It appears that the rumors have turned out to be true. Today, both Microsoft and Mojang announced that they have reached an agreement where Microsoft will pay $2.5 billion for Mojang, which includes its Minecraft franchise and other IPs currently being developed. However, it was also revealed that the game developer’s founders will be leaving the company.
“Minecraft has grown from a simple game to a project of monumental significance,” Mojang chief word officer Owen Hill wrote on the developer’s official website. “Though we’re massively proud of what Minecraft has become, it was never Notch’s intention for it to get this big.”
He went on to explain, “As you might already know, Notch is the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder at Mojang. 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. He’ll continue to do cool stuff though. Don’t worry about that.”
Not only is Minecraft creator and Mojang co-founder Markus “Notch” Persson leaving the company, but Mojang co-founders Carl Manneh and H. Jakob Porsér are leaving as well. Meanwhile, the majority of the developer’s staff will be staying.
However, their departure has not dampened Microsoft’s expectations for its latest purchase. The company expects the acquisition to break even in fiscal year 2015, which ends on June 30, 2016, on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis.
“Minecraft is one of the most popular franchises of all time,” said head of Xbox Phil Spencer. “We are going to maintain Minecraft and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future.”
Minecraft, at last count, has sold over 54 million copies on various console platforms, mobile devices, and the PC platform with Microsoft assuring consumers that it will continue to make Minecraft available across all platforms. There is speculation that the company is looking to bolster its mobile market since the game is not available on the company’s Surface tablet or Windows Phone.
The deal is set to close in late 2014.
But what do you make of this deal and the fact that Mojang’s founders are leaving the company?