Microsoft's Minecraft – Raven Oak

Microsoft’s Minecraft

Everyone’s talking about it.
Mojang & Minecraft are trending on Twitter & Facebook. I think every blogger and gamer is commenting on it, posting about it, and freaking out right now.

If you missed the announcement this morning, Microsoft has purchased Mojang for 2.5 Billion dollars.

Creeping Angels in Minecraft

Yes, my husband made “creeping angels” on our server. (If you don’t get the reference, go check out Doctor Who.)

Gamers have every right to fear Microsoft taking over such a wonderful indie game. Minecraft changed indie gaming completely. How will it remain true to its roots with a take over by a company well known for not playing nice with others?

Part of what makes Minecraft (and Mojang) great. is that gamers are free to mod it. Gamers have been encouraged to play with the engine and create their own additions to the game. In fact, Notch (the creator) even said that “once Minecraft was done,” or he was done with it, he would “release the source code” so that the community could continue to do what we do best.

What is the likelihood that Microsoft, after paying 2.5 Billion Dollars, would do that? Yeah, zilch. Nada. Ain’t gonna happen.

If anything, Microsoft is going to monetize the hell out of the game. Since we bought the game, more updates have come out than I can count and for free. It’s like the game that keeps expanding & improving. There’s no money to be had in something like that—not for a company like Microsoft, anyway. That would be like EA announcing that all future expansions of The Sims 4 will be free for gamers who bought the base game. Never gonna happen.

So while I place bets on how long my own server, Gallifrey, will last after this buy out, I also worry greatly about Notch, the creator, and why he made this decision. If you read any of the million articles that have popped up today about this deal, one thing stands out to me:

“I love you. All of you. Thank you for turning Minecraft into what it has become, but there are too many of you, and I can’t be responsible for something this big….It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.” —Notch from his blog

He talked a bit more about the level of hate that came his way after Phil Fish left game development (mostly due to all the Gamergate crap and long-term mistreatment by the gamer community).

And this makes me sad. It’s become common place these days that when you don’t like something a celebrity has said or done, you threaten to kill them and their families. When did this become the norm? Why is this acceptable, in any society? Notch’s post reminds me of a man who’s running as fast and as hard as he can from fame, from the hatred and negativity in the gaming community, and from himself. And it makes me sad.

Is this what gaming has become?




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