Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson revealed today that he has stepped down from his role as lead developer on the hit indie title, and Mojang partner Jens Bergensten is now the lead on the game.
The game, which has been in development for more than two years, was finally released last month. Persson has now moved on to develop a new project as part of his Mojang studio, and handed the Minecraft reins to Bergensten.
"[It's a] scary move, but I feel strangely confident," Persson told Gamasutra. "I guess we've worked close enough for long enough for me to feel confident about it."
"He's exactly what Minecraft needs right now. He's a bit more mod friendly than I am, and we need to embrace mods more."
Persson admitted that handing the game over wasn't an easy decision to make. "Yes, it was [tough]... not to hand it to him - he's the perfect match - but just reaching the decision. It's my baby, after all!"
According to Bergensten, the move has been on the cards for a while now.
"I'm not sure when the idea came up the first time (from Notch), but it has been a few months now," he told us. "We all knew that Notch was going to work on other things after release, so it kind of seemed natural for me to 'take over'".
Bergensten's next step is to work on the mod API for Minecraft, a feature that players have been yearning for.
"Until January I will be the only developer on Minecraft, so things will have to be slow initially. But my absolute main priority now is to create a mod API, because there is no way in hell I will be able to add as much content as the whole internet can do," he laughed.
"The game needs an API, so end users can obtain the mods without hassle.... I'm not going to do it all by myself though. We have a new programmer beginning in January, and we are talking to existing mod API teams, such as Bukkit, Minecraft Forge, and Minecraft Coder Pack."
As for an estimated release date for the API, the new Minecraft frontman suggested that we will see a release "no sooner than March."
Discussing his new project, Persson explained that we may well be seeing new material from him rather soon, as he is looking to reveal all "probably one week after I do a prototype that looks fun, if I know myself."
"It kinda depends," he added. "We have some stuff in the pipeline that I might work on. But what I really want to do is to do something new."