EA Looked To Buy Mojang, No Sale

By Jim Rossignol on August 6th, 2011 at 7:53 am.

Hello, ladies.
EA CEO John Riccitiello recently met with Notch with (reportedly) a view to acquiring the Minecraft creating company, according to an interview with Develop. “EA came to see us,” says Notch. “I think they had plans, but picked up the vibe. Nothing’s been said since – it’s all very high politics,”

Notch has stated that EA made no direct offer, but that acquisitiveness makes sense, given Mr R’s history. But Mojang is basically not for sale, and frankly why would it be? Minecraft recently hit three million copies sold and Notch is richer than the rest of indie game dev put together. I think there’s a point where you can stop worrying about money, and Mr P has hit it: “I play their games, and they make great games, but we are too far from each other,” said Notch of EA. “They can make their games, and I’ll buy them. We’ll make ours, and they can buy them. Not the property – that’s ours. But they can play it like everyone else.”

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109 Comments »

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  1. thepaleking says:

    Woah, woah, hold on.

    EA makes great games?

    • LQ says:

      EA publishes great games other people have made.

      Then they close the studio and turn the IP into bad games.

    • Paul says:

      Mirror’s Edge, SHIFT 2, Dead Space 1/2, Battlefields, Crysis 2..those are pretty great.

    • Gnoupi says:

      @LQ – that’s mostly EA from several years ago. Or Activision now.
      EA bought themselves a better reputation with the “experiments” Paul mentioned, like Mirror’s edge and Dead Space

    • BoneyD says:

      That’s just the diplomatic way of saying, “Err, no. We are not for sale to your hideous Borg corporation, that would consume our natural resources and discard us like all of your other spent acquisitions.”

    • StranaMente says:

      Well they seem to have stopped looking for new IPs and closed the less succceful ones. And then they’re trying to turn the more succeful into CoD (I’m looking at you DA2 and ME3). Way to go EA, way to go…

    • Valvarexart says:

      Really, EA is NOT a huge EVIL corporation. They may be huge, but they are certainly not evil. They might make a few decisions that we disagree with, but if they really were all in for the bottom line (cash) we would be seeing worse things. After all, EA isn’t a welfare project. Well, it might be, but not for the gamers. For the shareholders, I would say, rather.

    • Gaytard Fondue says:

      Why is everyone thinking that EA developed Crysis 2?

    • Boarnoah says:

      EA didn’t develop crysis but they published it

    • President Weasel says:

      in that pic, is it a very tiny hat on a normal sized head, or does Notch have a normal-sized hat balanced atop an oversized noggin?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Hey, anyone remember that Activision shut down Raven? I’ll just let you all remember that for a few minutes.

    • thepaleking says:

      Did they shut them down? I thought they were now making DLC for the CoD games; which honestly sounds worse than simply being shut down.

    • WPUN says:

      LQ is right. If you don’t have a BIG hit, EA destroys your company. If it’s a BIG hit, then EA slowly destroys your company.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Big business acts like big business. Why is this still a suprise to people?

      AAA games cost millions to make, someone has to stump up the cash.

    • Wulf says:

      @Valvarexart

      I can understand how you feel. They bought a lot of favour with me in regards to their experiments as well. But this whole Origin thing is making me feel incredibly sour toward them.

      Why did they have to call it Origin?

      That’s like a snide little backstab at all the once-Origin fans, and that DOES seem a little evil.

  2. pirusu says:

    Riccitiello can throw out some pretty big numbers, I’m sure. Even more than Notch’s sizable income. EA has certainly paid more for worse investments.

    Good on Notch and Mojang.

  3. DeCi says:

    Love how in the pic they look away from eachother.
    EA: “Aw Really no sale?”
    Notch: “Nop *trollface*

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      yup, simple but efficient.

    • p4warrior says:

      Looks like a romantic comedy poster to me. Someone with better ‘chopping skills, hop to it: Notch’s Just Not That Into You!

    • Squishpoke says:

      Oh hey, p4warrior. You come from Kotaku already?

    • Armante says:

      LOVE the pics – well chosen, that man.

      and good on ya Notch

    • Benny.Profane says:

      He’s Just Notch That Into You!

    • WPUN says:

      Riccitiello: Nice game company you got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.

    • sinister agent says:

      That’s one less Notch on his bedpost, eh?

    • Tommo says:

      Riccitiello’s ego just went down a Notch!

    • p4warrior says:

      Hi Squishpoke. Yeah I left Kotaku months ago and haven’t been back in a while. I’m spending most of my time on deanb’s Press X or Die forums, here, other odd sites; also doing some writing for gaming blogs. Been fun! Good to see ya!

  4. Aemony says:

    Notch declined Valve and EA still thought they had a chance? FFS, EA, GET OVER YOURSELVES! God, damnit, I hate you! Mojang are indies for a reason, perhaps you’ve mistaken yourself regarding the term ‘indie’? REMOVE YOUR DAMN UGLY DESTRUCTIVE HANDS FROM MY MOST BELOVED INDIE DEVELOPERS! AND TAKE ORIGIN WITH YOU IN YOUR FALL!

    /rant

    Felt nice to get that of my chest.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Pretty sure EA’s shareholders would have forced them to at least try, considering how profitable Minecraft is. Considering the potential risk/reward of one-man indie games, producers in the industry must be paying a lot of attention now.

    • DeCi says:

      EA’s Origin client actually aint that bad but i agree with what u said +1

    • Tomm says:

      Again, the full story suggests that nothing about a merger was even mentioned at the lunch, and Riccitiello was just in Sweden to visit DICE.

      Calm down.

    • Bedeage says:

      Cry more please.

  5. Flakfizer says:

    Waiting for irrational Notch hatred in 3, 2, 1, …

  6. Meusli says:

    So what would they really be buying, Notch or just the Minecraft IP? Cos’ he could take the money and just walk away even richer.

    • Berzee says:

      Slavery is illegal in several countries, but I don’t know about his distant and alien homeland. Maybe they really could buy him.

    • 12kill4 says:

      Perhaps they just wanted to buy his life rights so they could produce a lifetime movie based on him, titled ‘A Notch above the rest’.

  7. Squishpoke says:

    Notch’s right… EA and Mojang are a bit too far from each other to merge comfortably. It’s much better to avoid the stress and maintain the indie badge.

    • Tomm says:

      Except that EA owned DICE are located in Sweden.

      A similar article on Kotaku reported that Riccitiello was actually in Sweden to meet with DICE and dropped by for a lunch with Notch. Nothing about a merger was ever mentioned according to Notch, but somehow it has become newsworthy.

    • Zogtee says:

      When you have a very successful game and Riccitiello just happens to drop by for lunch, because he “was in the neighbourhood”, there’s something going on. Love or business, but somethings going on.

    • Tomm says:

      Maybe he’s just a fan, why does it have to be suspicious or spark hear-say?

  8. Lobotomist says:

    Grats Notch for not selling your soul ;)

    • Bedeage says:

      I think it was just his business he didn’t sell. Nice to see RPS readers are a calm and sensible bunch, not given to hyperbole…

  9. Rii says:

    mmm, well, it’s a good sign I think that EA are looking to diversify away from the monolithic AAA business. They cop a lot of flack around here (and understandably so in most cases) but they do seem to be the most creative and forward-thinking of the big publishers these days.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Ham Solo says:

    “Too far from each other” as in lawful evil and neutral good?

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t think Notch is any better than EA, just far more agile. I thought Scrolls was going to have that dumb booster pack system and he was going to make people pay for the mod API. He changed quickly, but that’s easy to do when you’re in charge of a low double digit team.

  11. celozzip says:

    slow news day? “something didnt happen to mojang!” i came here from the pcgamer site coz i was sick of hearing about this guy, is this really all the gaming world wants to talk about? this guy 24/7? ffs.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Actually we just love posting stories about John Riccitiello.

    • Rii says:

      He is more handsome than Notch.

    • MultiVaC says:

      Well, something DID happen to Mojang. The CEO of one of the biggest companies in gaming paid Notch a visit, and presumably offered him lots and lots of money. Even if Notch turning down the offer isn’t newsworthy, the fact that EA was interested in acquiring Minecraft certainly is.

    • Tomm says:

      Notch himself said that nothing about a merger was even mentioned in the lunch, so I’m not sure how he knew EA wanted to buy Mojang.

    • Ephaelon says:

      Riccitiello left his hotel room key on the table after the lunch, looking for a whole different kind of merger.

      Notch looks so cuddly.

    • WPUN says:

      Riccitiello thinks 3 million sales is “innovation.” Now he plans to make a clone of Minecraft that uses spheres instead of blocks. Derp derp.

    • Wulf says:

      @Rii

      I completely disagree. Riccitiello has far too much of a piggy face to be attractive. Not that he’s fat, but his bone structure doesn’t do him any favours. Notch does err on the side of festively plump, but the shape of his face does him many more favours in that regard. Plus Notch’s beard just wins of the two. But John of Wolfire stomps over both of them with hearty vigour.

  12. Zarunil says:

    While I am glad EA won’t be getting their paws on Minecraft, I’m glad to see them try. I’d like to see more innovative titles from EA, instead of the usual safe, blockbuster titles.

    • sinister agent says:

      This just about sums up my feelings about the matter, too. EA have a vey chequered past, but I’m willing to cut them a little slack since they’ve obviously trying to change their ways a little in the last few years. They still have the potential to put out excellent games, so any sign that they’re looking in new directions is a good sign for the industry and for us peasants, too.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      usual safe, blockbuster titles.

      Minecraft is already massively successful… where’s the risk here?

  13. testman3 says:

    I’m glad Notch didn’t sell Mojang to EA, imagine Minecraft becoming an Origin exclusive 0_0

  14. Dreamhacker says:

    Wooo! Stand up to the Man!

  15. StuffedCabbage says:

    This will turn out to be the best decision Notch has ever made.

  16. aircool says:

    Wow! 3 mil copies for a game that isn’t finished yet. I had no idea it was that many. As for EA, they have published some great AAA (or should that be AA+ now?) titles. However, they do seem to take the shine from those they’ve consumed; Will Wright, Bioware etc…

    How. Ev. Er… After some initial floundering, DICE seemed to have improved significantly under EA dark cloak.

    Anyway, notch or no notch, EA are bound to find someone to knock up a Minecraft-a-like game (and every other major publisher no doubt), and it will no doubt be quite polished. As for whether it retains the openness of minecraft though is a different matter.

  17. iyokus says:

    Dead Space is only an experiment if you consider ANY new IP to be an ‘experiment'; there was nothing risky or innovative in the setting or the game. I’m not saying it was bad, but it was just a mash-up of every existing sci-fi/horror trope.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Saul says:

    I give it five years until Notch buys EA.

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      Carra says:

      That would be news.

    • cw8 says:

      I really hope that happens

    • Wulf says:

      And so it was foretold that Notch, standing over the corpse of EA, plucked out anything of worth and set it free. The origin o things was handed over to Sir Garriott, so that he might gather together his court and they may rise again like a star for one, last brilliant adventure. Bioware was instructed to drop that silly MMO and get back to what they do best, and Mythic was split away from them and given wings with which they flew so high and free. It was a time of great change and upheaval, but also a time of hope.

      Ding, dong, the beast is dead.

    • WPUN says:

      Wulf, that was, like, the most beautiful story I have ever heard. Thank you.

  19. Stuart Walton says:

    Mojang has more cash (that’s liquid cash, not tied up) than most of the bigger publishers out there. Minecraft is also still shifting units and bringing in more than is being spent on it. There is absolutely zero reason to sell.

  20. RegisteredUser says:

    I still think Minecraft is a graphically disfigured pointless exercise, but good on you Notch(although apparently 3+ Mill are still not enough to offer up MC unlimited in a HIB for a brief period, you greedy bastid) and FUUUU EA.

  21. The Sentinel says:

    They’ll probably sue him next. If there’s one thing money-making entities can’t stand it’s other entities making more money than they are.

  22. Lazaruso says:

    Sue him? What possible reason could anyone come up with for suing Notch?!

    • Shark says:

      I’m sure you’ll find a reason if you Scroll long enough through lawbooks
      God, that was terrible

    • celozzip says:

      zach barth might have a few reasons…

    • StuffedCabbage says:

      Minecraft has the letters EA in the title. They could sue for copyright infringement.

  23. Kollega says:

    Okay… if Riccitello did ask Notch to sell his company (which he may or may not have), could somebody please explain me what exactly was he thinking? Is a CEO of a gigantic multinational corporation really so naive as to think he could buy Mojang for money, no matter how much? WIth approximately 40 or 50 million Euros, Notch has more money than he’d ever want to spend on himself, he dosen’t need any more cash! And i don’t think there’s anything that EA could give him besides cash. He dosen’t really strike me as a kind of person who wants to set a Guinness record for the most ludicrously overblown budget spent on a game.

    • TheSaddestSort says:

      Since when have EA been purveyors of overly-rational thought? Did I miss something?

    • Kollega says:

      Well, i just figured this would be obvious even to them. Guess i overestimated them.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Notch probably likes money just as much as the next person, and it’s not like scrolls sounds terribly interesting. I would have finished Minecraft and cashed in my chips.

  24. gusone says:

    Actually EA would love Minecraft so they can shove it onto Facebook/mobile and all that other social horseshit they are infecting PC Gaming with.

    That said Origin is the future of gaming right?

    Join the Steam ‘EA Boycott Origin’ Group. Fight the power and bring BF3 / Dragon Age 2 / Crysis 3 / Mass Effect 3 and every other new EA game back to Steam. We are small but with your help we can grow. We also boycott Tom Senior as well if that helps.

    • enobayram says:

      I’m on the Origin group that protests Steam :P

    • WPUN says:

      Thank goodness for indies as I don’t buy EA, Steam, or Sony games. I don’t think my actions will humble the giants – it’s just a personal point of honor. One day, perhaps, where giants have fallen, we can conquer.

    • Wulf says:

      @enobayram

      Ultima loyalists dislike you.

      Which is a shame, because many of them are absolutely amazing people, especially the Ultima Dragons.

      I still can’t get over them using that name for their shitty download service. I’ll never forgive that, really. That’s just the greatest cardinal sin they could have committed in my eyes.

    • gwathdring says:

      … What am I missing here? What was Origin (before it was the download service)?

  25. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    Notch needs a bigger hat, as that one just looks too small for a man of his proportions, it makes him look like Yogi Bear.

  26. Tei says:

    I like EA because release good games and are not stupid. You can be evil, but if you produces something people want to play, you still wins. People like Ubisoft are so focused on making everyone life a pain, that activatelly make undesirable to buy his games.

  27. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Well done Notch

  28. Anarki says:

    NEWS: NOTCH SAID A THING!!

    Also Notch has said on twitter that EA didn’t make an offer. Really giving up on RPS for news.

    • Tomm says:

      In fairness, they’re just reporting on what Develop reported.

    • WPUN says:

      “Notch has stated that EA made no direct offer” in the article. There’s a huge amount of reading between the lines here. For no ration reason I suspect the conclusions are true.

      When the CEO of a major AAA title publisher shows up at your door they are either there to buy hookers and blow or are out to buy new IP to destroy. They have personal slaves to handle all other transactions.

    • Tomm says:

      Nothing to do with DICE (Battlefield 3) being located in Sweden, the same country as Notch?

    • Pointless Puppies says:

      I like the manufactured rage at anything any site says about Mojang. It’s the ultimate hipster move. Hipsters pushed and pushed Minecraft like a pregger giving birth. Then after Minecraft is more or less hitting the mainstream, the hipsters turn around and blast the game and anyone who talks about it, because now the hipster thing isn’t pushing Minecraft, it’s acting “too cool” for it.

  29. JohnnyMaverik says:

    EA are the worst, the utter worst, I hate them, glad this didn’t go through.

  30. Cvnk says:

    “I play their games, and they make great games, but we are too far from each other,”

    It doesn’t seem like that EA guy is really all that familiar with Mojang’s library.

  31. pizzapicante27 says:

    Oh, so there IS justice in this world, who would havew thought?

  32. andyhavens says:

    I think Notch should keep Minecraft and any/all other gaming related properties both now and forevermore to himself, but sell the IP of his own, personal story to EA.They could make a game about how he made a great little game that kicks total awesomeassness; it’d be like a 3D platformer or something where you try to put all the pieces of a game together without being eaten by a giant, undead monster.

    Then you could unlock the Minecraft-clone mini game inside NotchCraft and everything would explode in a volcano of copyright lava.

    I wouldn’t play that game, but my virtual alterego would.

  33. Big Daddy Dugger says:

    So how long now you think before EA pays some of their underlings to pretty much exactly copy minecraft with better graphics, a modified color scheme, a slightly different title, and 1 count ‘em ONE new feature tacked on to avoid lawsuits and corners the market?

  34. Fuxalodapus says:

    This should be Riccietello’s default picture.