After this morning’s news that Microsoft would be buying Mojang for a cool 2.5 billion dollars, Notch announced his departure from Mojang. Writing on his personal website, Mojang’s founder stated, “it’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.” It’s no secret that being a public, well-known figure in the video games industry can lead to unwanted attention. With the recent controversy and harassment of video games journalists, to the very vocal backlash towards Phil Fish cancelling Fez 2 last year, fame in this community often comes with a price. It seems Notch had been growing weary of being in the spotlight for some time:
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.
Instead, Notch says he will be returning to work on smaller, personal projects, with no plans for any bigger games on a Minecraftian scale.