Microsoft, Mojang, and Minecraft

So it is actually true. Microsoft bought Mojang for $2.5 billion.

When I first heard the rumors, my first reaction was there was no way they were true. Then they persisted with no response from Mojang or Notch, and I began to think they could be afterall. With the official news today confirming the rumor removing all doubt, my first reaction was dread and the neither the Mojang post linked above nor this one from Phil Spencer at Xbox make me feel any better. Both are to PR crafted for me to take anything from them about what’s ahead for Minecraft, Let’s Plays, and modding.

To be fair, even if they had come out with specific promises and plans, I wouldn’t be feeling much different. As the saying goes, talk is cheap. I and a lot of other Minecraft players, modders, and YouTubers will be watching closely to see what Microsoft actually does with the property. I hope that given the amount of money involved and their prior relationship with Mojang that Microsoft has plans in mind, but I’ve worked for too many companies where management made odd decisions (almost always due to internal politics) to assume that Microsoft has a real plan until I see it in action.

Just to be clear, I don’t hate Microsoft and I don’t think they’re evil. Corporations are neither good nor evil. Public corporations like Microsoft exist solely to make money. Which makes me wonder though if Microsoft sees the YouTube and modding communities as a valuable enough part of Minecraft to adjust their policies to accommodate both groups.

The best thing I’ve read today about this was Notch’s note about the sale. From the Minecraft documentary and interviews I’ve seen, I fully believe that last part of this post:

It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.

I’m glad he found a way to get out on his own terms and I wish him all the best going forward.

P.S. This sums things up nicely:

Screenshot_2014-09-15-15-12-09

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