Opinion: Maybe Microsoft Buying Mojang Is A Good Thing?

The news that Mojang is to be sold to Microsoft undoubtedly causes a lot of upset for some. Minecraft, more cultural phenomenon than game at this point, has had a breadth of appeal unlike almost any other game. And Microsoft aren’t exactly at the top of most PC games player’s Christmas card lists. It’s very easy to see the news and immediately consider it bad news. But perhaps we should pause, and wonder if this might be something worth celebrating? At least, that’s what I’m trying to convince myself.

Minecraft… it’s hard to know how to capture its scale in a pithy paragraph. It began as the hardest of hardcore gaming interests, early access before there was Early Access, an openly explorable procedurally generated world in peculiarly retro-squares, with no overall purpose. Updated weekly, a dedicated group of fans would explore for the most microscopic of changes, and see how they could be exploited in the wider world. New blocks, new mobs, new anything, were greeted with the feverish joy of a cult being handed new commandments from their behatted leader. Then other people started noticing it, and word of mouth saw it spread like a wonderful virus. The wider gaming world was loving it, exploring it, creating in it, adoring it. 1:1 models of Star Trek ships were being built in it, 8 bit computers were constructed, communities started developing, building and destroying wondrous cities. And it still wasn’t halfway done. Then the non-specialist world found it, and it became a mobile hit, a console hit, a thing people who had never played even Tetris started talking about in coffee shops and on the bus. And then it went still bigger! It stepped outside of the gaming world entirely, became a teaching tool, a means of spreading knowledge, a children’s educational game, and on and on and on. Adaptations of it appear in Lego, in papercraft, in cuddly toys sold in high street toy shops. It is ubiquitous.

All this, from a game mostly developed in one guy’s mum’s basement. Markus “Notch” Persson’s life is irreversibly changed, from struggling Wurm Online developer to one of the richest men in videogames, in a frighteningly short time. Mojang, his fledgling company in a very modest Swedish apartment building, has been trying to operate on the scale of a massive corporation, dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars. Notch himself has been trying to make another game ever since, and failing. No one could have predicted Minecraft and Mojang’s success, least of all the people who started it. Where we are now was no one’s intention, so to have any expectations of anyone involved at this stage is, I would argue, wholly unfair.

However, when people buy a game, they certainly do have expectations. What they should be, and how far-reaching they should aspire to, are the subjects for a dozen other editorials, so let’s simplify somewhat here. People buying Minecraft, because of the history of the game, expect to be buying a product that will continue to evolve, be added to, and change over time. However, they don’t have the right to demand that, any more than they would have the right to demand a jumper they bought from Primark should continue to have new patterns sewn into the sleeves for as long as they wear it. Mojang, if they wish, could cease all further development on Minecraft, and walk off into the sunset, and no one would have been treated unfairly. Expectations may not be met, and that would unquestionably leave some people hurt, frustrated, or angry, but this wouldn’t change the reality of Mojang’s rights.

And so it is that Mojang and Persson are entirely entitled to sell their company to Microsoft under any conditions they wish. We can put that aside, and instead focus not on should they have because that’s not a question we get to ask, but I suggest, what would we have done?

Let’s play that game. You might be a librarian, or a retail assistant at Best Buy, or an accountant, or the person who paints kids’ faces at fairs, or managing director of a box labelling company, or a secondary school teacher – I’m not sure, because I can’t quite see you. But which of you, which job would it be, where someone coming along and saying, “We would like to give you 2.5 billion dollars,” would be firmly shown the door? I would speculate it’s NO ONE EVER AT ALL.

$2.5 billion is so much money that on reading it at the start of this sentence, your brain instead pictured flowers. $2.5bn is so much money that it’s utterly impossible to imagine having it. When we play that game of what we’d do if we had a million (we’ll talk in dollars for ease), or ten million, we start to disappear off into wonderful fantasies of the madcap combination of generosity and selfishness we’d embark upon. The house we’d buy, the friends’ lives we’d change, the holiday we’d go on, the charities we’d give to, the cars we’d buy our mums, the room we’d dedicate just to jelly beans, the underwater swimming pool that would link our three mansions… At those scales of fortunes, our imaginations run wild with the freedom it would afford us. $10 million is 0.4% of $2.5bn. IT’S NOT EVEN HALF A PERCENT.

I swear, it’s so ridiculously difficult to get one’s head around this figure. Even broken down into something as stupid as how many half-million dollar homes it would buy, it still defies belief that the answer is FIVE THOUSAND HOMES. A small town of luxury houses.

So no matter the initial fury one might feel at seeing Mojang sold to nasty old Mr Microsoft, just imagine someone offering you that cheque, and not even demanding your first born.

Okay, so if we can empathise to the point of saying – it would have been rock-eatingly bonkers to refuse so much money, for something that’s not morally wrong – can we take a step further and be hopeful?

Microsoft do not have an impeccable history with development companies they’ve bought. It’s pretty tricky not to think of Rare, or FASA Corporation, or the demise of Microsoft Flight moments after launch, or whatever springs to mind. But it’s also true that they bought Lionhead who are still going, and Twisted Pixel Games, Turn 10 Studios, Press Play, Black Tusk… It’s possible to be owned by Microsoft, and not immediately destroyed. It’s possible, and believe me I don’t like typing it, that Microsoft could be good for Mojang. It’s possible, okay.

The news that the original three Mojangers are leaving might also give cause for immediate concern. Are they not the lynchpin behind Minecraft? Well, they certainly were at some point, but Minecraft’s final release came out nearly three years ago, it’s alpha available in 2009, and very few developers who worked on a game are still even vaguely attached to it five years after it went on sale. It might have a negative effect on the direction continued development of Minecraft goes in, or it might be the best thing that ever happened to the series, allowing fresh minds and fantastic new initiatives to come in that will delight players worldwide. We have no way of knowing. What we can know is that it’s absolutely acceptable for developers to want to move on, to make new games, or to build castles so tall they reach the sky. We cannot begrudge that.

Microsoft are assuring the confused world that development will continue on rival platforms like the PS3 and PS4, and Android and iOS devices. In a gaming world where mindless, spiteful exclusivity feels like the norm, it’s rational that people were worried they might not. However, even Microsoft couldn’t and wouldn’t be so stupid as to cut off such massive revenue streams, even if it goes against their usual grain. Making Minecraft Xbox ONE exclusive might sound like the sort of thing they’d do – because it is the sort of thing they’d do – but in this case the horse is already so long bolted they couldn’t even try. (Which isn’t to say they won’t announce Minecraft 2 as an Xbox exclusive, because as I’ve said, they are that spitefully mindless.)

They’ve also said they’ll continue MineCon, and we can safely assume they’ll also continue all the other massively profitable ventures associated with the product. If I saw a Microsoft executive informing me how much they just love the game, I’d sensibly scoff at their face, but while it causes money to rain out of the sky you can be assured it’s their goal to keep it that way.

And this frees those brilliant creative minds from the shackle that Minecraft has unquestionably become. From an outsider’s perspective, I speculate that it looks like Notch is perhaps in the throes of some form of developer’s block. He’s made some fun jam-based games, but longer projects have eluded him, and with the shadow of Minecraft looming over, it’s no surprise. To be set free from that responsibility, and indeed from the astonishingly vile cruelty that comes his way every time a small pocket of the game’s players don’t like a decision, seems like exactly what a gaming fan would want: a chance to see the mind behind Minecraft set free to create something new for them to play.

Have I convinced anyone? Have I convinced myself? I’m quite certain that if… (hmmm, how evil am I willing to admit to? Hell, let’s go all the way) …Rupert Murdoch were to offer me my share of $2.5bn for RPS, I’d be staring guiltily at you all from my diamond yacht before the ink was dry on the cheque. It’s money on a scale that you simply cannot turn down – just think, you could give 90% of it away to world-changing causes, and still live like an emperor on the interest of the remainder. Is it good overall? For Mojang? Undeniably yes – they’re rich now. For Notch? Without question – he’s free now. For Minecraft? No, I’ve not convinced myself there. But I figure at least in the short term, it’s fine. And, well, I’ve had five years’ of pleasure from the £10 I spent on that game – I’m pretty convinced I already got my money’s worth.


  1. frymaster says:

    With regards to expectations: Notch has, in the past, said on the website that he planned to make updates for minecraft until it became no longer profitable, then open-source it.

    Plans change, but I can see how some people might be upset that someone already with 9 figures in the bank might choose adding another nought as the right way to end things. It deoends on whether you think minecraft needs a strong hand to keep development going

    Of the 3 founders, notch is the only one to have ever done coding on minecraft

    • eggy toast says:

      Clearly the man with more money than he could spend before the grave had no choice to stick by his guns, because he was offered more money than that, even.

      Or something.

    • Cinek says:

      I don’t see why people think it’s a problem or a bad thing that MS bought Mojang.
      It’s not like Notch actually did anything for Minecraft since…. god knows when.
      If someone thinks that “minecraft needs a strong hand” than he is just fooling himself. This game could equally well stop being developed year ago, people would notice, but quickly get over it and keep on doing what they have been for all that time.

      • programmdude says:

        For me, it’s not so much that notch is selling minecraft, since you are right. He even admitted he was a bad coder, and he hasn’t been working on it for a long time. The thing that I might be upset about is how microsoft is going to ruin it. They might not, but it is more likely that they will.

        • Aardvark_Man says:

          Short of destroying the ability to mod it I can’t imagine them ruining it too badly.

          Considering how many dedicated modders there are I think any issues would be able to be set to rights.

        • Chaz says:

          I don’t think MS are going to spend $2.5 billion on buying Mojang only to ruin Minecraft. To ensure the popularity of it stays high and the money keeps pouring in, I think they are going to be very careful in how they handle any changes. You don’t spend a fortune buying a goose that lays golden eggs and then mistreat it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      For those caring about an open source version, Minetest is a very capable clone. No, it doesn’t have half the content Minecraft does (…maybe; there are a ton of mods). But if you care about open source, you’re probably enough of a nerd to be able to do something about fixing that.

      And as a huge bonus, it’s not written in Java.

      • Baggypants says:

        There’s certainly been a bees mod for it for ages. I was quite surprised with the Minecraft Bee News given I’d had bees in Minetest for months.

        • hotmaildidntwork says:

          That was a mod review. Forestry has had bees for at least a year or two I think. There are also trees and I think butterflies or something?

  2. Gog Magog says:


  3. AbyssUK says:

    I’d love to know more about the process.. was there a bidding war ? why did notch choose MS over so many other companies ? Did another company actually bid higher ?? Do they just SEPA transfer $2.5 billion into your bank account ? Does having 2.5 billion in your bank account break internet banking ? So many unanswered questions! I do hope Notch continues to stay a geek who puts his opinions on twitter, I’d love to know this stupid stuff.

    • RedViv says:

      I only had a really short look at how this would play out under Swedish taxation (the second-most loved government agency, because EVIL COMMUNISM THAT LIKES SUPPORTING LIFE) and I think the founders will really only walk away with the rough 500 million figure that was talked about last week. Still a HUGE amount, of course, just not GINORMOUS.

      • iucounu says:

        79% tax, I believe, going by Someone On Twitter Just Now. It’s huge boost for Sweden.

        • slerbal says:

          I hadn’t thought of that, but yeah – it is. What a great thing to do for your wider community :)

        • Robert The Rebuilder says:

          Accirding to Wikipedia, the maximum individual tax rate in Sweden is 57%. By comparison, the US max is 56% (federal + state + local).

          • iucounu says:

            Sure, I attribute to Someone on Twitter Just Now, so you know, probably best to check!

        • Shuck says:

          I’m guessing the money is mostly going towards starting a new company (or companies) rather than personally going into anyone’s pockets, given that Notch at least already has more money than he knows what to do with. So that money isn’t getting hit with the personal tax rate – yet.

        • All is Well says:

          Assuming this deal is essentially Notch selling his shares in Mojang for money, this would probably be taxed as an income from capital (e.g. owned assets), of which capital gains are a subset. According to the Swedish Law of Income Taxation (Inkomstskattelag), 7th para. of the 65th chapter, any surplus of capital income (for a natural person) is to be taxed by 30%.
          Not being very familiar with Swedish taxation laws, I’d *assume* there are some other taxes as well (for example there might be a tax related to registering transfer of ownership of the shares or something like that) but those could hardly amount to 79% total.

      • Cinek says:

        Guy will affect GDP growth of an entire country overnight. Now just think of that!

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          Sweden will no doubt erect a statue of Notch. It’s too bad that it’ll be made of squared off stone blocks.

      • joa says:

        Really? Shocking. So the Swedish government gets $2bn of that money – for doing what exactly? Surely Microsoft could help Notch avoid that sort of thing – put it in an off-shore bank account?

        • killias2 says:

          “for doing what exactly?”

          Providing a home, education, security, laws, property protection, and more for Notch and most of his closest family and friends for his entire life.

          • joa says:

            Yes but is it worth a 79% rate of tax? I do not think I would ever be prepared to part with such a large portion of my earnings. I also don’t think the government should provide people with a basic standard of living – but that’s another argument.

          • killias2 says:

            “Yes but is it worth a 79% rate of tax? I do not think I would ever be prepared to part with such a large portion of my earnings. I also don’t think the government should provide people with a basic standard of living – but that’s another argument.”

            I’m pretty sure Notch will eke out a living, somehow, with his mere many many hundreds of millions of dollars. In any case, they probably could’ve found a way to avoid the tax fairies. Maybe Notch just has a different set of priorities?

          • iucounu says:

            People who live in Sweden (and I have relatives there) seem content and happy. We forget as well that the USA had a 70% top rate of tax as recently as Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

            (I certainly *do* think the state should provide a certain minimum standard of living. I was quite shocked visiting San Francisco recently and seeing how many people had fallen right through whatever safety nets are supposed to exist.)

          • SominiTheCommenter says:

            What did the romans ever did for us, anyway?

          • lylebot says:

            Just want to offer a slight correction here. The “top tax rate” in the US is not the actual rate anyone pays. It’s just the tax rate on income above a certain level—in the case of 1981, it was 70% tax on income above $215,400. If you made $215,401, you would pay 70 cents tax only on the last $1. You’d pay lower rates on the first $215,400, such that your overall rate would’ve been about 54.5%. Still high, but not 70%. (And of course with standard deductions it would be lower still.)

            Sweden also has a progressive income tax. I don’t know where that 79% figure comes from, as Wikipedia indicates the top income tax rate is around 55% (which of course translates into a lower real rate) and the capital gains tax is “up to” 30%.

          • Asdfreak says:

            I don’t think a human can do ANYTHING to deserve 2.5 billion dollars. I just don’t get the notion that there could possibly ever be anything you could do to entitle you to more than 10 million dollars. Hell, if one person cured AIDS, Ebola, cancer, Alzheimer AND dementia, I would congratulate him, give him 15 millon dollars and let him live the life. This applies to any human being. What can you possibly do to entitle you to have that much money, while there are people who can’t even feed themselves, let alone their families. That guy invented a fucking videogame, not the instant cure for world hunger god damn it. This equally applies to any living person owning that much. Where has society come to, that it is generally accepted, that, through enaugh work (or exploitation of others), you are somehow entitled to own such wealth, instead of giving it to the community.
            This has nothing to do with Notch, I like him, but even if it WAS 79%, that would still be too damn fucking low.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            I actually tend to favor the idea that a country should provide people with a reasonable standard of living, but seeing that (apparently incorrect) 79% tax rate just kind of shell shocks me. It would be damn hard for me to be okay with an agent of pretty much anything showing up and going “so yeah we’ll just be taking the majority of your personal success now”.

        • slerbal says:

          For providing the wonderful kind of environment that most developers dream of? Sweden is a great place to live and work and most people I know would like to keep it this way. Notch is doing right by the country that supported him and enabled him to explore interesting game options.

          I for one am glad not every country is modelled on the US.

        • Tiax says:

          Wow, I didn’t thought I’d read something like this… Way to be close-minded.

          • lylebot says:

            Many people in the US are completely unaware of all the things government does for them. They’re constantly told that government does nothing but take from the middle class and give to the poor. They mostly fail to realize that the people telling them this are the very rich, who are taking from everyone less rich than them, and have good reason to mislead them about what the government is actually doing.

          • Arglebargle says:

            When you start to iterate to one of those folks the things the government does do in the US, it becomes very close to a Monty Python skit.

        • P.Funk says:

          The world economy slumps, everyone talks about trying to incentivise job creators to invest who have hidden in the Cayman islands something like the GDP of the United States and Japan combined, stationary, uninvested, totally stagnant.

          These are the heroes of our societies. They are the great drivers of change. They can’t help themselves, they will know how to use THEIR money. THEIR money which just so happens to apparently be required for all the rest of us to make any money. Leave them alone. Let them do what they want. Even encourage them to hide their money because they deserve it for some reason.

          We can live through a decade of declining income, shrinking wages, austerity and the destruction of social safety nets. We’ll just bide our time til they decide they should haul out their ingots and restart the economy. They have some deep thinking to do, sitting on their million dollar yachts.

          Its interesting, all that money hidden away doing fuck all for anybody, providing no benefit to anyone but a small few, its almost as bad as Ayn Rand says it could be, except we still have to deal with those fuckers hanging around. Why is it that the wealthy make their money disappear but they refuse to make themselves? Dammit.

          • joa says:

            I’m not saying everything rich people do is great, just that if they make a shit load of money and then chill out for the rest of their life, that’s their right.

            And I’m not sure it’s a good idea to tax their earnings so much — if people have things provided for them, they lose a certain drive and become lazy. Many people need to work for fulfilment, but there are also those who if provided with a basic standard of living by the government would not contribute anything back.

          • Simes says:

            I would rather see that people who needed help had help provided to them, and consider the possibility that some people will game the system to be an acceptable price.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Seems there was some experimentation with this in this Unconditional Income Project in India. Just heard about this and did a little reading. Thought it had some interesting things to say.

            link to mondediplo.com

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            It may be their right, but that doesn’t make it right.

            I would rather see ten people be lazy than one go hungry.

          • joa says:

            If you help people unconditionally you can actually end up hurting them. Hunger can force you to better yourself and improve your lot in life, instead of relying on the government for handouts.

            Of course some people are not capable of providing for themselves, and we should help them. But in general, being soft on people only weakens them.

          • bill says:

            And you speak from personal experience as someone who has gone hungry and homeless and found that this experience motivated you to become successful?

            It’d be good to find another name to add to the long long list of homeless people who turned their life around and became successful due to their hunger fueled motivation.

          • Phasma Felis says:

            “Hunger can force you to better yourself and improve your lot in life, instead of relying on the government for handouts.”

            Why do I get the impression that you’ve never known anyone who’s been hungry?

            BTW, you’re wrong not just from a relative moral standpoint, but from an absolute physiological one. If you don’t eat for a day or two, it becomes extremely difficult to focus on anything except how to get something to eat. Even if you’ve got enough food to get by, if your life is consumed by worry and stress about how you’re going to pay your bills and take care of your family this month, studies show that your capacity for thoughtful planning is dramatically decreased. There’s a reason poor people have trouble rising above their situation, and it’s not just that all umpty-ump billion of them are lazy.

          • Simes says:

            Yeah, but saying “screw the poor, they’re all just lazy” is much easier than actually thinking about a solution, plus it gets rid of any middle-class guilt you might be carrying around about how there are people so much worse off than you. It’s win-win!

          • P.Funk says:

            ” if people have things provided for them, they lose a certain drive and become lazy.”

            So you’re telling me we should tax the rich HEAVILY to ensure that they don’t start slacking once they reach a point of wealth that they can basically stop trying and still earn more in a day than I make in a lifetime?

            Fantastic idea. I’m down with it.

        • Eggman says:

          He won’t be taxed at a rate anywhere near 79%. Please don’t just beleive anything you hear on twitter.

  4. nopol10 says:

    There really is nothing to worry about on Minecraft’s end. There are so many mods now it does not require any updates to it to keep it fresh. The fact that Mojang is still adding loads of content to the game for free so long after launch is icing on the cake.

    • darkhog says:

      >there are so many mods

      M$ is firmly against mods. Read XBox Live ToS.

      • fish99 says:

        They’re against mods on xbox live. I can’t remember them shutting down the mod scene for Flight Sim on PC.

        • Caelinus says:

          A number of Microsoft games have pretty vibrant modding scenes iirc. I do not remember them ever intentionally shutting down modding just for the sake of shutting it down. As you said, the Xbox live TOS are just that, for Xbox live.

          Even their primary platform, Windows 8.1 atm, is moddable. Modding on an Xbox generally involves breaking their protection and has a connotation of malicious intent. WIth the greater resources Microsoft has, and the sheer advertising power that the PC community has in various Youtubers, I actually have a slim hope for a better server, and even possibly a modding API. (Which, if it existed, would solve a lot of the EULA problems that are happening now. Also I feel really sorry for anyone going up against Microsoft in that realm.)

          • Universal Quitter says:

            Well, yeah. In the console world, modding your playstation or whatever usually meant removing localization and copyright checks so you could play pirated games. I’m sure Xbox inherited that rich tradition, and the EULA probably reflects it.

  5. RedViv says:

    If I would have made something so massively popular, yet personally bothersome to me rather than enjoyable, with myself no longer even actually remotely working on it, and THEN had the chance to get out for an amount of money that would allow me to live without doing ANYTHING I would not want to do ever again, until the void claims me?
    I’d do it. If it allows for what would then only be spare change to be distributed to every single nice person and creator and what have you that I would want to? Buy top tiers in all the Kickstarters I want to FOREVER and STILL have enough money? Pay, say, a very creative studio in, hmm, San Francisco, so they can make the sequel to a game they have been aching to make for years. That sort of thing.

    • Gog Magog says:

      You’d be surprised how much money one can spend on mind-altering substances and escorts though

      • RedViv says:

        Certainly. I am already altered in mind enough to not need this, and very happily don’t-call-it-married.
        So what I’m saying is to give ME the money, not some already rich and troubled Swedish bloke.

  6. Wulfram says:

    People shouldn’t be bothered by this for the same reason they shouldn’t feel guilty for buying games for as cheap as possible.

  7. alphager says:

    I think the question wether the decision to sell Minecraft & Mojang is “right” is irrelevant (personally, I believe the decision was the only logically possible one; you don’t just walk away from 2.5 billion USD).

    Regarding Microsoft & Minecrafts future: I’m giving it a “meh” on the optimism-scale: I don’t believe in Microsoft as an entity that does something positive for the PC platform (remember the yearly “Yes, in the past we made some mistakes, but this time we will totally do something good for the PC, we promise!”), but I don’t see them messing too much with Minecraft.

    The point where I’m irresposibly jumping up and down with glee is an offhand tweet from notch in 2012. It fell through because he wasn’t rich enough to cough up 10-20 million USD. THat kind of money is now in peanuts-territory. Imagine the possiblilities…

  8. LTK says:

    I see a lot of points in this article that say “Maybe this isn’t just the worst thing to happen to Mojang” but I struggle to see what, if anything, is decisively positive about this whole affair.

    • Cinek says:

      I struggle to see what is negative in that whole affair.

      • aepervius says:

        Microsoft a company known for ruining many franchise and known to utterly spit on pc gaming, bought one game which is arguably best played on PC due to modding.

        My own prediction : PC side will get even slower if any development, xbox/windows phone will get modding tool, and they might even make a DMCA crackdown on the modding community.

        It could also be worst than that.

        • Cinek says:

          Consoles all together already outsell PC version of the minecraft. And as I said elsewhere – Mojang could have abandoned PC version of the minecraft year ago and people would still enjoy it and still play it. Mojang isn’t a driving motor of this game for a long while – modders are. So whatever Microsoft does – is meaningless in a long term.

          • aepervius says:

            Only if you count all non-pc plateform together. the highest sold console port (xbox 360) is still second to PC and PC the most sold, or was last I looked a month or two ago. Furthermore the community is far more vibrant on PC as faras I can tell, if only due to the server and modding.

      • P.Funk says:

        In short risks from a massive corporation which has a history of flat shutting down entire developers.

        What did Microsoft do for flight simming? A helluva lot for decades, until they decided to bin MSF’s studio and now things are much less thrilling for simmers.

        Corporations are scary dangerous and unwieldy things. Its much simpler trying to parse the motives and plans of a single man who happens to err on the side of the community. Too bad Notch wasn’t up to the job.

        • Cinek says:

          Let’s not go over the board. It’s Microsoft, not EA. Sure, most likely nothing awesome will come out of it – but nothing terrible will either. I mean, just think of EA’s Dungeon Keeper – Microsoft is yet to do anything that would come anywhere close to the awfulness of EA deeds.

          • darkhog says:

            M$ is against mods. Read XBox Live ToS if you don’t believe me.

          • P.Funk says:

            Perhaps you don’t think they’ve done anything awful since they’re not particularly invested in the PC gaming market at the moment. If you look at how they manage and handle the console market I’d be fucking scared at having them run something like say Steam.

    • PampleMoose says:

      Nothing positive? Notch et al being paid 2.5 billion for a game they ostensibly ‘finished’ years ago(obviously they didn’t stop developing, but it has been a complete pack for ages) is not positive? Sure, you could argue MS will worst case scenario cripple the game from here on in, but I simply will not begrudge someone setting themselves up for life and having the capital to do whatever they want thanks to a game they made in their basement, and freeing themselves, to a certain extent, of the pressure and stress managing such a game now entails. All power to them.

      Worst comes to worse, someone will host the current version on a mirror somewhere (or open source alternatives with mods), and people will play on. More likely, MS will be smart, and realise they can basically just do small iterations, iron out bugs, and maybe sell some premium content, and watch the cash roll in. Just leaving the game as is for a few months will probably do better for sales and PR then Windows 8.

      And, of course, we must remember – one day, Minecraft will die. That’s just the truth. The reality is that nothing is sustainable ad infinitum. Someday something else will take its place, there’ll be a new up and comer, or a new thing that will take the gaming world’s attention. I think it’s only fair that Mojang make what they can of it now while it’s still valuable, and try to be the ones that make the new ‘thing’

  9. buzzmong says:

    Hmm, I disagree with your view that everyone would jump at $2.5b and that it is a no brainer.
    It’s certainly a no brainer if you have little/nothing already as per your examples, but it’s a different ball game when you’re actually already worth tens or hundreds of millions and you don’t really know what to do with it.
    Once you’re set for life, can you really be more set for life?

    As I said in comments of the other article, Notch is never going to escape that fact he created Minecraft, even after selling it. He is going to be asked for opinions on it. He will still recieve hate if MS are percieved to make “bad” changes (the hate will be for selling it to them, rather than the changes).

    • Cinek says:

      Some people can really settle down with “good enough”, can’t they?

      He will still recieve hate if MS are percieved to make “bad” changes (the hate will be for selling it to them, rather than the changes).” – you say it as if he wouldn’t receive hate for what he did before that sale… or heck: even for a changes that he didn’t do. It really doesn’t make any difference for him in terms of received hate. But now he has money. Sounds like a win-win situation.

      • buzzmong says:

        My point on the still recieving hate notion is that Notch’s statement bascially boils to him saying he sold Mojang because he wants to get away from all that. I’m saying that $$$ or not, he won’t ever escape.

        • Cinek says:

          Well then, we agree :)

        • darkhog says:

          Plus, “wanting out” isn’t good argument for selling out to spineless shitfugs. He could just as well give his shares to Jeb_ and go on his merry way running the company.

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      I disagree with John in that I think reasonably intelligent people could scale their ambitions to match whatever huge chunk of dosh they just landed with 2.5 billion is a vast sum but it could buy SO MUCH, and do so much good in the world (in the right hands) that I’d happily take it on. Okay, so Notch won’t be starting any new companies but there are plenty of ways to make that sum useful without it becoming a burden.

  10. Cooper says:

    What about Minecraft was valued at $2.5bn?

    Not the game, it’ll never sell that many more copies.
    Not the developers, the core team have left, the success was a fluke.

    It was the audience. The players.

    Minecraft is one of the most widely played games, and one of the games most widely watched being played.

    Minecraft is a way for Microsoft to directly access these players.

    For the $2.5bn to make any sense, MS must have decided that, with the access to these players, they can make money.

    In one way or another the future of Minecraft will be about making money from existing players.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Wasn’t that it’s past and present too? Minecraft has become a phenomenon on par with Angry Birds, there’s shitty merchandise everywhere, as pointed out in the article there is Minecraft edition Lego, let that sink in for a minute, the company famous for selling building blocks is now selling building block themed building blocks and people are paying a premium for it. That’s like Hasbro selling selling US military themed GI Joes for twice the price and people buying them.

      Microsoft could likely just pay that $2.5bn and make its money back well before the fad dies down.

    • Jalan says:

      The branding – Microsoft likely sees potential in the fact that things like Minecraft shirts/etc. can be expanded upon to recoup the money spent on buying Mojang. That, coupled with the (obvious) continuation of sales for the game itself will eventually put them on the profit side of things.

      Of course, the money machine is ever hungry and possibly years down the line sites will be writing about how Mojang will be shuttering and development of Minecraft will be shifted to whatever studio Microsoft deems is capable of handling it. At that point, whether Notch wanted the responsibility or not, I’m certain plenty of upset emails and tweets and all kinds of other crap will be flung his way.

  11. satan says:

    I’m not sure anybody in their right mind would turn down enough money to ensure you and your descendants can live in security and luxury, for however many hundreds of thousands/millions of years humanity endures.

  12. rusty5pork says:

    I can definitely empathize. That is (and I believe this is a technical term) a metric fuckload of money. If someone offered me $2.5 billion to cut off my ear, I would probably do it.

    I just hope MS doesn’t pull an EA and slowly kill everything Mojang stands for.

    • Cinek says:

      Mojang even stands for something? Last time I checked Mojang standing for anything ended… I don’t know… in 2012? Somewhere around that.

      • syndrome says:

        that’s the primary reason he sold it. he was held responsible for the decisions and management of a company which was quickly overwhelmed by its userbase growth. he’s not the guy who loves to handle this kind of stuff: the corporate management, crowd control, technical support, and legal issues. this requires administration, dull technicalities, third-party infrastructure, large-scale support and logistics — it’s just not fun anymore.

        he did what actually makes sense. all these fans do really need a corp such as M$ to tell them what to do, to forbid them, to punish them, to prevent modding, to turn this into a proper global cash cow, and to finally destroy their loving franchise (or at least turn it into the next big lifestyle changer a la youtube, facebook, heck even a console OS lobby). M$ doesn’t do that on purpose, it’s simply an eater of souls, and that’s what eaters of souls do. it has a purpose and it serves it well.

        so that’s how I see this whole transaction. the yesterdays underground nerdy game (aka one person’s burden) turns into a new mainstream standard in the hands of the corporation, who has opaque facilities to handle the scale properly.

        finally, instead of taking the blows in his face, the faceless company will take the blows from now on, and noone will be responsible anymore. it’s the best thing Markus could do to save himself and the people around him, all in all. and btw he still made the news, by bailing out. this was quite possibly the best possible failure a man could wish for, in the entire history of the human race!

  13. thedosbox says:

    a chance to see the mind behind Minecraft set free to create something new for them to play.

    This is the positive I’d take from this sale. He gets to walk away with the knowledge that he’s free to try whatever he wants.

  14. Neurotic says:

    When it comes to playing devil’s advocate, John, you’re really good! :D

  15. aliksy says:

    I’m pretty sure 2.5 billion is well past the point of diminishing returns on happiness. He was already rich. Now he’s richer. I don’t expect him to do anything important with the money. He could send a lot of people to college with it, or feed a lot of the hungry, but he’s just some dude so I expect him to be selfish. Most people would be.

    I don’t like Microsoft. I don’t expect them to do good for playing games on the pc. I don’t expect them to shit it up overnight, but I won’t be surprised if in a few years there’s Minecraft 2 as an xbox exclusive or some other consumer unfriendly bullshit.

    I wish he had sold to a better company, or just walked away. At least it isn’t EA, I guess.

  16. BlacKHeaDSg1 says:

    Opinion: Maybe Microsoft Buying Mojang Is A Good Thing?

    Answer: No.

    Explanation: That is destroying MC Mod community. Some of really good mod developers are already “leaving” MC community and modding MC all together. So FU Notch and M$.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Explanation: That is destroying MC Mod community. Some of really good mod developers are already “leaving” MC community and modding MC all together. So FU Notch and M$.

      Other people’s knee jerk reactions are not a valid reason.

  17. Kollega says:

    I don’t really care about what will happen to Minecraft. I haven’t played it in a long while now. What I do care about is that Notch said he’s going to make small-time experimental games again. I don’t really get why he needed $2 billion for it rather than $10 million – either way he wouldn’t need to worry about money. And in my eyes, just sitting on two billion bucks instead of making something great with them is not a particularly valorous act. (Is “valorous” even a word?) But as a few people pointed out already, maybe part of that money will go into financing Psychonauts 2. And if that’s the case, I would probably forgive worse to Notch than selling Minecraft to Microsoft.

  18. blastaz says:

    You need to get a better imagination!

    Why I could easily spend a few hundred million dollars in 24 hours or so. And at 5%apr on 250 million dollars you are only looking at seven and a half million quid a year. Dream bigger! Your mine craft worlds must be really ordinary!

  19. Bradamantium says:

    You know, I don’t begrudge either end of this deal. Notch (and presumably his partners) want Mojang out of their hands; Microsoft wants to fill their hands with great gobs of cash. Win/win for both parties.

    If this gets to the point where it’s impacting the people who are already playing the game, I’ll likely change that tune a bit. Moreso ’cause I worry for the lil ones enthralled with it that don’t know any better when a company tells them $10 gets you five new kinds of blocks, isn’t that awesome?, but the way Minecraft already prints money, chasing players away would seem unwise. ‘Course, I’m not a multibillion dollar company. In the deep, spiteful bits of my heart, I hope that Microsoft giddily unveils Minecraft 2: Electric Blockaloo, exclusive to Xbox One, and no one notices ’cause they’re still busy playing Minecraft 1.

  20. nrvsNRG says:

    Id’ luv to live in place where I can buy a luxury home for £307,797.50 ($500,000.00). That gets me a 3 bedroom terrace.

  21. noodlecake says:

    I don’t blame him. And hopefully Minecraft 2 might look nicer and be less demanding on my poor old system.

  22. Amasius says:

    Well, I doubt this will be the best for the players who love Minecraft but I’m sure it’s the best for Notch – and I’m not talking about the money but his menal sanity.

  23. Bobka says:

    Something just occurred to me. Is this the most expensive acquisition in video game history? Off the top of my head I can’t think of any other multi-billion deals, but I’m no expert in the history of the business.

    • daver4470 says:

      Not even close. When Activision Blizzard (and certain of its key personnel) bought out Vivendi’s share of itself, the total cost was a shade over $8B.

  24. Jac says:

    I reckon it will be a good thing. Microsoft want money but more importantly, and the reason this deal has likely happened, is they want people still using Microsoft operating systems. This I think is their long play especially if schools are using it (presumably on pc) as a teaching aid as that means another 30 years of people growing up mostly locked in to their ecosystem. Also they can probably improve it using their cloud tech.

    People thinking they want it to sell Windows phone / put it as Xbox exclusine are, I hope, wide of the mark. Queue announcement it will be Windows 9 exclusive. Bastards.

  25. Eight Rooks says:

    While I wouldn’t put it past Microsoft to try and do something nefarious at some point with the other versions of the game, they have released things for other formats before (iOS and Android at least). Not loads of things, but there is precedent, so it wouldn’t be that weird if they decided they wanted to keep pushing Minecraft everywhere they can.

  26. zproc says:

    Agree / but not agree.

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

  27. JFS says:

    They demand his firstborn. Its name is Minecraft. Also, Notch was a millionaire before, already “one of the richest men in videogaming”, so the analogy of a poor sod who does children’s makeup at fairs is way off.

  28. derbefrier says:

    i dont blame him for wanting out. gamers are a fickle bunch who will turn on you at the drop of a hat and when you are basically a celebrity like him every move you make is scrutinized to the point of absurdity. Obviously he was getting sick of the politics of it all. He saw an out and he took it. Good for him I say .

  29. xfstef says:

    I don’t see it. I’ve never been able to see it. It’s a horribly designed block world, and ?

    What is up with people, why are they so enthusiastic about building a penis tower ?!?! The only youtube video I’ve watched about minecraft was made by that guy (probably more of them in the mean time) who designed a working 8 bit processor in the game. That was barely interesting, since you can always pull out some engineering software and design whatever the hell you want.

    I feel like I’m from another planet, I just don’t get the minecraft hype.

    • Caerphoto says:

      Your whole comment comes across like it should start with “I haven’t played it but….”

      • xfstef says:

        I did play it, sorry for forgetting to mention that. Not much, but I did give it a good chance.

        I get why children would love to play it, but most of its player base does not consist of children, does it ?!?! It can’t possibly be so, 2.5bn $ for a kids’ game ?

        • Niko says:

          I only play Head Clicking Simulators about Men with Guns because I’m real MANS! Minecraft is for kids because kids like bricks and building and playing pretend castles and shit. Don’t be a kid, buy HEAD CLICKING SIMULATOR 2015 today!

          • xfstef says:

            I shouldn’t even dignify you with an answer. But I will since you are very wrong.

            I only play shooters once a month or so and I’m definitely not one of those “bro gamers” that feminists seem to be so happy to yell at recently.
            I play a lot of strategy games and even city builders, RPGs, etc.

            I just feel like Minecraft is a waste of my time. It takes considerable amounts of time build stuff in there and at the end of the day, it’s not even something productive. You just make a screenshot of it or upload a video of your stuff to youtube and that’s it. You spent a lot of your time being creative with something that has a very small “niche” market. Basically me being creative would be a lot more rewarding really building something in real life, or coding a game, or learning an instrument… the possibilities are endless, at least for me.

    • Synesthesia says:

      You have no soul

      • xfstef says:

        So the legend of having gingers in my family tree must be true … :D

        Nah, I have no patience to build / grind stuff in a computer game. Walking simulators, minecraft, vast MMOs just don’t appeal to me. I have limited time to game as an adult and I therefore wish to spend that time doing something that gives me more, faster.

        And no, like someone tried to point out above, I’m not a “bro gamer” that only plays shooters.

    • Samwise Gamgee says:

      The amount of enjoyment each individual gets from Minecraft is directly related to their capacity for imagination

      • basilisk says:

        …which is essentially a way to say “I’m more imaginative than you”.

        It’s simply not true, besides being arrogant. There’s all kinds of imagination, and Minecraft stimulates just one of them. I personally find stories interesting, and that’s the direction in which my imagination and my enjoyment can be found. Constructions just don’t do it for me. They’re static, boring, dull. Some people have it the other way around and couldn’t care less about stories, because they’re messy and don’t have the solid beauty of a nice diamond house with an observation tower on top and a conservatory, or something.

        Minecraft is a fantastic engineer’s game. But there are so much more than just engineering people out there.

        • drewski says:

          Spot on.

        • xfstef says:

          Yes ! It’s an engineers’ game but after thinking more about it, I actually came to realize something about Minecraft.

          Dear Minecraft fans / players / enthusiasts. I have bad news for you. I’m sorry but Minecraft …. is … not a game. I think the best way to describe Minecraft is as a hobby, something you sink thousands of hours of your life in and your friends and family just don’t really give a shit about :) but continue to say nice polite things about, since that’s what makes them your friends and family :P.

          Also I am a programmer, which makes me an engineer theoretically, but I am just more enthusiastic about story line / progression / game mechanics in a game than I am about hitting an endless amount of blocks for the rest of all eternity.

    • drewski says:

      It doesn’t do anything for me either.

  30. RARARA says:

    Never forget Crimson Skies 2.

    Also it’s not Mojangers, it’s Monjangsters.

  31. MadTinkerer says:

    As I pointed out in the comments of the other article, this does bode well in at least one way: it’s more likely that we’ll get a proper mod API now.

    Microsoft are best at OSs and tools. Arguably better at tools than OSs. But either way, tools are in their top two. The worst that will happen with the Mod API if Microsoft do it the typical Microsoft way is that we’ll have to pay for the “pro version” separately. There won’t be micro-transactions or some other terrible shit in the Mod API because that’s not how Visual Studio or Office works. It won’t even be Windows exclusive, because you can indeed go out to the store right now and get Word for Macs. So all Microsoft has to do to please us is treat the Mod API as they do normal tool development. More or less.

    So while there probably will be cause to gnash and wail at some point (this is Microsoft, after all), as far as the Mod API is concerned I see this a Probably A Very Good Thing.

    • Martel says:

      Maybe they’ll rewrite it to use things like REST and/or PowerShell as well, that’d help all sorts of forward movement.

  32. zal says:

    So here’s why I have a problem with it, though I don’t blame Notch or MS for it. Its just how life works.

    Everyone agrees the game itself isn’t worth 2.5 billion, and its certainly not the programmers. Its the exact thing that Notch was so eager to get rid of.

    Its us, our collective investment in a communal form of entertainment. Microsoft (correctly, probably) believes that there is 2.5 billion worth of “access” to us in there. And not just access, influence. Each of the millions of MC owners will have different thresholds of what they’ll tolerate from MS before they stop playing Minecraft and say fuck it. Maybe the first little microsoft ad on the launcher will do it. or the minecraft movie will push them over. But however far it is, another company owns it, maybe they’ll be “responsible” with it, never depleting it entirely and just maintaining a nice sustainable money mining operation, or maybe not. Either way that right is theirs.

    They’ve paid to extract what they can from you. Just like mineral leases for landholders, only its influence and your psyche. And just like the old days before regulation… They just have to find the one choice plot, the one that lets you suck out everything else around it, and pay HIM enough money, and then slurp all the influence right out through their neighbors.

    That’s what fame is, that’s what community is, to capitalism. It’s legally Notch’s to sell, because he happened to be a focal point for it. But it stinks like NFL breakfast cereals, or transformers remakes, or anything else that only succeeds because its capitalizing on previous attachment and affection, sold to another party for easy money. So while the sale is legal, the practice itself is reprehensible.

    And it won’t be fair until some far flung day where laws recognize that just like mineral rights, the people that compose the larger community at auction deserve some basic protections. And that one person doesn’t have the right to sell everyone’s value as his own.

    No ill will toward Notch though. this is just how it works; and in fact is a perfect and eye opening example of why its such a mess. I’m old and cynical enough to stop playing? but my 15 year old sister? unlikely.
    “Too bad!” says capitalism, some company just paid somebody 2.5 billion, and they now have an easy pathway to influence/market to you, or to sell to some third party to do the same. or multiple third parties. or try to dig a little deeper first by making you care more, or trust more, and THEN do all of the above.

    But ehh… that’s standard practice at this point, so no sense in getting worked up about it or demonizing Notch.

    EDIT: and if you don’t believe its community on sale ask yourself this.

    If minecraft had 1/100th of the customers, would MS still pay even close to 2.5 billion? if not, then guess what they’re buying!

    • Josh W says:

      In a lot of cases, a lot I’d share your concerns, but I suppose one other consideration is that mojang has still been making money the way it has been going.

      To my understanding, people don’t just do that kind of emotional strip mining because that’s how the system works, but because they think that’s how the system works. The revivals happen because eventually the IP gets into the hands of someone who’s willing to try something like this, almost kills it dead, then someone else gets their hands on it and revitalises it, and the cycle continues.

      But if this kind of cycle is probable, I don’t think it necessarily draws people into it because of strategic considerations, but just because it is easy to do. A satisfied customer is a missed opportunity for further profit, and any forest can be logged to oblivion, but poisoning and burning up your resources in this way doesn’t necessarily lead to the best results.

      Minecraft, the way it is going right now, is way more profitable than zynga’s games.

      Even microsoft, with it’s compulsively terrible internal culture, should be able to realise that if you have an amazing rocket engine, you don’t feed it diesel because that’s what you have lying about.

      Unlike Facebook buying Occulus and having a ready built terrible set of business models to apply, microsoft will likely want for a very long time to leave minecraft on it’s current trajectory, even boost it along.

      The time when their approach is terrible and exploitative will probably still come; internal mergers, power struggles, stock movements etc. will lead to someone else taking control of it, and making it bad, but it is in microsoft’s interests to keep the standard problems of “corporate capitalism + loved IP” from poisoning it for as long as possible. It could take years, and in that time, minecraft could be eclipsed.

  33. montorsi says:

    Eh, whatever. I have not played Minecraft nor will I ever but I imagine its first iteration will remain on the PC and various other platforms while Minecraft 2 will be developed for Xbox One only. Fortunately, Minecraft 2 will be such an abortive effort that fans of the original will be happy to stick by Notch’s creation.

  34. GSGregory says:

    Microsoft. The company that brought us windows 8 and the xbone. Yes they will do good things with minecraft. Like massive amounts of paid dlc.

  35. Greggh says:

    In this article: John has good opinions. I haz no grammar.

  36. Joote says:

    It give’s me the willies, Minecraft 2 will be a console port and cost $90 for mincraft economy, $120 for premium and $200 for Ultimate.

  37. NotToBeLiked says:

    Of course it’s a good thing. It’s 2.5 billion dollars transferring from Microsoft to people who care about video games. Even if Notch only spends 10% as investments in other games (Psychonauts 2 might be possible now?), it’s an improvement for gamers in general.
    If you happen to like Minecraft, and Microsoft does screw it up after a while, you can still play the old minecraft, start playing any of the flood of Minecraft clones, or just wait until someone makes an open-source version.

  38. Cvnk says:

    First goal for Microsoft: rewrite the entire game in .NET. I bet it drives them nuts the world’s most popular game is written in the devil’s own language (from their POV): Java.

    • El Acordeonachi says:

      2nd goal for MS (If I got to be the one in charge). Take control of the distribution of mods. Not in a iron fisted tyranny sort of way, but provide a nice, safe place for people (mostly kids and their parents) to download said mods and skins that are free of big green DOWNLOAD links that fill computers up with malware. And to make sure that the mods themselves don’t have any malware hidden inside. I hate big green DOWNLOAD links…

  39. derf says:

    For me, Minecraft has felt dead for a long time. It feels fundamentally unfinished, especially the Singleplayer mode. There is little to do beyond building yet the potential an economic / territorial system could offer would be mindblowing. Mods are generally problematic and a PITA to install. It is undeveloped and so I am hoping MS will pour some effort into it, making the overall base package more meaningful.

  40. PikaBot says:

    Well, I think it’s a good thing, because now Notch actually can afford to fund Psychonauts 2.

  41. Oduglingen says:

    I think people need to remember that although Notch isthe majority owner, he was not the sole owner of Mojang. Imagine telling your friends and partners that they won’t be getting hundreds of millions of dollars because you decided to make the game open source.

  42. SkittleDiddler says:

    Why do people keep bringing up Psychonauts 2 in relation to this story? Unless I’m missing something, Notch has absolutely nothing to do with that game.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      It was rumoured at one point that he was going to fund it – he had actually said he was interested in doing so – but IIRC he backed out because he said he hadn’t realised how much such a thing would actually cost.

    • PikaBot says:

      A few years ago Notch said he would fund the development of Psychonauts 2, only to retract the offer upon realizing that it would be a far steeper bill than he’d anticipated.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Thanks for the info, peeps. I guess Notch doesn’t have any more excuses now.

  43. P.Funk says:

    I see nothing in this article to even begin to sway me towards thinking this is a good idea.

    Better article title would have been “Maybe microsoft buying mojang is not automatically bad”.

  44. cptgone says:

    Microsoft needed those blocks to build a new Start Menu for Windows 9.

  45. darkhog says:

    > But which of you, which job would it be, where someone coming along and saying, “We would like to give you 2.5 billion dollars,” would be firmly shown the door?

    If he’d be from Microshit, EA or some other spineless entity, I would not only show firmly them the door, but also remodeled their face(s) so their own mother(s) wouldn’t recognize them.

    If it’d be Facebook, I’d say I’ll consider it (really consider, not in the “I agree, but won’t tell you yet” or “Don’t call me, I’ll call you” way)

    If it’d be Google, I’d consider it even more.

    If it’d be Kim Dotcom, then HELL YEAH.

    If it would be Free Software Foundation, look above.

    In short, it wouldn’t be about the offer, but who is making it.

    • Simes says:

      Surely if the offer is from someone you hate, you’re much more likely to be able to put the money to better use than they would have.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      If he’d be from Microshit, EA or some other spineless entity, I would not only show firmly them the door, but also remodeled their face(s) so their own mother(s) wouldn’t recognize them.

      Your 12 year old internet tough guy is showing.

  46. captain nemo says:

    I hope for a good future for Minecraft but I have my doubts
    a) Minecraft was the product of an PC independent community driven culture. This is no longer the case.
    Why should a modder build free stuff for a mega corporation ?
    b) Microsoft did not spend 2.5b for the good of Minecraft. Minecraft will now serve the needs of the Microsoft corporation and it’s shareholders, so it may come to platform exclusives / paid dlc / advertising etc. From the Ms press release : “Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis”
    c) Minecraft will now be exclusively available on GFWL (funny – not)

    A sad day

  47. darkhog says:

    Get Blockscape, guys. It’s better than Microsoft Minecraft SE (shit edition).

  48. vivlo says:

    “not even demanding your first born”

    That’s arguable.

  49. walldad says:

    And so it is that Mojang and Persson are entirely entitled to sell their company to Microsoft under any conditions they wish. We can put that aside, and instead focus not on should they have because that’s not a question we get to ask, but I suggest, what would we have done?

    He’s entitled to sell Minecraft in the same sense Phillip Morris is entitled continue to manufacture and sell cigarettes. Don’t obfuscate the issue by trying to conflate property rights with an issue of personal integrity. I’ll continue to reserve the right to judge creators for selling out — thank you very much — especially to a company as odious to PC gaming as the Microsoft of recent history has been.

    • fish99 says:

      Microsoft haven’t done anything that bad to PC gaming lately. At worst they’ve neglected it. GFWL was terrible but that was mostly due to poor implementation. Windows is still open for anyone to develop on, DirectX SDK is still free, Visual Studio still has a good free version. They might have kept some games they publish off windows but I dare say not much of value was lost really. Maybe you mean the win 8 app store, but that hasn’t really had any effect on PC gaming.

      edit: Just rememered they did shut down Ensemble and the Flight Sim guys, I’ll give you that much.

      • walldad says:

        The first Xbox drove a lot of early efforts at developers tailoring PC games to the limitations of the console platform. It supported DirectX and Microsoft built it with off the shelf PC parts. A decade and a half of buyouts, hollowed-out devs, consolidation and dumbing-down in Western game development ensued. Can’t lay the entire blame at MS’s feet, but they did their damnedest to attract traditionally PC-centric devs to the console space. The lack of DX10 support on Windows XP and the coming lack of support for DX12 on Windows 7 are also dick moves, forcing gamers to “upgrade” to an inferior product.

        • fish99 says:

          Keeping DX10 off XP was more about driving sales of Vista, as keeping DX12 off Win 7 is about selling Win 8. It’s not about driving anyone over to consoles. If that was the goal they wouldn’t keep developing DirectX for windows, and I dare say those decision never significantly hurt anyone. In terms of the tools Microsoft supply, developing PC games is as easy and cheap today as it’s ever been, and PC gaming is thriving.

          Also no one is ‘forced’ to upgrade. You could happily game for another 5 years on 7 and probably never miss a game.

          • walldad says:

            Oh, I’m not implying Microsoft set out with any specific aim of driving PC gamers to console. Developers of PC Games? Sure, although obviously the publishers had a role there as well.

            Forgoing an essential update to existing software to drive sales of Vista and 8 (with 9 a few months away) fragments the user base of the platform. XP users missed out on Halo 2 and little else, sure, but it did keep developers from wide adoption of DirectX 10 (and to a lesser extent DirectX 11). And hey, so did the need to support Xbox 360’s DirectX 9 hardware.

            Anyways, let’s hope Windows 9 turns out OK.

    • drewski says:

      Yeah, because Minecraft’s killed millions of people.

      Honestly, some people.

      • walldad says:

        There’s a difference between property rights and ethics. I used Phillip Morris as a way of highlighting that contrast, dolt.

  50. sicbanana says:

    Well, I guess nobody gives a shit about principles in this time and age any more. Money is so gud.
    Sad world. :(