The Irish author who wrote the ending to the best selling computer game of all time has made his contribution to Minecraft freely available, for public use.

The game, which was launched in 2011, has millions of players worldwide. It was sold to the Microsoft company for $2.5 billion in 2014.

Julian Gough wrote the story, known as 'The End Poem', while Minecraft was being finalised for release. It appears on screen when gamers reach a conclusion, by killing a character known as the Ender Dragon.

The story features a conversation between two characters, with text scrolling on screen, for around eight minutes.

The work has been widely quoted by Minecraft fans over the last decade.

In a post on his substack page, Mr Gough said he was dedicating the poem to the public domain, via a Creative Commons licence. This enables anyone to freely use, share or create new work that references the original text.

It means the story can be copied, modified, distributed or performed, even for commercial purposes, without permission.

The writer and musician explained how he had been put in contact with the games company Mojang prior to the official launch, after which he was asked to write a narrative that would wrap up the game.

But he never signed away his copyright for the piece, despite requests to do so when the game was initially released, and when it was subsequently sold on.

Instead, he retained ownership of the work.

Describing the "tremendous privilege" it was to be able to reach such a huge audience, Mr Gough said he had only given informal permission to the game developers to use his writing.

After considering the matter on and off, over the last decade, he has now decided to renounce his rights to the narrative and "liberate it from the corporate economy".

He says he wants the story to be used freely for creative purposes.

The writer maintains that copyright law has resulted in a power imbalance, leaving artists worse off, while huge corporations profit from their work.

Mr Gough suggests that this can be redressed by people making "direct connections" with creators, via online platforms or by supporting artists in person where possible.