Minecraft, the immensely popular game, was originally developed by Mojang, a Swedish gaming studio. Markus “Notch” Persson served as the primary creator, with Jens “Jeb” Bergensten taking over when the game was fully released in 2011. In 2014, Microsoft acquired Mojang for $2.5 billion, opening up new opportunities for the game and its community of players.
Microsoft’s Acquisition of Mojang: Everything Minecraft Players Need to Know
Initially, Markus Persson had no intention of selling the game, despite receiving offers from high-profile companies like Activision Blizzard, Valve Corporation, and Electronic Arts (EA), with offers reaching up to $1 billion. Even investment firms like Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners expressed interest. However, Mojang denied all offers as they already possessed a sufficient amount of money.
Closing in on the Deal
On June 17, 2014, Notch tweeted about his desire to leave, expressing the pressure and unhappiness he experienced due to the immense success of the game. Microsoft, among others, approached Persson with an offer to acquire Mojang. After discussions with his financial advisors from JPMorgan Chase, it was publicly announced that Microsoft would spend $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang. On November 6, 2014, Mojang became part of Microsoft Studios.
Aftermath of Minecraft’s Sale
Following the acquisition, Markus Persson left Mojang, having earned $1.8 billion from the deal. In a farewell letter on his personal website, Markus revealed the toll that the events leading up to the acquisition had taken on him.
A Look at Minecraft and Notch’s Current Scenario
Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang had a profound impact on the game. Minecraft continues to maintain its popularity, boasting a monthly player base of almost 140 million players. According to a 2021 fact sheet from Xbox News, the game has sold over 238 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling video game of all time.
The game recently released the highly anticipated Caves and Cliffs part 2 update, with another major update scheduled for this year. Notch remains a beloved figure within the Minecraft community. In 2020, he made an appearance in Dream’s Minecraft Manhunt series and has since shared Factorio and Satisfactory gameplay on his YouTube channel and Twitter.
In conclusion, Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft transformed the game, expanding its reach and ensuring a continuous stream of updates for the dedicated community of players. Minecraft’s success story, combined with Notch’s ongoing presence, is a testament to the lasting impact of this groundbreaking acquisition.