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Today, indie game developer Mojang announced its impending sale to Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion. Mojang founder Notch, aka Markus Persson, knew this was coming, and has removed himself from the day-to-day operations at the company, explaining on his blog, "I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand."
The developer even said that if any of his upcoming web experiments become as popular, he'll "probably abandon it immediately." So this marks the final farewell from the man behind Minecraft—and the cult game's community is responding in kind.
Minecraft builders, modders, and videographers have responded to the news with a mix of excitement, anxiety, and caution—some with a strong dose of creative expression mixed in. To recognize the end of Minecraft's Notch era, we wanted to round up some of the gaming communities odes and homages to the game's mastermind.
Redditor DannyB648 created a solemn snapshot of Notch's iconic block-shaped avatar (complete with goatee), standing atop a moonlit Minecraft mountain. The caption reads, simply, "To Notch, Thank You, From Everyone"—a fairly common sentiment when browsing Reddit's r/Minecraft community.
"In light of the recent buyout..." writes redditor CalvinW, the fan posted a GIF of Notch escaping from the world of Minecraft with a Superman-like flight into outer-Minecraft space. The illegible yellow text at the bottom reads, "Notch left the game"—an appropriately concise description of Mojang's sale. via
Grahame Skeavington, the designer recreating all of Star Wars: Episode IV in Minecraft, sent The Creators Project this simple "thank you" image he put together for Notch, showing his appreciation for everything Minecraft has done for him.
"Is this an ‘End of an Era’ for Minecraft? I don’t think so," Skeavington told us. "I think it will be the start of something big. I only hope Microsoft don’t make any ‘MAJOR’ changes before my movie is done..... it could potentially screw my project up completely."
James Delaney, a builder and the Managing Director at the creative Minecraft channel Blockworks—the creatives behind the winning entry in Planet Minecraft's 'Head Into The Clouds' floating island build contest—also owes a lot to Notch's influence in the gaming community, and is excited for what the future has in store.
"Not only has Notch's work made a lasting impact on the games and entertainment industries, but through Minecraft he has created a creative community and economy that is still expanding today," he said. "I have absolutely no doubt that the architects and artists of tomorrow will have grown up playing with Minecraft and exploring its possibilities."
Not everyone is taking the change in such optimistic stride, however. A slew of Redditors have devoted their crafting talents to tongue-in-cheek messages for their "new overlords," or to theorize about the silly features of a post-Microsoft Minecraft world.
And redditor zortexxx offers this expertly crafted expression of Internet rage:
The Minecraft community hosts a parade of mixed emotions as their world takes its next steps out of the Indieverse and into the realm of big-budget, high-profit gaming. Will the hacking, coding, and modding that makes Minecraft a playground for creativity survive the transition? Will the company continue to empower artists using the cuboid world as their digital canvases? We hope so—there's no way we're giving up watching Monster School just yet.