Notch has confirmed that Jens Bergensten (better known to the community as Jeb) will now be the Lead Developer for Minecraft, going forward. This gives Jeb final say in all design decisions, though Notch jokingly added that he made him "promise to not pull rank." Notch cites personal time and additional projects as reasons for his stepping down, but makes it a point to say that he will still be involved in Minecraft development.
Notch added that it was a "scary move, but I feel strangely confident. 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."
Jeb commented on the situation as well, stating that he wasn't "sure when the idea came up the first time (from Notch), but it has been a few months now. 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'."
Jeb's next step is to work on the mod API for Minecraft, a long-awaited feature for players and modders alike. He had the following to say on the API:
Quote from Jens Bergensten »
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. 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.
He went on to add that a release for the new API would likely be seen no sooner than March.
Notch and Jeb have collaborated on Minecraft development for over a year, and Notch has expressed the utmost confidence in his collaborator's capabilities. You can contact Jeb via e-mail (at firstname.lastname@example.org), or on Twitter.
Jeb was originally hired as Mojang's back-end developer. Over time, Jeb became increasingly involved in the development of Minecraft, and is now responsible for many well-known parts of the game. Having worked on features such as wolves, pistons and map structures (villages, strongholds and nether fortresses), he now takes his vision of Minecraft's future foward as the official head developer of the game. Congratulations, Jeb!