The New Yorker on Minecraft’s creator, Notch

 

Since the game’s release, in 2009, Minecraft has sold in excess of twenty million copies, earned armfuls of prestigious awards, and secured merchandising deals with LEGO and other toymakers. Last year, Persson earned over a hundred million dollars from the game and its merchandise. Persson—better known to his global army of teen-age followers by his Internet handle, Notch—has a raggedy, un-marketed charm. He is, by his own admission, only a workmanlike coder, not a ruthless businessman. “I’ve never run a company before and I don’t want to feel like a boss,” he said. “I just want to turn up and do my work.”

Each Minecraft sale flows straight to Mojang’s pocket—there are no middlemen—and, since the game is digitally distributed, there is no physical product to manufacture, store, or ship. After Minecraft, none of Persson’s subsequent games need to turn a profit. In 2011, he gave his £2.2 million Mojang dividend to his employees. “The money is a strange one,” he says. “I’m slowly getting used to it, but it’s a Swedish trait that we’re not supposed to be proud of what we’ve done. We’re supposed to be modest. So at first, I had a really hard time spending any of the profits. Also, what if the game stopped selling? But after a while, I thought about all of the things I’d wanted to do before I had money. So I introduced a rule: I’m allowed to spend half of anything I make. That way I will never be broke. Even if I spend extravagant amounts of money, I will still have extravagant amounts of money.”

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/the-minecraft-creator-markus-persson-faces-life-after-fame.html#ixzz2PshwJUny

About Kevin

Kevin Jarnot is a technologist who lives just South of Boston, MA. He is currently employed as Chief Technology Officer at DebtX, a financial services technology company based in Boston.
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