Garry Newman on Mojang sale to Microsoft: “I’d have done the same thing”

Minecraft: big business.

The world watched as Microsoft bought Mojang for a country-floating $2.5 billion, and so did Garry ‘sMod’ Newman. But while the world at large mostly wailed and muttered dire warnings, the Rust mastermind decided that this is a deal in which “everyone wins”.

“Long story short. I’d have done the same thing,” he blogged. “The money is enough to very much take care of all the staff. The game is in relatively safe hands. Mojang’s legacy is as a huge success story instead of a one hit wonder.

“Can you seriously say you’d have done it differently?”

There’s only one person on the planet who knows what it’s like to sit beneath Notch’s hat, but Newman, too, is the CEO of an indie studio which found astronomical success on the PC. It’s that perspective that informs his thoughts on the Minecraft deal.

“Once you start hiring people your whole attitude changes,” Newman explained. “You’re not just fucking about with your life anymore.. you’re fucking about with other people’s lives – and the lives of their families. You can’t just sell out and fuck everyone over.

“I am sure more than the top guys at Mojang became very financially rich due to this deal and that’s something that should be admired – not seen as a bad thing.”

And Minecraft? Newman thinks its fate under Microsoft is “debatable”, not doomy.

“I’m sure Microsoft didn’t just buy it because they’re struggling desperately to stay relevant and some of their kids play it a lot. But even if they did it really isn’t in their favour to pay a shitload of money for it and then completely fuck it up,” he pointed out.

“That wouldn’t make any sense. Time will be the judge on that, I guess.”

Our Tim wrote an open letter to Microsoft about Minecraft. And Steve calculated how much of Microsoft’s $2.5 billion Notch will actually receive. But enough expert analysis. What’re your thoughts on the deal?

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