Yesterday, we reported that Microsoft are in talks with Mojang to acquire the house of Minecraft for $2 billion dollars.
Since then, the rumors have escalated and it has come out now that Markus Persson – Notch, to fans of the game – instigated the talks himself, with the idea that once that deal has gone through, he will leave Mojang for good. These rumors have led to fans rooting through his past tweets and finding comments that were critical of Microsoft in the past. Because, internet.
So, what has inspired Persson’s change of heart?
Some people believe that inspiration came from the positive working relationship he formed with Microsoft when Minecraft first came to the Xbox 360. Microsoft head Phil Spencer has flown to Stockholm this week to have dinner with him, so we know that they are on good terms.
Others believe it’s due to the stress Mojang AB is feeling as they try and replicate the success that they enjoyed with Minecraft. The game has sold nearly 54 million copies across all platforms – excluding the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, whose sales still need to be added to the figures – and made profits of nearly $115 million from $290 million total revenue. Not bad for a game that’s been available to play since 2009. Chief Exec Charles Manneh previously stated that “the stress had increased at Mojang since the game was first developed”, adding: “Now there are millions of eyeballs looking at what’s coming next so the external pressure is obviously completely different.”
The more skeptical among fans have taken a look at the figures and believe that this could be the reasons behind the move. Notch owns a 70% stake in Mojang, meaning that he would personally pocket $1.4 billion from the deal. Other major beneficiaries of the sale would be co-founder Jakob Porser and the aforementioned Carl Manneh.
We’ll be keeping you up-to-date on this story as it develops, so follow us on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our RSS feed to be in the know. In the meantime, for an idea of why Microsoft might be so keen to snap up the game (other than the revenue, of course), why not check out Oliver McQuitty’s recent look at some of the amazing creations players have come up with?