Report: Notch ‘Unlikely’ To Stay At Mojang After Microsoft Sale

Report: Notch ‘Unlikely’ To Stay At Mojang After Microsoft Sale

In addition to a report yesterday claiming Microsoft was in talks to buy Swedish developers Mojang, Bloomberg now says that according to “a person familiar with Microsoft” Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson will in all likelihood step aside from the company once the sale goes through.

This source says that the deal was first discussed a few months back, with Persson reaching out to Microsoft following their positive history working together on the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft.

“The two companies quickly agreed on a framework and approximate price and have been working out the details since”, the Bloomberg report states. “Persson will help out with the transition, though he is unlikely to remain beyond that”.

Note that despite this new information, neither Mojang nor Microsoft has confirmed (or even commented on) the proposed purchase.

Microsoft Said Near $US2 Billion Deal for Minecraft Maker [Bloomberg]

Picture: Alexander Babic


    • Brand is established, all the youngins want it. If you can only get it on xbox than all of the sudden you have an army of crying kids demanding xbox’s for christmas.

      On another note, the game doesn’t seem technically that advanced. Couldn’t microsoft put a team together to pump out a clone for a hell of a lot cheaper?

      • Yeah but it wouldn’t have the brand. Minecraft merchandise (let alone game sales and advertising) is making Mojang a tiny fortune, enough of a fortune that if used properly that brand would make Microsoft that little, tiny bit richer.

        Plus anything to get people locked into buying an X1 is good for Microsoft at this point.

    • Notch doesn’t really work on Minecraft anymore and in all seriousness he doesn’t really see things through anyway. He passed off development of Minecraft to someone else just before it left the years-long “beta”. He comes up with new ideas, starts work on them, then gets bored with them and leaves everyone hanging.

      Still waiting on 0x10c, dude!

    • That was kinda my question too. From an article I read “Mojang has sold more than 50 million copies of “Minecraft” since it was initially released in 2009 and earned more than $100 million in profits last year from the game and merchandise. “Minecraft” is already available on the Xbox, as well as Sony Corp.’s PlayStation, PCs and smartphones.”
      If it’s been out for 5 years, and “only” made $100mil last year across all the platforms it’s already on, then how do they plan to re-coup that 2bil? Selling millions of copies on Xbox for $60 a pop? I think not.
      I am just struggling to see (a) how the company is worth 2bil, when they have ‘only’ made 100mil in profits last year, and (b) how MS would make the money back, or even close to, within like 20 years?
      Do these Mojang guys have any other games in the pipeline? Wasn’t there a ‘scrolls’ game or something that they were fighting Bethesda over?

        • true, for some reason, my early morning brain completely disregarded a ‘Minecraft 2’ – “Now with Kinect so you can actually mine the blocks by hand!”.
          Thanks for pointing out an obvious to me weresmurf, i better get another cuppa tea 😛

      • People fail to understand how businesses and marketing work. Think of all the kids playing Minecraft right now. MS could take advantage of the massive userbase to convert sales to other related gaming products. Think XBOne, other games, peripherals, Windows Phone, Surface tablets, licensed clothing? toys? movies?. etc. These kids will grow up in a MS ecosystem, being fed constant MS-flavoured goodies for which they will also eagerly use their parents’ money to purchase.
        But then once these kids become adults and join the professional workforce, the contact details and statistics MS has already gathered (i.e. analytics & email addresses) can be used to advertise and market other business products, which is where their real money lies.

        Furthermore, the details being discussed right now not only include the company’s current value —which is not inconsiderable seeing as in 2013 they more than doubled their profits from 2012; totalling to over $340mil— but also it’s potential future earnings as well. Notch is simply making sure he and his team get their deserved slice of the future pie before it’s sold off.

        MS is no dummy. They’re not going to pay big for something from which they can’t make big profits.

    • Minecraft is basically a killer app – there are a heck of a lot of people out there, especially young kids, who don’t really play any other games.

      While it’s too late for MS to stop Minecraft from being released on PS4, they can slow down development and “encourage” people to get the XBox One version, which will (sooner or later) have additional features & bug fixes.

      So while the game itself is cheapish, MS are probably hoping to leverage some XBox One sales off the purchase – and many of these are young kids, aged 5-10, who have serious pester power with their parents.

    • It’s done well.
      But Notch is hardly a good developer. He doesn’t really do much and never completes shit.

  • Notch is a one hit wonder and it went to his head too fast. They haven’t really developed minecraft to an amazing state either.

    • I don’t know how it went to his head, he admitted that it’s a one hit wonder in the AMA he did. Sure, he can be very hypocritical but I don’t think it’s gone to his head if he can admit he will never make a game that will be anywhere near Minecrafts popularity.

  • Congrats to him, if it does go through. He can move onto making something else just as amazing. I just hope Microsoft doesn’t try to stifle the modding community or anything silly like that.

  • condemns Occulus rift for selling to facebook…

    tries to sell Mojang to MS.

    Douchebag Persson. Then again hypocrisy has been a regular character trait of this twat for years…

    • The circumstances are a little different. Microsoft is an established software company with a long-standing presence in the games industry. Facebook is a platform company that makes money from the sale of personal information and has basically no connection to virtual reality or non-casual gaming.

      • Honestly its not much different. Both are giant companies with histories of buying out others and enveloping others.

        but if we do look at it your way MS is the worse option. FB is doing something risky and should be given the chance. MS is yet again buying a company (offered to them this time) they will yet again temporarily use then dismantle. history always repeats.

        • On what basis? Microsoft has made several successful acquisitions in the game industry over the years. Lionhead has been producing successful Fable games, FASA produced Mechwarrior 4 and MechCommander 2 under Microsoft. Digital Anvil produced Freelancer, arguably one of the best space games of its generation, under Microsoft. Rare was pretty much the only bad acquisition it made in terms of game popularity and success.

      • Mechwarrior, a once great franchise was reduced to garbage. Mechwarrior 4 was renowned as one of the worst entries in the series due to its super generic nature and terrible handling of weaponry and mechs. Hows that license working out for you these days? Fasa interactive produced some top rating games including crimson skies yet still got shuttered by ms in 2007.

        Freelancer was a good game. really the quality of the games isnt even the issue. Digital anvil created FL under Chris roberts. MS purchased them and then they dissolved them.

        But if quality were a concer, Fable 3 has been dumbed down and reduced so much it’s going to have to start taking the shortbus. Given Fables sliding sales and reviews history will repeat and Lionhead too will eventually be dissolved.

        Its a common business tactic. Dont destroy your opponent. Buy them.

        • What are you on? MechWarrior 4 had the highest ratings of any MechWarrior game across the board. Microsoft didn’t close FASA, they closed themselves. Digital Anvil was dissolved because the developers were moved into Microsoft Studios, which continued to put out good games. The only thing lost was the name, the talent stayed active and in the company.

          Microsoft oversaw Fable 2 and Fable 3. Fable 2 was the highest rated Fable in the franchise, and Fable 3 still saw an 80 metacritic rating (user ratings on metacritic are worthless because the site still refuses to have any kind of quality control).

          If you’re concerned about the name Mojang, then sure, there’s a risk that will be dissolved and the developers moved into Microsoft Studios. If you’re concerned about the staff and talent, there hasn’t been a studio Microsoft has closed that they haven’t retained the talent from. If you’re concerned about the games, then it doesn’t matter if they’re released as Mojang or Microsoft Studios, as long as they’re good, and Microsoft has a better track record for that than most other publishers.

        • Fable III isn’t as bad a game as it feels. It’s main problem is pacing issues that make the story feel 20 minutes long. I feel like they were genuinely trying to improve on Fable II even if it didn’t work out as well as it could have.
          Fable: The Journey was actually a good game. It’s only major flaw, aside from being a massive chapter in the series without being Fable 4, was that it was trying to use a broken controller. I’d really like to see an XBOX One port of that with the new Kinect. I can’t really comment on Fable Heroes. It wasn’t that fun but I didn’t play it with four players on the couch. However I felt like even with four players the game play wouldn’t have been energetic enough. It’s hard to say. It’s a bit like reviewing Mario Party as a single player experience.
          Fable Legends looks like it’ll be a good game that doesn’t turn into the always on experience it requires. I really think to get that it has to be a PC game with low graphics requirements tailored to the latch on and never let go crowd.

          Lionhead won’t die out because of that stuff though. At the end of the day it’s clear why these games are failing and there’s still solid demand for main series Fable games. I mean Fable III had a very clear list of problems. It wasn’t just a case of brand fatigue or a fickle user base. Microsoft understand that well enough they got a Fable Anniversary (and hopefully an XBOX One Fable Collection) out the door.
          Fable’s big problem right now is that Microsoft want it to be bigger. Eventually it will either get bigger or they’ll realise it doesn’t have the brand power to be successful as anything other than the main series games.

    • Not to mention he refused to certify Minecraft for Windows 8 and mocked M$ about it (he had a point though).

      I guess this buyout shows how greedy both companies involved are.

    • Yeah but notch did say oculus to Fb was a bad idea purely because FB has no gaming credentials, let’s face it. Microsoft does they made bungie and Halo what it is today otherwise they’d still be making awesome stuff like myth and marathon 🙂

    • This comment simply shows a lack of understanding of people, and of how the business world works.

      People can have opinions and they can change their minds. And they can also make mistakes. That doesn’t make them bad people… on the contrary, it makes them smart because they’re willing to change and lose and learn through trying.
      Changing your mind or considering other options doesn’t make you a hypocrite. It simply means you’re willing to learn, change and grow.

      Of course you might prove me wrong. You might create something just as successful as Mojang and teach everyone how it’s actually done. How to have opinions and make off-the-cuff comments and rigidly stick to your guns and never waver when challenged, and succeed beyond everyone’s hopes and dreams as a consequence. In fact, I invite you to do that very thing.

  • The offer for Mojang/Minecraft is $2Billion… Disney picked up the Star Wars franchise for $4Billion… Disney got a damn good price!

  • I still don’t really see what Microsoft is trying to achieve with this (aside from cashing in on a popular game). The only thing I can think of is that Project Spark isn’t doing so well and they want to leverage the creative uses of Minecraft somehow.

    • The game has bee a sales machine on the 360, it broke all digital records and the low price continually sees the physical game in the Top 5 lists around the world per month or whatever length of time you pick.

      One aspect will simply be, to stop any future version to be on a completing console platform. Microsoft are perhaps a bit too late now that the PS4 version is now out, or perhaps Mojang were adamant that any talks/agreement wouldn’t stop any previously announced versions from being released.

      The PC is a different beast, but once they release Minecraft 2 (whatever/however that comes about), the only way you are likely to play it will be via an XBone and/or possibly a Windows Phone only. There will be a shit tonne of flak initially and the franchise would likely take a hit also, but they would expect a fair decent increase to their hardware side.

  • i’ve watched the documentary on the story of minecraft, and something in that and in this isnt sitting right. im sure i heard that the business model that mojang has is that notch licenses out the game to mojang for them to produce. how will microsft work with mojang if this is how its been working for the 5 years? wouldnt microsoft have to work with notch in getting the license to publish minecraft? glad i dont invest in microsft……

  • Selling Minecraft doesn’t make sense to me, there’s soo much freedom in it… It’s like selling a Linux distro to Microsoft or even Apple

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!