The rumors are true: Microsoft is buying Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. And as we discovered this morning, Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson is leaving the company. As you can imagine, the PC Gamer team has some strong feelings about the acquisition, and the impact of Minecraft.
Notch statement on leaving Mojang: "I'm not a CEO. I'm a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter."
The rumor that Microsoft may acquire Minecraft creator Mojang (now upgraded to a maybe), is an uncomfortable possibility. If the deal materializes, it would put a game whose spirit and mechanics are rooted in openness and tinkering in the hands of a closed, proprietary platform holder. It will put the best-selling individual PC game ever in the hands of PC gaming’s most obstructive opponent—a company responsible for timed exclusives, the closure of studios like Ensemble, and the mutant DRM known as Games For Windows Live (which continues to be purged).
Yesterday's all-but-unbelievable rumor is today's "looking like it might actually be so," as reports that Minecraft studio Mojang is on the verge of being acquired by Microsoft continue to surface. Even more interesting, the word on the street is that the idea of the buyout came not from Microsoft, but from Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson himself.
In what may be the most unexpected rumor of the year, Microsoft is reportedly close to completing a deal that will see it acquire Mojang AB, better known as the studio that makes Minecraft.
Welcome to Show Us Your Rig, where we feature the PC gaming industry's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.
Markus “Notch” Persson, creator of Minecraft, has a powerful rig with a deceptive appearance. Hidden behind its ancient keyboard and healthy layer of dust, Persson’s computer houses some serious punch. Notch was kind enough to spend some time telling us about his set-up, what he’s been playing lately, and the keyboard that has withstood the test of time.
Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson was not a happy camper when he heard that Oculus Rift had been acquired by Facebook. He was so put off by the news, in fact, that he pulled the plug on early-stage talks about developing an Oculus version of his game, because, as he put it, "Facebook creeps me out." But apparently it was just a passing thing, and now he's more concerned about the state of his socks.
Notch defends Mojang against "literally worse than EA" accusation following Minecraft EULA monetization update
There was a kerfuffle earlier this month when Mojang's Erik "Grum" Broes took a moment to remind everyone that charging Minecraft players for in-game perks is against the rules. Historically, Mojang's tendency has been to let it slide, but Broes' suggestion that the company might start cracking down on the worst offenders didn't go over well with everyone, including one person who said the studio was "literally worse than EA." But in fact, Mojang's updated EULA actually makes it easier for server operators to support their digital realms, while still doing what it can to protect its "don't pay for gameplay" credo.
E3 starts today. Or maybe it's Pre-E3, or Shadow E3... Something is starting today, and, as a result of it, we'll hopefully be swept away by new announcements and exciting fresh looks at upcoming games. We're hours away from that though, so we might as well start with this: Cliffhorse. What is Cliffhorse? For one thing, it's Notch's latest game. Beyond that, I'm still not really sure.
Minecraft is pretty popular, but it's also kind of a time sink. To get around this, some servers allow impatient players to pay for perks, letting them essentially buy their way to the top, or to whatever measure of "victory" they aspire. The only problem is that this runs contrary to the terms of the Minecraft EULA, which forbids monetization of content created by Mojang, as well as mods and plugins. "You can do whatever you want with them, as long as you don't sell them for money / try to make money from them," it states. "We have the final say on what constitutes a tool/mod/plugin and what doesn't."
It's the kind of thing that people generally click past and ignore, but that may not be an option for much longer. Mojang looks set to begin cracking down on Minecraft servers that allow players to pay for perks.
The news that Facebook will acquire Oculus VR for $2 billion in a combined cash/stock deal has, understandably, taken over the internet. Everyone on Twitter is posting reactions—some are excited, many are shocked, and almost everyone is surprised. Mojang's Markus "Notch" Persson has weighed in on the news by canceling talks for an upcoming, official version of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift.
It was back in April that Notch revealed he was putting his space sandbox prototype 0x10c "on ice". Since then, it seems, the freeze has only deepened. During a recent TF2 livestream, the Minecraft creator answered a question on the status of his next game, saying, "Nope, there are no future aspirations for 0x10c". He went on to say that, if another member of the Mojang office wanted to pick the game up, they could. Instead, it seems like the game's fans will be taking it upon themselves to fulfil the promise they saw in the concept.
Typing. Invisible objects. A form of echolocation. A be-hatted Minecraft creator pitting zombie against man. Nightmares. Knightmares. That Sort of Thing. All that and more awaits in this week's Free Webgame Roundup, which as you may have guessed collects the very best in browser-based entertainment, saving you the trouble of wading through those muddy, muddy waters for yourself. Enjoy!
This week, we're finally going to finish talking about E3. We promise. Specifically, which games from the show that might come to the PC do we want to see on our platform the most? Plus, we go in-depth on Mojang's new card battle game thing, Scrolls. And T.J. claims to actually enjoy Marvel Heroes, but how do we really know he wasn't replaced by some kind of alien bent on the subjugation of Earth?
Mojang CEO Carl Manneh announced on Twitter last week that, after one week in open beta, upcoming collectible card game Scrolls has already recovered its entire development cost. "The game is profitable!” Manneh wrote After a long development process and lengthy alpha testing phase, Scrolls was released to open beta on June 3.
By now you may've heard the ruckus emanating from the console community. Zack Scott, prominent YouTube personality and uploader of Let's Play videos, revealed that Nintendo had "claimed ownership" of his Nintendo gameplay demonstrations—meaning, basically, that ad revenue from the videos would go to Nintendo rather than Scott himself. It wasn't an isolated incident; numerous other YouTubers found their videos had also been claimed by the heavyweight publisher.
Despite pulling out of the 2013 Ludum Dare competition, Notch delivered a new game at the weekend in the form of 'Drop' - a free-to-play browser game inspired by Super Hexagon, Fez and part of the ceiling in his apartment. Resembling an old school touch typing tutor, the game tasks you with typing cryptic combinations of words as they spiral onto the screen.
0x10c is Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson's latest project: a multiplayer space sandbox which simulates ships down to an emulated 16 bit processor that runs player-written code. Designing computers in computers can apparently wear one out—in an interview with Polygon, Persson said 0x10c's alpha release is still a "ways off," and cited "some kind of weird creative block that's been going on for too long."
We took a brief hiatus while repair crews worked on the NA West 1 (giving us time to release a 3-page document outlining our criticisms), but we've finally returned to PCG County. Despite unusually frequent seismic disasters and more than one sewage debacle, the region lives on: Notchtopia continues to grow, Belmonte Carlo is a playground for the rich, Hepatitis Seas is turning yellowish, and Executive Mayor Evan Lahti has now founded Texas II: Origins—this time, it's personoil.
It was almost a year ago to the day when Notch publicly proposed to Tim Schafer. No, not that sort of proposal. This one: "Let’s make Psychonauts 2 happen."
But any plans for a follow up to Tim Schafer's weird and inventive platformer were put on hold when Double Fine launched an adventure game Kickstarter. Now, in a thread on Reddit thread, the Minecraft creator has revealed that he'll no longer be funding a Psychonauts sequel.