Last week was full of speculation over a potential sale of Minecraft developer Mojang to mego corporation Microsoft. Finally Mojang are free to talk about it and, yes, the deal is happening.
“Mojang is being bought by Microsoft,” writes Mojang’s Owen Hill. “It’s going to be good though. Everything is going to be OK.”
Update: Notch has written a post of his own thoughts on the matter.
“Please remember that the future of Minecraft and you – the community – are extremely important to everyone involved,” Hill writes. “We can only share so much information right now, but we’ve decided that being as honest as possible is the best approach. We’re still working a lot of this stuff out. Mega-deals are serious business.”
First, Hill explains the reason for selling the company to Microsoft: “Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance. Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big.”
As Notch owns the majority stake in the company’s shares he is free to sell the company on if he wishes and “he’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance.”
It’s clear to see the detriment being the face of Minecraft has had on his work. “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.”
But, why Microsoft? “There are only a handful of potential buyers with the resources to grow Minecraft on a scale that it deserves. We’ve worked closely with Microsoft since 2012, and have been impressed by their continued dedication to our game and its development. We’re confident that Minecraft will continue to grow in an awesome way.”
Hill makes clear that, as far as Mojang are concerned, “There’s no reason for the development, sales, and support of the PC/Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, iOS, and Android versions of Minecraft to stop.” However, he does also point out that “Microsoft can’t make decisions for other companies or predict the choices that they might make in the future.”
Something that might worry Minecraft fans somewhat is a question that Mojang can’t answer. Minecraft’s become what it is due to the free and open nature of the game. But they can’t say for certain it will stay that way. Instead, “Minecraft will continue to evolve, just like it has since the start of development. We don’t know specific plans for Minecraft’s future yet, but we do know that everyone involved wants the community to grow and become even more amazing than it’s ever been. Stopping players making cool stuff is not in anyone’s interests.”
The final sale price of Mojang is a staggering $2.5 billion. To put that in perspective, that’s more than Facebook paid for the virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus, a company whose tech will likely change the way we interact with the world over the coming years. Clearly Microsoft see Minecraft as something of huge importance.
What this means for other IPs owned by Minecraft is unclear. Hill says that they simply don’t know yet what the future of Srolls will be.
Finally, Hill says that Notch, Carl, and Jakob, Mojang’s founders, are leaving: “We don’t know what they’re planning. It won’t be Minecraft-related but it will probably be cool.”
Tim’s written an open letter to Microsoft about what he hopes they will and won’t change about Minecraft.