Who is minecraft creator ? Buckle up for a wild ride. Anyone who played Minecraft before 2014 knows about Notch, even if only vaguely. Notch is the creator of Minecraft – and, for a long time, its only developer. His relationship with the player community was nothing short of godlike, and he served as both inspiration and aspiration to indie developers the world over.
But Minecraft was never meant to be the explosively popular game that it became. An open-world sandbox with simplistic art and (initially) few features, it tapped into the creativity of its players and consequently became an overnight phenomenon, especially among children and teens. And not everyone deals well with having to manage an overnight phenomenon.
Notch gave the world a tremendous gift, but it came at a price — and that was publicity and public exposure. Ultimately, he decided to sell his game and move on to smaller projects that would demand less of his time.
What is Notch’s real identity?
Notch’s real name is Markus Persson. He both created Minecraft and helped found the associated Mojang Studios. But Minecraft became a huge hit, potentially beyond what Notch ever anticipated. In 2014, he wrote: “I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”
That year, Notch sold the rights to Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion, instantly making himself a billionaire. It’s notable that he mentioned that he had his opinions: Notch’s Twitter statements were consistently controversial and creating a rift between himself and his game.
While initially, he may have developed Minecraft on his own, today, Mojang Studios has nearly 500 employees. It’s one thing to go on a Twitter tirade that alienates you — it’s quite another to risk hundreds of jobs each time.
What about Notch’s post-Minecraft lifestyle?
Notch isn’t John McAfee – he’s neither been accused of running meth nor murder. But he’s still become a controversial figure, so much so that Microsoft removed all mentions of his name from Minecraft. They further snubbed him for Minecraft’s ten-year anniversary.
It’s not surprising: In just a few years, Notch was accused of homophobia, transphobia, and racism – a stark reversal from a developer who, in 2012, stated that Minecraft was a genderless world and that every entity within Minecraft was homosexual. Perhaps it’s that Notch is lonely, alienated by his billions. Or maybe he’s just untouchable.
Finally, in August 2020, Notch deleted his Twitter account on the curious condition that Game Maker’s Toolkit, another Twitter account, “drop the politics.” It was a bizarre bet, and even Game Maker’s Toolkit seemed perplexed. Since then, Notch has been talking about creating a new game studio, and his talent as a developer hasn’t been argued. Surprisingly, little is known about the isolated developer’s personal life beyond his acerbic online persona.
Minecraft’s creator will always be a hero to me, he gave my autistic son a voice
The billionaire creator of Minecraft has a $70m mansion in Beverly Hills complete with iPad-controlled fountains and a 16-car garage. He wastes his days making silly jokes in an empty “office” and his nights burning through hundreds of thousands of dollars in Las Vegas casinos. He doesn’t need to create anymore; he could spend the rest of his life throwing handfuls of cash off his balcony into the balmy LA night. He may sound like a self-indulgent one-hit wonder, but Markus “Notch” Persson is a hero of mine. Persson helped give my son a voice.
A new Forbes interview with the coder-turned-playboy-slacker, paints Sweden’s most famous export since Abba in a weird light. For several years, Persson worked on Minecraft with a small team and no budget. It was just another creative sandbox game, a tiny indie project that not many people knew or cared about. But by the time it officially launched in November 2011, it had a large dedicated community of fans. This was a game that put you in a vast blocky world and let you do what you wanted, build what you wanted, and play how you wanted. Word kept spreading.
About the same time, 900 miles away, in Frome, Somerset, my wife and I were going through the tortuous dance of securing a diagnosis of autism for our six-year-old son, Zac. He’d always been behind on language development; he’d always had a problem in crowded environments. Noise terrified him, he was socially awkward and withdrawn. Some days I had to carry him to school as he wailed and fought. I was tired and angry and upset all the time. I didn’t know what to do for him. I didn’t know how to make him happy. That’s what you want as a parent, I gradually realised. On the hierarchy of parental needs, happiness is pretty high, higher than any academic ambitions. Way higher than anything you want for yourself.
In 2012, Minecraft developer Mojang employed the Scottish company 4J Studios to create an Xbox 360 version of the game. It was a little simpler and clearer, providing instructions on how to craft the game’s many tools and objects (the PC version relied on its huge community to impart wisdom and share tips). It also included a local multiplayer mode, so up to four people could gather around a single TV screen and play together.
I’d introduced Zac and his younger brother Albie to a few games beforehand. Zac loved the open-world racer Burnout Paradise, which allowed him to drive freely through a huge city, smashing into things and leaping over ramps. But then I brought the Xbox version of Minecraft home, and watching Zac play, it was like a light switching on. He just got it. He got that he had to mine for materials and chop down trees to make a home; he knew that when night fell he had to get inside to avoid the zombies. Within its clearly defined rules and systems, Minecraft provided a creative structure that freed him. I was elated.
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