Everyone Who Stayed at Mojang After Microsoft Buyout Got a Big Bonus
Upcoming Minecraft book reveals behind-the-scenes details about Microsoft's $2.5 billion deal to buy Mojang and Minecraft.
[UPDATE] Notch has offered some additional insight into this story on Twitter.
"Half the bonus was completely unconditional," he said. "It's after tax. The bonus came from me personally, from my own personal money."
The original story is below.
Wired magazine has posted an excerpt from an upcoming Minecraft book that offers new details about Microsoft's blockbuster $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang and the popular sandbox franchise. The excerpt is packed with fascinating inside information, including how Microsoft and Mojang kept employees from simply quitting their jobs once the deal was complete.
The answer, at least in part, was money. Lots of money.
"Everyone at Mojang was made the same offer: whoever stayed on board for at least six months after the sale would be rewarded with two million Swedish crowns, approximately three hundred thousand dollars, after taxes," reads a line from the book. "A small fortune was being tendered as a peace offering, in other words."
According to the book, all employees were also guaranteed their monthly salaries for two full years after the deal closed. This would be true even if Microsoft elected to close Mojang's office in Stockholm and move development to the company's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The book states that at least one employee rejected the offer.
Another section of the excerpt covers the immediate aftermath of the Minecraft acquisition deal becoming public. As it turns out, not everyone inside Mojang was happy.
"News of the sale changed things at Mojang. Some felt betrayed by [Minecraft creator Markus Persson's] decision," reads another line. "Morale plummeted. 'People felt like the world was coming to an end,' one longtime Mojang employee told us shortly after the news broke."
Yet another part of the excerpt talks about a meeting that Microsoft Game Studios general manager Matt Booty held at Mojang's offices after the deal closed. It didn't go so well.
"According to people present at the meeting, Matt Booty misspoke several times when discussing Mojang's future," the book says. "Instead of saying Mojang, he referred to the company simply as Minecraft, quickly correcting himself. For the others in the room, it was awkward to say the least. Less than half of them worked directly with Minecraft. Every time the man from Microsoft confused the name of the company he'd acquired with the game it was known for, he inadvertently pointed to the elephant in the room. Yes, Microsoft had acquired all of Mojang. But it was only really interested in Minecraft."
The book is called Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus Notch Persson and the Game that Changed Everything -- Second Edition. It's a follow-up to the 2013 original installment and will be released on June 16.
Notch and Mojang's other founders left the company after the deal closed. He has since purchased the most expensive home in Beverly Hills and partied with Selena Gomez.
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