Microsoft owns Mojang, and thus it owns Minecraft, a situation that some fans of the game may find potentially alarming. Big publishers tend to take different approaches to game development than indie studios from Sweden, after all, and the drive to monetize could take the game places it wouldn't have gone under the guidance of Notch and co. But Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, sounds like he's not in any rush to get heavy with the golden goose.
Speaking on an IGN podcast last week, Spencer described Microsoft as "shepherds of the [Minecraft] IP," and said the company isn't going to rush into licensing the property for use in things like animated television series or movies. "I think we earn permission to do other things with Minecraft when we meet the Minecraft community's desires around what the franchise is," Spencer said. "I don't want us to go and try to make it something it isn't, but I do think it has room to grow."
The same thing holds true for a direct sequel to the game. "I don't know if Minecraft 2, if that's the thing that makes the most sense," he continued. "The community around Minecraft is as strong as any community out there, and I think we need to meet the needs and the desires of what the community has before we get permission to go off and do something else. It doesn't mean everything we're going to do is going to map to 100 percent of their acceptance, because I don't know if there is any topic where 100 percent of the people agree. But we look at job one, is to go out and meet the needs of the Minecraft community first, and then we can think about ways we can actually help grow it."
The relevant bits, if you want to listen/watch for yourself, start around the 38-minute mark of the video, or just past 39 minutes in the MP3.