There is word that Mojang, the company that makes Minecraft, may be bought by Microsoft.
I don't normally write 'letters' to important people, but I was deeply hurt by this idea, and so I wrote an email to some folks at Mojang. I doubt they will have the time to read it, but it was important to me if nothing else. I'm putting a slightly trimmed copy here:
I really hope that Mojang isn't bought by Microsoft. I know there are likely a lot of economic reasons this is a good
thing, but it troubles me deeply to think it could happen.
Surely I don't know all the in's and out's of the situation, but this is how I see it and what I've heard:
Mojang is all that is good and just about the game development, a small company that pulled itself up on its own--no
publishers, no advertisements, just on its product. That's HUGE. Minecraft was never advertised, it had no publisher.
It was just a small team of plucky independent programmers and artists doing what they loved.
I don't think this is what Microsoft is about.
This is not something many corporations have the capacity to understand. It may be possible that this kind of culture could survive under Microsoft's ownership, but it frightens me to think how fragile that existence would be. One tiny movement by the lumbering beast above, and all that I love about Minecraft, Mojang, and all the interesting and unusual projects by Mojang could be wiped out.
I am certainly not alone in my love of Minecraft. I know many people, both from the internet and from my everyday life, who share this love. A part of that love is the independent, rebellious, and personable atmosphere we see from Minecraft. I fear for that love now.
Minecraft is something I have closely associated myself with. It's something I really love. My friends and I come together to play it often. It's a part of how we interact socially, and a part of our own culture. This threatens that place it holds for us.
Perhaps Microsoft has been 'getting soft' about the companies it acquires. Skype still has a Linux version, for instance. But the damage would be done. The independent spirit will be lost, even if the game itself prospers.
I remain hopeful, though. Notch and Jeb are well known to not put up with big corporation bullshit. Notch called Windows 8's app store a blight on developers. Jeb added PowerPC Macintosh support to Minecraft--a platform that was unsupported at that point even by Apple.
What I hope is that this is a trick. Well, sort of a trick. A way for Mojang to generate interest in acquisition by a more suitable company. While I'd personally prefer to see Mojang stay free and independent forever, if a company like Valve bought them, I could get behind that. Valve has a history of being very responsive to its customers, and is first and foremost a game company.
Mostly, I think of Gary's Mod. If that kind of culture is what would await Minecraft, I could be at peace with the
...but please. Not Microsoft. Something is dreadfully wrong with this.