Newman on Mojang sale: ‘I’d have done the same thing’

Garry’s Mod and Rust developer Garry Newman has defended Markus ‘Notch’ Persson from the criticism he has faced following his sale of Mojang to Microsoft.

Specifically, Newman thinks that an employer’s obligations to staff outrank any other concern and would much rather see a studio’s workers receive a bumper pay out that be left empty handed.

Once you start hiring people your whole attitude changes,” he said. You’re not just fucking about with your life anymore, you’re fucking about with other people’s lives – and the lives of their families. You can’t just sell out and fuck everyone over.

Companies like Blitz that go bust, don’t pay people what they were owed, let 175 staff go, then started up under another name almost straight away. Those are the guys you don’t want to be. I am sure more than the top guys at Mojang became very financially rich due to this deal and that’s something that should be admired – not seen as a bad thing.”

Newman is also sceptical of the concerns expressed by some of the possible long-term impact of Microsoft’s stewardship of the IP.

Whether or not Minecraft itself is ‘fucked’ because it’s owned by Microsoft is debatable,” he added. I’m sure Microsoft didn’t just buy it because they’re struggling desperately to stay relevant and some of their kids play it a lot. But even if they did, it really isn’t in their favour to pay a shitload of money for it and then completely fuck it up. That wouldn’t make any sense. Time will be the judge on that, I guess.

Long story short, I’d have done the same thing. The money is enough to very much take care of all the staff. The game is in relatively safe hands. Mojang’s legacy is as a huge success story instead of a one hit wonder. Everyone wins. Can you seriously say you’d have done it differently?”

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