Notch Explains Why He Sold Mojang to Microsoft

By | 2 years ago 

You may have heard by now that Microsoft is buying Minecraft developer Mojang for a massive $2.5 billion. Rumors of the deal began popping up last week, but Microsoft and Mojang officially announced the deal was going through today.

However, Mojang co-founder Markus ‘Notch’ Persson won’t be around after the sell, as he’s decided to leave the company behind along with two of other Mojang co-founders. Now, we have some insight as to why this all is going down.

In a post on his personal website, Notch explained his reasons for leaving were unrelated to the money, but more “about my sanity.” Notch wants to step out of the spotlight and go back to being a regular person.

“A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things. At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work. I wasn’t exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

“I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration. Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”

It doesn’t seem like Notch’s departure will be temporary, either. While he still plans to work on smaller projects, he emphasizes that, should anything he work on become increasingly popular, he’ll “probably abandon it immediately.” Notch says he makes games because they’re fun, not because he’s set out to make the next big thing. And while there are sure to be numerous negative comments regarding his decision, he now feels less inclined to delve into them.

Markus 'Notch' Persson and GDC 2011

“I love you. All of you,” he said finishing up his post. “Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become…In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.”

Source: Markus ‘Notch’ Persson