Microsoft have just bought Minecraft developers Mojang for the brain-staggering sum of $2.5 billion, a number so large that if it were written out in full it would take up at least a couple of inches on a page.
But how much of that cash will actually end up in Notch’s bank account? The answer will surprise you.
Let’s do the math(s).
First of all, let’s convert that giant dollar amount into the familiar currency of PCGamesN’s homeland of the United Kingdom. Remember, an American billion isonly a thousand million, whereas a British billion is the more sensiblemillion million. So, when written out in pounds sterling, that buyout is already looking way more modest.
Notch is proud to be one of Sweden’s top tax-payers, rightly paying his dues to society where others take advantage of lucrative loopholes and tax evading trickery. So immediately we can lop half of his earnings off and pay it straight into the Swedish government’s coffers. Wow. Notch’s honesty means his payout is evaporating quickly.
A measly seven hundred and sixty nine million remains, but we’re not even at the point where Notch is holding his giant Microsoft cheque yet. There’s still the rest of the Mojang shareholders to pay. Namely his long-time colleages and friends who leave with him, co-founders Carl and Jakob. Split three ways, the final tally plummets even further.
Notch must now, in accordance with interational maritime law, decommission his fleet of Minecraft branded Airbus A320 jetliners by flying them into the Mariana Trench. As the aeroplanes, which cost $93 million a pop, were not part of the Microsoft deal, Notch himself must absorb the cost of setting each plane to autopilot mode and flying them into the briney deep. A net loss of £229,028,784. Ouch!
To exit the Mojang offices safely and with quiet dignity of a man who almost single-handedly, and by his own account accidentally, created the world’s most popular videogame, Notch has modestly requested he be plucked from a third floor window by means of a cherry picker and then subsequently never touch the earth again, for “a man of my bewildering success should not know the feel of dirt underfoot”. The procession of helicopters necessary to take him to and from his home and local supermarket requires a down payment of just over £25 million.
When carrying all of his money home in a wheelbarrow, a lot of it will undoubtedly be blown away by a strong breeze.
The company dog will need six months of costly rehabilitation before it stops jumping up on tables to bark the word “Minecraft”.
Leaving the creator of Minecraft with a modest £74 to his name, give or take a few million. That’s enough to buy one of those new console games.
In all seriousness, Notch has just released a lovely statement describing his thoughts behind the Mojang buyout, and money is not one of his concerns. He is a good dude, and PCGamesN wishes everyone at Mojang and all those affected the best of luck in the future.