Although there were some pretty landmark sales and acquisitions in 2014, the one that easily stands out as the biggest was Microsoft acquiring Minecraft for $2.5B. As one of the biggest, and most lucrative, game franchises around, Minecraft represents a huge “get” for Microsoft and puts the company on track for great success in the future.
At the same time, though, many Minecraft fans wondered whether the sale to Microsoft was the right move for developer Mojang. In their mind, Microsoft represents corporate thinking, while Minecraft comes from a place of independent creativity.
The more extreme Minecraft fans took things a step further with claims that Mojang, and Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, “sold out” by letting Microsoft acquire the property. To them, Mojang and Persson cashed in on a lucrative opportunity and let the franchise fall into the clutches of the enemy.
While that is hardly true, Persson did address the “sellout” claims on Twitter and his response is surprisingly candid. When asked if he feels like a sellout with regards to the sale, Persson had this to say:
Although it’s hard to say at this juncture whether Persson made the right choice, it’s clear the decision weighed heavily on him. Giving up the rights to something you helped create and that drew in such a ravenous fan base could not have been easy, but he apparently felt like Microsoft was the right company to continue Mojang’s work.
Persson also addressed the notion that he is a one-trick pony, and that Minecraft will always be his sole accomplishment. In his mind, the talk of being a one-trick pony was “hard to deal with,” but he says he’s “OK” with it now.
Notch has made several attempts at game development post-Minecraft but so far those have proven unsuccessful. With his newfound free time (and millions of dollars), Persson has taken to developing again, but he doesn’t have any plans to release those games to the public.
In the end, Notch is no different than someone like Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey or the Twitch founders – he created a successful product and let a bigger company take over to try to increase its reach. They all will likely wrestle with questions of whether they sold out, but
Do you think Notch is a “sellout” for agreeing to the Microsoft acquisition? Will he ever release another game?
Source: Markus Persson