So it finally happened. Microsoft bought Mojang for $2.5 billion. With no current plans for the company behind one of gaming’s most well known indie titles, Minecraft, the fans are left to speculate. But that’s getting ahead of things. Notch, the creator of Minecraft and co-founder of Mojang, has made an announcement yesterday that he is leaving Mojang in light of the deal with Microsoft. A number of fans seem upset with the news though Notch stated on his blog that “It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.” With the still growing popularity of the cube-based sandbox game, I can understand that some distance needs to be made. For a while now, Notch has suggested that the explosion of popularity was a bit much. At least that’s what I always got out of it.
So what does this mean for the famous sandbox game that has made it’s way from PC to Xbox and even mobile devices? Really, it’s too early to tell. Though one speculation that is the most likely to happen is Xbox will be seeing a lot more of Minecraft along with more for it. Who knows if that means the other versions of the game will suffer, but we can hope that the increased manpower of Microsoft will mean more ambitious and frequent updates. Another potential outcome is Minecraft, along with Mojang itself, will be run into the ground. Microsoft hasn’t been known for being successful in the gaming industry save for the Xbox and that only goes so far.
Aside from the results of the Microsoft/Mojang deal, one might wonder what will happen with Notch. According to his blog post, it seems like he’s trying for business as usual. Trying to go back to the way things were before Minecraft, Notch has said that he will, “…go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.” While, as a fan, I find it unfortunate that we might not see another big game from Notch. Though I do wish him the best and thank him for a game that has consumed countless hours of my time, somehow reeling me back in for more.
As for how will the affect Microsoft? I doubt it will. It’s just another part of the big machine and while I hope for good things to come of it, I have my doubts. From Microsoft, I expect to see half finished concepts over finished and polished work. With that said, I think Minecraft will be more sustained that improved upon. That is unless they start sticking their fingers into the sandbox game and assimilate it with the rest of Microsoft’s work. Then again, they might just dare to make a “Minecraft 2” and that’s bound to be a disaster unless the can somehow convince the creative minds of Mojang to come back.