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The Shady Truth About Minecraft Creator Notch

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.

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