The rumor was indeed true – Microsoft bought Minecraft yesterday for $2.5 billion and its founder Markus Persson will not be joining Microsoft.
As it was written and speculated nearly a week ago, Microsoft is buying Mojang, the video games studio behind Minecraft. Microsoft made it official yesterday that it was paying $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang, and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Microsoft Xbox chief Phil Spencer explains: “Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms. 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.”
Minecraft creator Markus Persson, known as Notch, will not be joining Microsoft as part of the acquisition. Mojang’s Owen Hill said: “He’s decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance. 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 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.” Additionally, Persson thanked all the fans who helped make Minecraft what it became: “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.”