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This tweet made Microsoft buy Mojang

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Minecraft is a global phenomenon. People of all ages around the world are doing incredible things with it, and it’s all thanks to Mojang and its intrepid founders. They sold their creation to Microsoft, something that some people saw as selling out. But there’s a much bigger story behind the headline.

There is an excellent article about Minecraft creator, Markus ‘Notch” Persson over on Forbes. It gives a wonderful background on the man behind Minecraft, as well as how the actual deal with Microsoft progressed. However, the most interesting part is that this tweet is what started it all.

It all started with a frustrated and overwhelmed tweet. Within 30 seconds of the tweet going out, Mojang CEO Carl Manneh got a call at home from a Microsoft executive asking if Persson was serious. And thus, the conversation about selling the company began. Obviously it took a long time to finalize, and other publishers also threw their hats in the ring, but it was Microsoft who came through with the best understanding of the business. Plus, it (very slightly) helped Microsoft’s issue of how to spend its $93 billion overseas cash pile that it couldn’t repatriate without paying Uncle Sam. Smart for everyone.

Was Notch a sell out? I don’t think so, but I think this sentence says it best:

Being insanely rich and prematurely washed up apparently trumps the stresses of responsibility over a virtual nation that alternately reveres and despises you.

Last Updated: March 6, 2015

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