Microsoft today announced the long-rumoured $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang, the company behind the world's most popular computer game Minecraft. Sadly, it looks like the acquisition hasn't included the creator of the popular sandbox title, Markus "Notch" Persson, who announced his retirement from the studio today.
Last week, rumors began to surface about the potential sale of the studio and its game. This week those rumors were confirmed. Microsoft announced the purchase of Mojang for $2.5 billion and Mojang, in turn, announced that the three founders, including Persson, would be leaving the company once the deal is done.
"Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms," says Xbox chief Phil Spencer. "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 platforms – including iOS, Android and PlayStation, in addition to Xbox and PC."
The acquisition opens a path for Microsoft to pursue a number of potential ways in getting their money back, from DLC packs through to even trying a Minecraft 2 if they feel lucky. With over 50 million copies sold so far on various devices including mobile, PlayStation and Xbox, it is somewhat clear why exactly Microsoft has purchased the very popular open-world title.
"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," Mojang’s Owen Hill revealed in a press release. "The only option was to sell Mojang. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that." Notch has previously criticized Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, but in a revealing blog post
he discusses his reasons for leaving Mojang and Minecraft. "If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately," says Persson."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."