Notch leaves Mojang, Minecraft sold to Microsoft — “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

In a post on his personal blog (pastebin mirror), Minecraft creator Markus Persson has stated that he’s leaving Mojang in order to maintain his personal identity.

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.

Microsoft acquired Minecraft for 2.5 billion dollars this morning.  This purchase not only acquired all the rights to Minecraft on Microsoft systems, but also for all other platforms.  An article on Bloomberg stated that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hopes to have “Microsoft programs work across many gadgets,” so we probably won’t see any terrifying announcements that Minecraft is an Xbox exclusive.

It is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.

Nadella’s statement seems to be supportive of the mod-friendly world that has driven Minecraft into popularity.  In all of the statements made about the game so far, Microsoft hasn’t said anything about changing the game’s structure.

As for Persson, it seems like he will be stepping down from Mojang, and the spotlight, permanently.

As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.

Minecraft has seen huge success since its introduction in 2009, selling over 50 million copies across just about every imaginable platform.  In one of the final lines of his blog post, Notch made an address suggesting that Minecraft is even bigger than Microsoft.  Let’s hope that’s true.

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.

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