I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. The fact is, I’m been disappointed with Mojang for a good long while now, and maybe it’d be better if a team of professionals were working on it. Can Microsoft really make Minecraft any worse? On the other hand, I am still monumentally pissed at Microsoft for what they did to Bungie, and what 343 has done to Halo.
The thing that’s most hilarious to me is the price. $2 billion? With a B? Not in my wildest dreams could I imagine Mojang is worth that much money. If I owned any Microsoft stock, I’d be selling now. Buying Minecraft isn’t going to sell XBones or Windows 8. All I can figure is Microsoft wants to turn Minecraft into a massive merchandising opportunity, but even then I don’t see Microsoft recouping their losses, especially since there’s likely to be a big fan backlash if Mojang “sells out”.
I can understand why a lot of people would be devastated by this news. I sympathize, but I can’t blame Notch for selling, if in fact he does. If I sat down in a meeting with some big company, and they offered me billions for my entire life’s intellectual property, I’d smile very politely, ask them to repeat the number, and then try to get the deal done as soon as possible. Let’s say after taxes, and splitting the price between various other people in the company, Notch stands to have many hundreds of millions of dollars by the end of this. With that sort of money, he can do anything at all. He can wait for his contract to run out, and start a new company. He can buy an island and live in complete luxury for the rest of his days. Some might call it greed, but I’d call it total freedom.
Meanwhile, there’s lots of Minecraft clones out there, and games sort of similar to Minecraft that people can switch to, if Microsoft really screws it up. Many of those games might actually be better. I think a Microsoft-owned Minecraft opens up a niche for some enterprising indie developer to really create a breakout hit. Stonehearth, for example, might end up getting a lot more players once the game progresses a bit more.
So really I’m just laughing and shaking my head at Microsoft’s newest potential blunder. I do pity all the folks still playing Minecraft, but I find I just don’t have the patience anymore for its developers. Them “selling out” would just be another in a long line of community betrayals.