Microsoft has confirmed the purchase of Minecraft developer, Mojang for a total of $2.5 billion (£1.5bn). Once the sale is complete Markus “Notch” Persson, and fellow co-founders, will exit the company. The price Microsoft has laid down for the developer may seem high but Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even during the 2015 fiscal year with the deal closing later this year.
According to the announcement on the Mojang site, the reason for the sale was outlined
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.
Notch also took to his personal blog to explain his decision
As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.
Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.
He goes on to sign off on his post with some striking last words
It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.
The decision to sell to Microsoft has proven unpopular with some Minecraft players with many expecting big changes for the worst from Microsoft. However, Xbox’s Phil Spencer aimed to reassure fans that it doesn’t plan to change course too much.
Minecraft adds diversity to our game portfolio and helps us reach new gamers across multiple platforms,” Spencer said. “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.
Microsoft has confirmed that they will continue to support all platforms the game currently exists on including rival console platforms.
The full announcement by Mojang can be found on their official site https://mojang.com/2014/09/yes-were-being-bought-by-microsoft/