Not too long ago, it was announced that there would be a second edition of a book published about Minecraft, which also includes a lot of passages about its creation and those that created and developed the massively popular sandbox franchise. The upcoming second edition will now include details of the huge $2.5 billion purchase of Mojang, who developed the game, by Microsoft.
Now, some of those details are coming to light before the book – written by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson – is released on June 16. The details come from an excerpt posted in Wired magazine, and focus on Microsoft’s purchase of Mojang – which is the primary reason why the book is getting another edition. The excerpt is packed with fascinating inside information, including how Microsoft and Mojang kept employees from simply quitting their jobs once the deal was complete.
The answer pretty much boils down to money; or, at least, money played a pretty big part in getting employees to stay after receiving the surprise announcement that Mojang would indeed be handed over to Microsoft. As the book itself puts it:
“Everyone at Mojang was made the same offer: whoever stayed on board for at least six months after the sale would be rewarded with two million Swedish crowns, approximately three hundred thousand dollars, after taxes. A small fortune was being tendered as a peace offering, in other words.”
The employees were also promised a guaranteed two years salary from when the deal closed, even if Microsoft closed down the Stockholm office and moved it over to Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft is headquartered. Should Microsoft do that at some point, some employees may in fact be out of a job, but these employees would be safe financially for the time being. At least one person rejected this offer, according to the book.
Once the deal was announced, not many people at Mojang were happy.
“News of the sale changed things at Mojang. Some felt betrayed by [Minecraft creator Markus Persson’s] decision. Morale plummeted. ‘People felt like the world was coming to an end,’ one longtime Mojang employee told us shortly after the news broke.”
Yet another part of the excerpt talks about a meeting that Microsoft Game Studios general manager Matt Booty held at Mojang’s offices after the deal closed. It didn’t go so well.
“According to people present at the meeting, Matt Booty misspoke several times when discussing Mojang’s future. Instead of saying Mojang, he referred to the company simply as Minecraft, quickly correcting himself. For the others in the room, it was awkward to say the least. Less than half of them worked directly with Minecraft. Every time the man from Microsoft confused the name of the company he’d acquired with the game it was known for, he inadvertently pointed to the elephant in the room. Yes, Microsoft had acquired all of Mojang. But it was only really interested in Minecraft.”
The book is called Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus Notch Persson and the Game that Changed Everything — Second Edition. It’s a follow-up to the 2013 original installment and will be released on June 16.