Notch steps down as lead developer on Minecraft to focus on 'new project'

You know Notch. He's the behatted Swedish developer that eats, breathes, and sleeps Minecraft, right? Well ... he was. Now Mr. Markus "Notch" Persson is relinquishing lead development duties on the massively successful indie game so he can invest his time as head honcho at his growing development house Mojang.

So who's going to take over that high-profile (don't mess up!) spot while Notch starts "work on some new project"? Meet cat-lover Jens Bergensten (pictured), who's no stranger to Minecraft. "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," Notch wrote on his Tumblr. "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."

In fact, Notch is so confident he's going to take a break for "rest." With the first MineCon convention over, a 1.0 version of Minecraft released, and some four million plus paying users (!) we think he's earned it. But not you, Bergensten. Back to work!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.