Edit #2: updated to include Microsoft’s video statement.
Edit: updated to include Notch’s statement regarding the sale and his own departure from Mojang.
Speculation occasionally has a basis in fact. A few minutes ago, Minecraft creators Mojang confirmed that Microsoft’s purchase of the company is going ahead. The price? Two and a half billion dollars. The reason?
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.
The company founders will be leaving the company and Notch has released a statement (notch.net down, pastebin link supplied) regarding the sale and his own future – “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity”.