After there had been whispers over the past week about the sale, it’s finally official – Microsoft just made a huge “blocky” purchase of Mojang.
The company announced the acquisition of the game studio, which is responsible for the best-selling Minecraft games. The deal is worth an estimated $2.5 billion.
As far as why the company’s mastermind, Markus “Notch” Persson opted to sell the company to the big “M”, Mojang’s Owen Hill provided an explanation on the company’s website. “He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance,” he said. “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.”
Following its sale to Microsoft, Persson will be departing the company, alongside co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser, with none of them indicating what they’ll be doing next – at least, not yet. The “vast majority” of employees will remain with the company, though, providing Microsoft with plenty of worth.
But will the purchase change the nature of the Minecraft series and its direction That won’t be the case, according to Xbox head Phil Spencer, who provided words of reassurance. “Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms,” he said. “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 all platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC.”
With the move, Microsoft will take over on the yearly Minecraft convention, and plans to boost community in the process. “We’re excited to welcome Mojang to the Microsoft faming and we are thrilled to support the success and longevity of Minecraft for years to come,” concluded Spencer.
As far as Persson’s personal thoughts on the sale, he took to his personal blog to express himself. “As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments,” he said. “If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.
“Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.
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.”
Source: GamesIndustry International