The creator of Minecraft has claimed that he sold the video game sensation to Microsoft for $2.5 billion to preserve his sanity, not to make money.
Markus Persson, a co-founder of Mojang, the Stockholm-based gaming company, said in a letter to Minecraft fans posted on his blog that he was not a chief executive or an entrepreneur but a “nerd” who “likes to have opinions on Twitter . . . I make games because it’s fun and because I love games and I love to program. I don’t make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits.”
Mr Persson said that he would concentrate on smaller projects in future, adding: “If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately.”
Minecraft has built up a cult following of more than 100 million players since it was launched in 2009. Players create and destroy buildings and other structures in a vast, low-fi world of giant 3D cubes.
Mr Persson said: “I was at home with a bad cold a couple of weeks ago when the internet exploded with hate against me over some kind of [licensing] situation that I had nothing to do with. I was confused. I didn’t understand.
“[I] started to realise I didn’t have the connection to my fans I thought I had. I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”
Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser, who co-founded Mojang with Mr Persson, are also leaving the company.