Just like the millions of Minecraft fans all over the world, my son and I were worried when we heard the big news today. I had already seen several articles last week about the rumor. Today, it was all over the Internet, not as a rumor but as news. Swedish company Mojang, makers of Minecraft, posted this on their website: “Yes, we’re being bought by Microsoft.”
My son has been a Minecraft player and fan for about two years now. I’m a Minecraft mom, not in the sense that I play the game, but that I am a fan of how Minecraft enables my son to express his creativity, helps him learn about gaming and technology in a fun way, and gives him a safe (supervised) and comfortable digital venue for making friends. I became an even bigger fan of the game thanks to Minecraft Homeschool, because through it my son has found a way to incorporate his love of gaming with his homeschooling. Win-win situation!
I eagerly read up on it. Why did Mojang sell itself to Microsoft? Markus “Notch” Persson, maker of Minecraft, wrote on his blog that he needed to step away from the global phenomenon for his sanity. He has always been a game maker, and he wants to make games for fun. He doesn’t want to make big hits that earn tons of money and carry the responsibility of managing and developing what has become a symbol to millions of gamers all over the world. He and two other founders of Mojang, Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser, are leaving Mojang to the hands of Microsoft.
I’ve been seeing and reading more pessimistic views from Minecraft fans online. My son and I were also worried. Would this spell the end of Minecraft as we know it? Will it become more commercial, more exclusive, more limited? Will it become less engaged with the global Minecraft community who support and promote its spirit of independence, creativity and openness?
Thankfully, Mojang has written a reassuring note to all its fans and followers:
“Is the game going to change? Will we still be able to make videos, mods, awesome builds, and all the cool stuff we’ve created over the past few years?
Minecraft will continue to evolve, just like it has since the start of development. We don’t know specific plans for Minecraft’s future yet, but we do know that everyone involved wants the community to grow and become even more amazing than it’s ever been. Stopping players making cool stuff is not in anyone’s interests.”
Here’s to hoping that Minecraft and Mojang will stay awesome.