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Enderman of Days

september 12, 2014

All signs have been pointing to the potential sale of Mojang to Microsoft. Digging through the evidence, there seems to be no reason to doubt that this is real and is happening. The puzzle pieces fit together all too well when you look at the chronological order of events. Connecting the dots has never been easier, thanks to the internet and Twitter blurbs making headlines.

Many people seem to think Notch got away like a bandit, whereas I tend to think he got swindled. Sure, when the deal is the equivalent of the GDP of a small nation, it may not appear as anything but favorable for Notch. Considering Minecraft is already the 3rd highest selling game of all time in the short stint of five years, it stands to reason that Minecraft fever has peaked. Of course, overlooking the influence that Minecraft wields over an entire generation shows how myopic that reasoning is.

A famous line from Frank Underwood in House of Cards reminds me of this situation. It goes:

"Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after ten years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I cannot respect someone who doesn't see the difference."

I can understand wanting to concentrate on creating rather than running a business. With Mojang's resources, you would think doing both would be well within reason. However, handing over your baby, a global phenomenon that has made you an icon, including a studio you founded seems nonsensical to a plebian such as me. And what's worse is that it's to Microsoft, a company far creepier than Facebook with its long history of anti-competitive business practices, closed platforms, and laughable Xbox One launch strategy (among so much else). It just seems to be the polar opposite of what an indie studio stands for and a horrible fit for Mojang.

It's funny to think that Gaben has spent the last 18 years of his life building Valve and is just as beloved an icon as Notch. He left Microsoft which he has been critically outspoken about, going so far as creating a competing platform to act as a salve from the ineptitude of Windows 8. As a contemporary to Notch and with his unique history and position, I would think he would be spinning in his grave from the idea of such great potential being squandered, stuffed deep into Microsoft's coffers. Considering his current living status perhaps spinning in his cube is a more appropriate metaphor.

At any rate, the internet has been largely optimistic of the deal. I say, soul crushing disappointment from the bastardization of a beloved childhood experience has to happen for these kids from something. Why not from a game that is intimately intertwined with their souls? Let the growing up commence.

Enderman of Days

september 12, 2014

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