Skip to main content

Markus "Notch" Persson, Others Leaving Mojang

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.

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • ABagOfFritos
    "Persson also said that if he develops a project that gains Minecraft-like traction, he will abandon it."
    - Okay there, Kurt Cobain
    "I'm a person, and I'm right there struggling with you."
    - Okay there, guy with billions of dollars to his name
    Reply
  • Well, I hope Microsoft won't screw up the game. To be honest I don't think they will, they may make it even better actually.
    Reply
  • jungleboogiemonster
    I'm sure Notch will take a lot of grief for selling to Microsoft, but I can't blame him. Not everyone wants to be a CEO. He sounds like a programmer who became immensely successful with no intent of doing so and just wants to get back to what he really is.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    Money talks. Taking a "moral position" walks. Simple.
    Reply
  • canadianvice
    You know what, benign objectives like sanity or the more likely "make tons of money" it's not a problem. Notch got what he needed out of the arrangement and I say good on him. I like stories of people who make it big on their own merits.

    Minecraft is still a pretty cool guy, since eh makes good games and stuff.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    Right, if it was from stress he would of left years ago. Only reason he is going now is because he has made enough money he can go sit on a beach and do absolutely nothing important with his time for the rest of his life.
    Reply
  • IndignantSkeptic
    Knowing Microsoft, they will use their new power over Minecraft to probably pull or cripple the versions of the game that are not on their systems.
    Reply
  • Innocent_Bystander
    Only reason he is going now is because he has made enough money he can go sit on a beach and do absolutely nothing important with his time for the rest of his life.

    And what exactly is wrong with that? He earned it. I say well done, he deserves his beach time.
    Reply
  • IInuyasha74
    14180483 said:
    Only reason he is going now is because he has made enough money he can go sit on a beach and do absolutely nothing important with his time for the rest of his life.

    And what exactly is wrong with that? He earned it. I say well done, he deserves his beach time.

    The only thing wrong with it is the part where he is saying it is for one reason but really for another. I personally hate the game, don't much care for him, but guy made a few hundred million dollars and wants to go enjoy the next few decades living off the interest I don't have a problem with it, just he should be honest.
    Reply
  • siman0
    This can go three ways. Microsoft will destroy minecraft by making it a Microsoft only game. (high possibly) Or microsoft could make the game based in C so it can be easily ran. (high possibly) Or both of the lasted stated comments. (higher possibility)
    Reply