definitely when it comes to the "it's not about the money" thing. Merchandising, Realms, console ports... All of those were pure, blatant money grabs. IMO his biggest issue is that he's a drama queen, which isn't compatible with a business of this size. His departure was long overdue, and Minecraft will only benefit from it at this point.
  • +930
  • Ever stop to think that everyone wants money and when people are throwing money at you are you not going to take it? Minecraft was his baby and it was a gem for what it did to community gaming. But maybe he (Notch) wants to do other stuff. Entrepreneurs, true entrepreneurs get bored easily and want to do other stuff. I think Project spark could have been cooler but Minecraft following is just pure insane. Microsoft can handle the scale and hopefully keep it true to what made it great. I have never played minecraft so i am not of that realm, but people create the demand, he owns the name so he gets to reap the rewards, power to him.
  • Technically, even though he hadn't fully departed from Minecraft, he wasn't the main developer either, he was the main founder... But about a year ago he steeped down and someone else took over his position who he thought was good enough... So think about that... And then tell me that it was Notch's idea to create things like the realms..
    also there are more people than just him developing the game... Which means some of the money grabbing techniques they used may not have been his ideas (maybe some... Maybe not)... Also Minecraft is a game... But Mojang is a company... They need to earn a living somehow... And developing a game that has now gone global and on plenty of platforms is gunna cost a damn fortune... So they need all the money they can get...
  • I still think the sell off to MS was a setup! on mojang's part or his... There was no logical explanation in his statements when questioned about not making an app for MS... The guy surely isn't dumb... If I'm right its a well played act of genius!
  • Seconded. He just shows whatever emotion is at the top of his mind without thinking. Well now I guess he can afford to 2.5 billion lets you say pretty much whatever crazy stuff you'd like.
  • Yup, or whatever he has to say to get MS to buy! This was definitely his plan all along! He targeted the company that was more likely to spend the most money to acquire his business, and it paid off...
    I bet he doesn't open source his bank account!
  • You can also be dirt poor and say whatever you like, don't necessarily have to have money... Walk the streets of NYC for a while, you'll understand. =P
  • Very true although, You can have more fun if you have more money, I found walking the streets can get old and cold real quick.. You can always walk the streets with money ;)
    Edit; and you're more likely to get away with saying random shit if you are well known or have $...
  • A lot of indie devs are.
  • Like when ppl were surprised when most of the punk/grunge bands of the 90's "sold out" to big record labels ... Isn't that the aim? Do what you love, get noticed, MAKE MONEY? No surprise here....
  • Even more extreme strictly speaking, I think Notch is a Money Lover.
  • Like Gabe Newell.
  • Nah. He just wanted to be a billionare
  • I believe so.
  • Yeap. Big hater btw!
  • Top notch Microsoft hater :D
  • Money talks
  • Money talks, Notch walks... Lol. My nephew plays this game... Is it really worth $2.5bn? Overpriced like many tech firms me thinks...
  • There are a lot of nephews out there.
  • Bwahahaha... My nephew plays FIFA
  • I'm sure he is pro-Microsoft now.
  • To be fair there may have been unpleasant repercussions from turning them down... Microsoft is a huge company with a reputation (I'm sure not totally unjustified) of playing very nasty some times... I remember a long time ago in the tech boom some magazine featured a tech start up board game you could cut out and play... One of the squares you could land on was "Microsoft calls and offers to acquire you, you decline, game over you lose"... Not sure what, if anything, they might do but they certainly have means of making life hard for a software company if they were so inclined.
  • Bill Gates was ruthless, Microsoft needs more of that ruthlessness to come back.
  • That was the old Microsoft. Sometimes I think they need to return to that state of mind.
     
  • Wasn't expecting a response like that from him, interesting.
  • Ah...sometimes something so big becomes more to bite off than one can chew. I'm happy to hear it was a good sell-off rather than just a hostile takeover. :)
  • I really hope that this leads to Mincraft PE on Windows Phone.
  • Agree, especially if it's free (for WP only)
  • Who cares if it's free? Cheapskate.
  • I'd be willing to pay for a game I know I'll sink lots of hours into.
  • Exactly.
  • Nope.. We will see the full version on IOS before that happens. I am more certain of this now than ever...
  • So damn true...
  • Who would want to play a humongous open world game on a 3.2 inch phone??
  • 3.2inch...haha please I'd love to have Minecraft PE on my beautiful HD 6inch display
  • Your crazy ms might put all there apps cross platform but look at all there games I don't think they published one to IOS or android. Minecraft is already on both so I say that windows phone will get a better version with extra content or more options and the IOS and android versions will remain the same MS is trying to entice hardcore Minecraft fans to switch to WP to get the better experience. That's at least what I think will happen but Minecraft will definitely come to WP
  • a la Skype
  • I'd rather they develop full minecraft for WP
  • That would be quite difficult for them don't you think? XD Mojang hadn't even managed that yet, and they've been developing it for years... I think Microsoft will (hopefully) just give us Minecraft PE with maybe better features than IOS and android... :)
  • My 10-year old son is going to be so happy.    Both my wife and I have Windows Phones but all his friends'  parents have iPhones or Samsungs.   When his friends come around, they  repeatedly say Apple is the BEST company in the world.  iPhones are the BEST phones.   Poor fellow looks so down in the dumps.   Afterward I would comfort him by saying there are a lot of games and apps they don't have access to because they aren't available  on Android or iOS.   But gaming is so social and so much conversation revolves around  talking about a newly discovered feature or some new amazing structure they had just finished...
  • Seems cooler...
  • Just comprehending that Notch was alright with this is enough brainwork for me. Mind you, who else would he really sell it to? I just hope Microsoft have plans for this, maybe let the Xbox One and (hopefully) WP edition have infinite worlds unlike the others. Not sure how they'd get it onto the store (Windows) though. They'd have to charge as much as the normal edition, or somehow limit it to ARM devices only so that people don't get it cheaper on desktops...
  • It wouldn't have to be cheaper. Although if it was a metro app, you wouldn't have access to all the free mods and skin packs, so you'd just get more paid DLC
  • Not everything on the Store has to have a charge you know, I mean yeah they might anyway but it's not required... =P
  • Understandable.
  • They looked at how the other tech giant founders were behaving and said to themselves "That's not me. I don't want to be that guy. That's not why I do this. I'm not an egomaniacal power mad elitist POS. I'm out."
    Not thinking of anyone in particular #facebook.
  • "So I'm gonna take my billion dollars and go home..."
  • "...and catch up on Angry Birds. They're so cute!"
  • He wasn't exactly skinned even before the purchase. :)
  • Skint
  • Kinda sad that Notch had to leave. Also, I sense drama within Minecraft fandom
  • Will they ARE mostly children... =[
  • Best thing that could happen to mojang. They cant keep up and notch hasn't worked on minecraft for ages anyway
  • And he is very rich!
  • Its a loss. Now Apple will hire Notch and other founders.
  • "Coming next Fall: iCraft!"
  • iCraft ...Innovation of the year...16 percent faster, 25 percent slimmer, 75 percent blockier... -_-
  • Notch hasn't worked on Minecraft himself since the Beta days.
  • And if he manages his money right, he won't have to work again.
  • With 2.5 billion, a person could manage their money very wrong and still never have to work again.  You would have to spend $137,000 every day for 50 years to use all that money.
  • You underestimated the stupidity of some human beings
  • You could buy one or two pieces of property and spend all of it in months, but you would make more back...but you could definitely spend all of that fairly quickly, believe me.
  • buy a yacht or two, buy a sports team... kaboom all gone...
  • From what I understand at this point they were mostly figure heads.. :P
  • I'd ditch too with 2.5$ billion!
  • I can respect that
  • I hope they bin it off now so my son will get his head out of his bloody iPad for once!
  • Man up and take it away Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Haha. Clearly someone without kids.
  • as they say "Child is the father of man"
  • Don't care . Notch stated himself more then one time he has problems with the pressure . It was the right decision cause Microsoft will change stuff in the team in the workplace and so on. Want that space ship game he showed off more then one time . It had great lighting effects:)
  • It had some interesting concepts.  But he dropped development a while back, I believe he said that the game was good in concept but just simply wasn't fun to play.  Something along those lines anyway.
  • I feel that they are going to fuck it up somehow. Like sneak always online DRM or restrict the mod community like how MW2 did.
  • who needs DRM when iOS and Android already made the game popular :)
  • They going to come up with something in a few months and everyone will stop playing Minecraft and Microsoft will have just flushed 2.5 billion down the crapper
  • Thank God he left, he seems like an obnoxious person who made a silly game that went viral for whatever reason, much like Flappy Bird, its more so akin to winning a lottery tgan having any talent
  • Really..that's a really insulting comment. What games have you developed and been able to sell? Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Minecraft is pretty different to everything though, it's not just some rehash it actually did something new. Not a lot of games can claim that these days.
  • minecraft didn't really make anythign new. he recombined ideas of many games and had a good marketing plan. he's a good business person clearly. beyond that, his game is not all that original. and that's ok, if original games were what sold best, COD wouldn't sell a copy.
  • Oh, ok. I guess I just hadn't seen anything else like it when it first came out.
  • It WAS original. Please tell me what game Minecraft copied.
  • You do realize that it's not like Minecraft was created a year ago... It was created like 6-7 yrs ago... When it was first released there wasn't another game like it... I'd love to know what game they copied from... Because by what ik of... Minecraft was an original idea
  • Lets be fair here and say Notch hasn't actively worked on the game in a while.
  • Stupid move by MS to buy this. It will be dated soon and developers will not be able to make another hit like that. Rather see MS use these 2.5 b in WP development
  • I don't know much about Minecraft, but from what I read, the concept has a lot of potential outside of the current Minecraft game.
  • it is worth to note that WP development is funded by money kept in the US, Mojang was bought with funds "parked" overseas...
  • I agree. They should've bought Twitch instead.
  • Wrong! Sorry this is where most of us have not seen the big picture.  Twitch is only used by geeks and mostly these people don't want to spend money but this game is centered around children and MS is trying to capture that market that is left untapped.  MS obviously has a lot of money and they have set aside a portion for development and acquisitions like this.  I think its a smart move but only time will tell if its a profitable move for MS.
  • don't bother they have enough money to spend. Google have spent more than that amount over the past years and we are yet to see any meaningful product. That does not mean they dont know what they are doing.
  • Microcraftsoft
  • Oh, another Flappy Bird scenario! I believe him when he says the responsiblity became too big, but to say it wasn't about the money is rather unbelievable as well.
  • Yep +930 The guy would have sucked on Nadella's nut sack for 2.5b... He is a shit talking business man, seems like this was his plan from the beginning....
  • I feel like this was more to strengthen their own Kudo platform than to secure or bolster the Minecraft community. It was their biggest competitor, more so than games like LittleBigPlanet or Trials are growing to be.
  • Good for him.  I like the honesty.  It doesn't hurt that he is a billionaire now though!
  • Dont worry! Let microsoft handle it! :))
  • It's not about the money. Hahahahahahahahaha
  • It doesn't matter. Respect his decision instead of defiling his name with horrendous comments. Just be happy that Microsoft has Minecraft now and it's going to help us, the windows community grow.
  • Respect?  The darn guy is a billionaire now he is probably sitting on a beach with naked women drinking wine and earning 30%. I think all of us dream it on how we can get off this rat race and make our money work for us and not us working for the money.
  • ... Ya'know he's wife is ez for alot time and they are pretty good with each other. Make good money instead of H8 comments if you say you need em...
  • Well said.
  • It was his choice. He sold a project that he partially started which ended up being a success and decided to sell it. Explain why he shouldn't be able to work on other projects.
  • And he deserves to be disrespected because he made a bunch of money? I don't even...
  • You have a warped view of money and how things work... Grow up. =[
  • well off course he's out. first of all his publicity stunts and war of rightgeousness against the windows store was flat out silly considering how much he profited from the apple and google closed stores which he argued were killing open platforms. you can't work at MSFT after a twit like he did and when you have that much money, yeah, you kind of don't work at MSFT anyway.
  • I trust they... will... continue to make... games like Rare after they were bought out... :(
  • Stop all the hate! This is why he left, so he doesn't have to be subjected to comments like yours
    :(
  • He never made any logical sense in his arguments against "big corporations and open source software" constantly contradicting himself... He is a very smart business man, and he fooled many.
  • This makes sense
  • GOOD! MS won't need them as they are 2billion richer those lucky bastards.
  • Idd. Lucky them.
  • I wish they would have put all that money toward something that hadn't already saturated the market.
  • Yeah like my bank account! Lol, it has so much potential! It is the perfect blank canvas for them!! :P
  • Mine's a black hole...fed by a money pit that's occupied by spending trolls...
  • Haha, some people refer to my trolls as my "wife and kids" ....little do they know.... :P
  • I've played in Minecraft when Google have a problem with finding game name... And the way this game changed (in a way I don't like now alot) upon time is pretty understandable now with those Notch's words.
  • Play Dwarf Fortress! Beyond Quality!
  • +720
  • weird move, not sure if this is worth the $2.5 billion in the long run.  It wont take a lot for another game to catch on big to make minecraft not as viable long-term.  We'll see though.    THis has one hit wonder written all over it. 
  • I wonder if they'll stop supporting the game on iOS and Android now.
  • Microsoft make their software available on all OS, as mainly a software company I highly doubt anything will change there...
    Maybe they should though, its what Notch would have wanted... Ending the restriction of open source of Minecraft :S
  • I think there is a secret encoded message in his blog post...oh yeah. $2.5 billion. Everyone has a price, and he will get a cut of that for sure.
  • Similar burn out as flappy bird developer. Not unexpected for size of game and it's numerous platforms.
  • He owns like 80% of the company stock. It would be stupid for him not to leave.
  • I'm not a Minecraft player, although my son is and he (along with his friends) really enjoys the game. I can really empathize with Notch regarding the "scope" of what Minecraft became and how it got bigger than he or his initial team intended or thought it would. I think with this offer on the table, there are very few people who would turn it down and I don't blame him for it. It's not that "everyone has their price" but more like "everyone has their sanity"; at what point does something get so big that you have to say "let someone else deal with it". He found his point; good luck to him and I hope he finds something else he can enjoy as much :)
  • I agree. I don't blame Microsoft a bit for buying the franchise, and I don't blame Notch for selling. I would too.
  • I hope Microsoft now puts it on the phone, tablets, and PC app store. And that all versions running across MS hardware platforms can share data like project spark or Halo Spartan assault
  • I read a comment on Ars when the news are still rumors, one suggested that Microsoft saw an opportunity to hone the Minecraft platform to their advantage, which may be why they bought Mojang. I personally think that they might also integrate the codebase to some secret game engine to promote DirectX. Just a wild speculation.
  • "You all may think that I've sold out, and I totally did." Great speech man, really inspiring.
  • He doesn't need to be inspiring...
  • I get it, good on him for clearing that up... We really put to much onus on this person or that organization for how certain things turn out, I for one try to keep away from negativity. Sometimes the tyranny of the majority can really make things get ugly. We all are very fortunate for where we are and I especially take solace in being nobody, but I still want to play... :0)
  • Would have rather them buy the rest of Nokia including Here services than this rubbish. 1 successful game franchise which probably wont be popular in the next few years. Just silly if u ask me
  • And also ownership of the studio which can be used for other first party projects as well, something Microsoft doesn't have enough of, and all of their intellectual property.
  • It's about the money stop lying lol
  • Seems pretty much fair enough to me. Back at the start, when we were a reletively small number of users testing a game which, whilst looking similar to what we have today, was quite a bit different (we didn't even have mobs) with a very much smaller community and notoriety than it holds today. Individuals like Notch could handle our numbers. You could speak to Notch directly without too much major issue. This was how he and his company liked it. The personal touch. But this personal touch simply can't exist in that way with the numbers of users on Minecraft these days. As the main article said, Notch tried to make other games...and they were just eclipsed by minecraft before anyone gave them a chance. I feel, if Notch wanted to try and create new games, the only real way of avoiding the situations he's had since Minecraft was to distance himself from the game. Notch and the other creators will always have a special place in the Minecraft community. Notch's closing sentiments sum up how he's made Minecraft users feel all along - the community owns the game. It is they who, especially in the beginning, shaped it's direction.
  • What does this mean for those whom have already purchased the game? Do we have to re-purchase or are Mojangs servers just going to integrate into Microsofts? I do think this is a great idea, maybe the new Devs might not make it such a buggy mess...
  • They have $2.5billion, they can do what they want.