Minecraft was ‘too much to handle’ for its now-billionaire creator

Globe file photo
Globe file photo

It was apparently more than just huge money that spurred the sale of Minecraft’s parent company, Mojang, to Microsoft for $2.5 billion.

Game creator Markus Persson, aka Notch,” decided that he doesn’t want the responsibility of owning a company of such global significance,” Mojang’s Owen Hill said in a blog post. Persson is the Swedish company’s majority shareholder.

“It was never Notch’s intention for [Minecraft] to get this big,” Hill wrote. “Over the past few years he’s made attempts to work on smaller projects, but the pressure of owning Minecraft became too much for him to handle.”

Persson offered more details on his own blog, writing that it’s “not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

“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,” Persson wrote. “I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”

He added: “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.”

The Wall Street Journal had initially reported a week ago on the acquisition of Mojang by Microsoft, which was confirmed today.

Minecraft, which lets users build in and explore a Lego-like virtual multiplayer world, has been downloaded 100 million times on PC alone since its launch in 2009. It is the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating system in the U.S.

Microsoft said it will continue to make ‘Minecraft’ available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.

‘‘Minecraft is more than a great game franchise it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft,’’ said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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