Notch: Minecraft Sale to Microsoft 'Not About the Money'

"I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand."

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Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson has issued a statement to fans explaining the decision to sell his studio to Microsoft.

In a blog post, Persson claimed that the deal--which is expected to net him a personal fortune of $1.7 billion--is "not about the money. It’s about my sanity.""

On Monday, Microsoft revealed that it has agreed to purchase Mojang for $2.5 billion. The company claims it can break even on the deal by April 2016.

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Both Microsoft and Mojang say that neither are looking to delete Minecraft from non-Microsoft platforms such as PlayStations and iOS devices.

But Persson says he hoped to complete the deal with Microsoft specifically because the responsibility to be in charge of Minecraft had become to great, and it didn't match with his personal ambition to create smaller games and experiment with certain designs.

The full post reads:

"I don’t see myself as a real game developer. I make games because it’s fun, and because I love games and I love to program, but I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don’t try to change the world.

"Minecraft certainly became a huge hit, and people are telling me it’s changed games. I never meant for it to do either. It’s certainly flattering, and to gradually get thrust into some kind of public spotlight is interesting.

"A relatively long time ago, I decided to step down from Minecraft development. Jens was the perfect person to take over leading it, and I wanted to try to do new things.

"At first, I failed by trying to make something big again, but since I decided to just stick to small prototypes and interesting challenges, I’ve had so much fun with work. I wasn’t exactly sure how I fit into Mojang where people did actual work, but since people said I was important for the culture, I stayed.

"I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of EULA situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand. I tweeted this in frustration.

"Later on, I watched the This is Phil Fish video on YouTube and started to realize I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.

"As soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and 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.

"Considering the public image of me already is a bit skewed, I don’t expect to get away from negative comments by doing this, but at least now I won’t feel a responsibility to read them.

"I’m aware this goes against a lot of what I’ve said in public. I have no good response to that. I’m also aware a lot of you were using me as a symbol of some perceived struggle. I’m not. I’m a person, and I’m right there struggling with you.

"I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big.

"In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change.

"It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity."

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