When Microsoft acquires Minecraft maker Mojang for a dizzying $2.5bn, the game's creator won't be coming along for the ride.
Markus "Notch" Persson, who released the first version of Minecraft in 2009, said in a blog post on his personal webpage that he will be leaving Mojang following the acquisition, citing his desire to stay out of the spotlight.
"It's not about the money," he wrote. "It's about my sanity."
The outspoken Persson has occasionally clashed with Minecraft fans on social networks, but he said that an incident a few weeks ago when "the internet exploded with hate" toward him had a particular impact on him, and he realized it was time to move on from his most famous creation.
"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," Persson said. "I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm not a CEO. I'm a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter."
Persson stepped down from active development of Minecraft in 2011, handing full creative control to his successor, Jens "Jeb" Bergensten.
In his farewell letter, he said he planned to continue along those lines, but added: "If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I’ll probably abandon it immediately."
Persson went on to say that although he loves all of Minecraft's fans, he feels overwhelmed by the size of the phenomenon it has become.
"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," he wrote. "In one sense, it belongs to Microsoft now. In a much bigger sense, it’s belonged to all of you for a long time, and that will never change." ®