Internet Famous

Gamers Drove Minecraft Creator ‘Notch’ Out of Gaming

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So the rumors were true: Microsoft bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. Original fans of the game are buzzing with concern that their beloved indie game is destined for ruin — as they are wont to do — and major tech publications are no doubt preparing their lengthy analyses of the business implications. But the man who should be at the center of attention has chosen to bow out completely.

Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson published a farewell letter on his personal site yesterday called “I’m leaving Mojang.” In it, he anticipates the post-buyout community firestorm, and says that’s he’s done being a “symbol of some perceived struggle” for the soul of indie gaming. Yes, he may have an enormous pile of money now, but Mr. Persson was never asking for meteoric fame, or to belong to a cause. He just wanted to make a cool game. Read More

fresh gear

You Now Have the Option of Rendering Your Windows Phone Even More Useless, With ‘Driving Mode’

Why black? (Photo: Microsoft)

Without texting or snapping, operating a motor vehicle down a highway at 70 miles per hour is pretty boring. What else is there to do aside from be on your phone? Well, the brain trust at Microsoft believes that you should pay attention to the road, so in all three dozen of its Windows phones sold, it’s installing a feature that turns off all the useful parts of your phone. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Farmville Mayor Mark Pincus is ‘Pretty Bored With All Games’

Bored AF. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft want Bill Gates gone as chairman. They worry he’s blocking the company from evolving and limits the power of the new CEO to make “substantial changes.” [Reuters]

Lines like “I found myself pressing the skip button on iTunes Radio more often than Pandora,” doesn’t bode well for Apple’s fledgling service. [Wall Street Journal]

The Washington Post is officially under Jeff Bezos’ control. [Washington Post]

Zynga founder Mark Pincus is “pretty bored with all games.” At least he acknowledged playing Running with Friends?  [WSJ]

Sam Biddle shows how easy it is pretending to be a venture capitalist and gamed AngelList for fun. Hopefully this is just funding a second season of Start-ups: Silicon Valley. [Valleywag]

Ballmer Time

Nobody Puts Ballmer In a Corner: Microsoft CEO’s Send-Off Includes Dancing to ‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life’ [Update]

Miss u boo (Photo: Wikimedia)

Last month, longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that he would be leaving the company within a year, and so the goodbyes began. The Verge reports that yesterday Mr. Ballmer held his final company meeting as CEO, and it sounds like he went out playing the role of Steve Ballmer, Tech Industry Character, to the hilt. Read More