Minecraft Creator Leaves the Game to Focus on Other Projects

Minecraft was officially released on November 18 for the PC and even though it has been stated that the game is done, it’s far from being “completed.” At this point, the sandbox title has become a platform of its own rather than a game and in some ways this is similar to franchises such as Little Big Planet or even ModNation Racers. After its official release, many websites reviewed the independent title and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive, especially for a game that has been out for more than two years. Additionally, various portable versions (for Android and iOS platforms) have been developed and even thought hey lack certain features, the game seems to really benefit from the portability.

But more importantly, Markus “Notch” Persson has stepped down from his role as lead developer. This announcement seems quite weird especially if we take into account that the long awaited 1.0 version of Minecraft has just been released. In any case, both Persson and his company Mojang, want to focus on future projects, so as officially stated in Notch’s blog, Jens Bergensten will be in charge of Minecraft as a designer form now on.

Scrolls appears to be the project that is in development right now, but unfortunately there aren’t many details about it. What we do know is that it’ll feature both collectible card game and board game elements. Furthermore, the game will be purchasable in regular ways, but players may also buy optional items if they prefer to. It should also be noted that Mojang and Bethesda Softworks (owner of The Elder Scrolls name) were legally disputing the name of this property and the former won the case and will be able to use it in the future.

Finally, Minecraft is expected to come out on the Xbox 360 with Kinect support in early 2012.

Finally, here’s Notch’s official blog post:

As of yesterday, Jens Bergensten is the new lead developer on Minecraft. He will have the final say in all design decisions, so he will kinda sorta become my boss, I guess. I’ve promised him to not pull rank. 😉

We’ve been working together on Minecraft for a year now, and I’m amazed at how much in synch we two are when it comes to how to design the game. And when we don’t agree, we discuss it and something much better comes out at a result. He’s truly a great person to work with, and I feel very confident handing over the leadership of Minecraft to him.

If you want to contact Jens, he’s on twitter as @jeb_, or you can email him at jeb@mojang.com

Personally, I will now rest for a while, then get back to work refreshed and eager. I’ll be helping out with Minecraft, of course, but also starting work on some new project.