Markus “Notch” Persson, 35, produced one of the most popular video games of all time and amassed a massive online following as he took on the video game industry’s titans. The soft-spoken Swede, who became a member of the billionaire boys club after selling his hit video game Minecraft to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014, has pledged never to develop anything successful again.
If you’ve spent any time around children in the last several years, you’ve probably witnessed the devotion many have with Notch’s creation. Minecraft is a sandbox game wherein users harvest resources in the virtual world to construct various buildings. It was published at the same time when a new generation of kids, too little for Instagram and Facebook but old enough to aspire to create things online, began to receive computers, cellphones, and tablets. The desire of players to share their creations online aided in the development of a viral, organic community unrivaled by any previous video game. Through this, Minecraft Hypixel Coins spiraled into popularity and video game marketplaces garnered attention.
This single game, which was released in alpha form in 2009, has grossed more than $700 million, the vast majority of which is pure profit. Along with the increasing success of Minecraft, Persson – or, more accurately, his online alias “Notch” – emerged as a deity-like figure for millions of gamers, leveraging his newfound position on the throne of independent development to criticize his corporate peers. Persson’s online status, combined with the game’s embrace by individuals interested in showing their creations, pushed Minecraft to go popular. To access these creations, marketplaces like Eldorado.gg are accessible and provide cheap access to skins from places like Minecraft’s Hypixel Coins. Surprisingly, the corporation spent no money on marketing. According to App Annie, the $6.99 smartphone versions of Minecraft are still among the top three paid downloads in the United States. Meanwhile, Minecraft’s Microsoft Xbox 360 version sold over one million copies in its first week.
In an unprecedented move, “Notch” pioneered a new form of video game, propelling himself from an obscure programmer in Stockholm to an industry disruptor with a product so inextricably linked to his own name that it was difficult to divorce his personality from his work. That is, until he did what he had promised himself he would never do: he sold out.
According to the few interviews he has conducted since selling his 71% ownership in Minecraft parent company Mojang to Microsoft that now the needs and expectations of fans looking towards him to keep the success continuing had transformed him into a self-conscious wreck. Following a particularly venomous outburst from the online community, “Notch” resorted to Twitter to ask, “Anyone want to purchase my stake of Mojang so I can move on with my life?” Just a few weeks later, on September 15, 2014, Microsoft announced that it would pay $2.5 billion in cash for Minecraft parent company Mojang, allowing Persson to walk away from the game. A few hours later, he apologized on his blog, writing, “It’s not about the money.” “It’s for my own sanity.”
Persson has been working hard to make the most of his newfound free time and income since the transaction. “I’m making up for lost time when I was basically programming through my twenties,” he explained according to a Forbes interview. “Partying is not a wise way to spend money, but it is enjoyable. We didn’t have much money when we were younger, so I vowed that if I ever got rich, I wouldn’t be one of those boring rich people who doesn’t spend money.” If you’re one of the types to enjoy spending time enhancing your video game persona, the Eldorado.gg marketplace with Minecraft Hypixel Coins.
Persson is still primarily a video game programmer. Even though he now has more money than he would ever be able to spend, his favorite pastime remains coding. In an interview with Forbes, Persson stated that he would abandon anything that appeared to have a chance of success, but it’s difficult to know what to make of a pledge made by the man whose change of heart altered the video game business.
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