Right after Microsoft announced the $2.5 billion acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang, Markus "Notch" Persson, the game's creator and studio co-founder, announced that he's leaving the company. This bit of news was also mentioned on the Mojang blog, which added that co-founders Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser are departing as well. Jens Bergensten will remain as the Lead Developer.
"He's decided that he doesn't want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance," the Mojang blog said in regards to Persson. "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."
Persson said that once the deal is finalized, he will continue to participate in Ludum Dares and work on "small web experiments." Persson also said that if he develops a project that gains Minecraft-like traction, he will abandon it.
"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," Persson said. "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."
Although Persson closes his blog entry saying that he loves his fans, there are simply too many. He doesn't want the responsibility that comes from a mega-hit game. It's not about the money, he concluded, but about his own sanity.
So why is Microsoft purchasing Mojang? Because the Xbox maker has the resources to make Minecraft grow in an "awesome" way. The two parties have worked together since 2012, and Mojang is impressed by Microsoft's commitment to the game. This acquisition will benefit everyone, the blog insisted, from the players to Mojang to Microsoft.
Does this acquisition mean that other Minecraft versions outside the Xbox One/360 and PC markets won't be supported by Mojang? Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that the game won't be pulled by Microsoft competitors. However, the game won't change, the studio insisted, but it will evolve, just as it has since it appeared as an open alpha.
"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," Mojang's blog said.
As for other Mojang projects like Scrolls, its continued support is up in the air for now.