As one of the richest companies in the world today, it’s no secret that Microsoft is sitting on a near unfathomable amount of money at all times. The Windows OS manufacturer has made a number of blockbuster acquisitions since its emergence on the marketplace, and that holds true to its Xbox-branded gaming division as well. One of the latest purchases made by the publisher was the smash-hit Minecraft for $2.5 billion, and the deal understandably shocked fans upon its announcement.
While the arrangement seemingly went off without a hitch, some new insider reports claim that there was some animosity amongst team members at Mojang. To ease tensions, and as a show of goodwill, Microsoft proceeded to offer the newly acquired staff an absurd amount of money to stay on and continue work on games like Minecraft.
According to a new book titled Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus Notch Persson and the Game that Changed Everything – Second Edition, which just had an excerpt posted on Wired, Microsoft ponied up a whopping $300,000 to each individual staff member willing to stay on for another six months. On top of this, employees were also said to be guaranteed two years worth of their monthly salary following the closure of Mojang’s sale.
“Everyone at Mojang was made the same offer: whoever stayed on board for at least six months after the sale would be rewarded with two million Swedish crowns, approximately three hundred thousand dollars, after taxes. A small fortune was being tendered as a peace offering, in other words.”
Apparently at least one member of the studio turned down the offer to go off and do their own thing, but a majority of them remained committed to their new bosses. Even then, morale was said to be quite low in the aftermath of the Microsoft buyout.
“News of the sale changed things at Mojang. Some felt betrayed by [Minecraft creator Markus Persson’s] decision. Morale plummeted. ‘People felt like the world was coming to an end,’ one longtime Mojang employee told us shortly after the news broke.”
With any sale as substantial as the Mojang one, there’s sure to be concern amongst employees and fans alike. Fortunately, Microsoft seemed to be aware of how to keep the staff that helped build Minecraft and Scrolls content during the transition period. Despite word that a later visit from Microsoft Game Studios general manager Matt Booty irked a number of people, there doesn’t appear to have been any major backlash from the sale as of yet.
Do you think Microsoft overpaid the staff at Mojang or was the money well spent? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
The book that features this piece of news, Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus Notch Persson and the Game that Changed Everything – Second Edition, is set to arrive on June 16, 2015.