The rumors and speculation are finally confirmed. Microsoft and Mojang essentially solidified the deal today; Mojang is being sold to the software giant for $2.5 billion.
Thankfully, Mojang made a post themselves at the top of the morning addressing some of the key issues that had most players worrying. Rather than go through the entire post, I will just mention a few of the particularly important parts and let you read through the rest (if you wish to).
Players first: it will be Microsoft’s intent to keep the game in the same vein that it has been in for the past few years. No dramatic changes to the style or accessibility of the game that would hinder or dampen the creativity and enjoyability that players find with Minecraft will be made.
Other editions: let it be clear that Microsoft is not responsible for the development of the PS3 edition, Pocket Edition for iOS / Android, etc. They own the rights to the game, but these editions are developed separately.
Staying in-house: while Notch, Carl and Jakob are all leaving for another adventure, most of the rest of the Mojang team is expected to stay on the project. As such, the flavor and closeness of Minecraft will be preserved even further.
Notch isn’t heartless: he decided to go through with the sale not because he was greedy and hated his playerbase, but because Minecraft was devouring his life. The game started out as a small, free project, with a tiny but dedicated community; now, it is an absolutely monstrous world-wide phenomena of our era that even goes beyond the scope of gaming. He simply had no time to work on anything else.
So, in summation – no, Notch did not abandon the game. No, Minecraft will not suddenly explode or become unplayable. Yes, it will change.
See Mojang’s official post on this matter here.
In addition to this, Notch himself posted an explanation behind his decision. Essentially, it boils down to what was said above – Minecraft grew too fast and spiraled out of control. He doesn’t want the responsibility of something so huge, nor does he want the attention that comes with it, nor does he wish to become a symbol for the game (which he certainly has).
Of course, that chunk of cash obviously has to have some kind of persuasive quality – I find it hard to believe that he at no point considered how much money he could make off of the deal.
Still, to Notch, I say: take the money and live out your dream. He is not a hero or a villain, but a person just like the rest of us. He has given us something we all truly love and enjoy, and for that he will forever be appreciated – but every story has its end, and every journey must begin somewhere anew.
Read Notch’s letter here, then leave a comment on this post about how you feel on this whole matter. Acquisitions can be a scary time for fans – if any significant information becomes available about the acquisition from here on out, I will be sure to keep you updated!