|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2013)|
Markus Persson at GDC
1 June 1979 |
|Known for||Creating Minecraft, founding Mojang|
|Net worth||US$150 million|
|Spouse(s)||Elin Zetterstrand (2011–2012)|
Markus Alexej "Notch" Persson (born 1 June 1979) is a Swedish video game programmer and designer. Persson is the owner of Mojang, the video game company he founded alongside Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser in late 2010. His principal venture for founding Mojang was Minecraft, a first-person sandbox video game that has gained popularity and support since its tech demo in 2009. Since the release of Minecraft, Persson has gained significant notability within the video game industry, having won multiple awards and establishing relations with the industry's figureheads. Persson retained his position as the lead designer of Minecraft until the game's official launch in 2011, after which he transferred creative authority to Jens Bergensten.
Persson was born in Stockholm, Sweden, to a Finnish mother and a Swedish father on 1 June 1979. He lived in Edsbyn for the first seven years of his life. He began programming on his father's Commodore 128 home computer at the age of seven. Having experimented with various type-in programs he produced his first game at the age of eight, a text-based adventure game. Professionally he had worked as a game developer for King.com for over four years, until 2009. Afterwards he worked as a programmer for Jalbum. He is also one of the founders of Wurm Online, although he no longer works on this game. Outside of work, he has made seven games for competitions for the Java 4K Game Programming Contest such as "Left 4K Dead" and "MEGA4kMAN".[non-primary source needed] He has also entered the Ludum Dare competition. He is the central figure of a documentary by 2 Player Productions about the rise of Minecraft and Mojang called Minecraft: The Story of Mojang.
Persson's most popular creation is the survival sandbox game Minecraft, which was released on 18 November 2011. Persson quit his job as a game developer to work on Minecraft full-time until completion. In early 2011 Mojang AB sold their one millionth copy of the game, several months later their second, and several more their third. Mojang hired several new staff members for the Minecraft team, while Persson passed the lead developer role to Jens Bergensten. A version for Android and iOS called Pocket Edition has also been released. An Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft was released on 9 May 2012. The Xbox edition also features certain new updates including a tutorial and skin packs. None of the editions offer cross-platform play, and each require different dedicated server versions.
Persson and Jakob Porser came up with the idea for Scrolls including elements from board games and collectible card games.[non-primary source needed] Persson noted he will not be actively involved in development of the game and that Porser will be developing it.[non-primary source needed] Persson revealed on his tumblr blog on 5 August 2011 that he was being sued by a Swedish law firm representing Bethesda Softworks over the trademarked name of Scrolls claiming it conflicted with their The Elder Scrolls series of games. On 17 August 2011 Persson challenged Bethesda to a Quake 3 tournament to decide the outcome of the naming dispute. On 27 September 2011 Persson confirmed that the lawsuit was going to court. Some clarification was made that it is ZeniMax Media, the company owning Bethesda Softworks, who are pushing for the lawsuit.[non-primary source needed] A settlement was reached in March 2012 that allowed Mojang to continue using the Scrolls trademark.
Following the end to his involvement with Minecraft, Persson began pre-production of an alternate reality space game set in the distant future in March 2012. On April Fools' Day, Mojang launched a satirical website for Mars Effect (parody of Mass Effect), citing the lawsuit with Bethesda as an inspiration. However, the gameplay elements remained true and on 4 April, Mojang revealed 0x10c (pronounced Ten to the C) as a space sandbox title.
Ludum Dare entries
Breaking the Tower
Breaking the Tower was a game Persson created for the entry to the Ludum Dare No. 12 competition.[non-primary source needed] The game was written in two days.[non-primary source needed] The game takes place on a small island, where the player must gather resources, construct buildings, and train soldiers in order to destroy a large tower on this island. The game received brief gaming media attention.
Metagun is a 2D platformer created for Ludum Dare no. 18.
Prelude of the Chambered
Prelude of the Chambered is a game Persson created for the entry to the Ludum Dare No. 21 competition.[non-primary source needed] He wrote the game in two days.[non-primary source needed] Prelude of the Chambered is a short first-person dungeon crawler videogame[non-primary source needed] entirely written in Java.
Minicraft is a game created for Ludum Dare No. 22, held 16–19 December 2011. It is a small top-down game with similarities to Zelda and influenced by Minecraft. It is written in Java.[non-primary source needed]
On 13 August 2011, he married Elin Zetterstrand who goes by the nickname "Ez" in the Minecraft community, and "ezchili" on Twitter. On 15 August 2012, he announced that he was now single. He is a member of the Swedish chapter of Mensa and also makes electronica music under the name "Markus Alexei".[non-primary source needed]
He has criticized both piracy[non-primary source needed] as well as the stance of large game companies on piracy and he is a member of the Swedish Pirate Party. Persson is an atheist, and cited his theological and moral views as one of the principal donors to Médecins Sans Frontières during the Thanksgiving charity event of 2011. Under his direction, Mojang contributed a week to developing Catacomb Snatch for the Humble Bundle Mojam, for which the $458,248.99 raised would be donated to charity.
Markus Persson is in the movie Minecraft: The Story of Mojang
In May 2012, Persson expressed his views towards Electronic Arts and their release of the 'Indie Bundle' calling them a "Bunch of Cynical Bastards". "EA releases an 'indie bundle'? That's not how that works, EA," he said, "Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it."
- "Turning 30 is scary. : The Word of Notch". Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Markus Persson Biography". Famous-Entrepreneurs.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014."More commonly known as ‘Notch’ to his teenage fans, Markus Persson has a net worth of $150 million."
- Persson, Markus (6 September 2010). "Hiring some people, getting an office, and all that!". Tumblr. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Notch Speaks Out Regarding EA Indie Bundles". ripten. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Ashdown, Jeremy (11 November 2010). "This is Minecraft". IGN. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- Thomas, David (29 November 2011). "How the Creator of Minecraft Developed a Monster Hit". Wired. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- Grant, Christopher (2 December 2011). "Notch steps down as lead developer on Minecraft to focus on 'new project'". Joystiq. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "Notch's Twitter". Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- Cat Fernim (21 September 2011). "20 Things You Might Not Know About Notch". Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Minecraft: The Story of Mojang
- Handy, Alex (23 March 2010). "Interview: Markus 'Notch' Persson Talks Making Minecraft". Gamasutra. Retrieved 26 June 2010. "my first own program when I was eight years old. It was an extremely basic text adventure game"
- Clark, Kristoff (5 March 2012). "Minecraft mastermind Markus Persson to receive BAFTA special award". Gamasutra.
- McDougal, Jaz (29 July 2010). "Community heroes: Notch, for Minecraft". PC Gamer. Retrieved 3 August 2010.
- "Notch's biography". Mojang.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Liebl, Matt (18 November 2011). "Minecraft Release Date and Time Officially Announced". GameZone. GameZone Online.
- "Xbox Live's Major Nelson". 25 March 2012.
- Jakob Porser. http://www.scrolls.com/ Retrieved 3 April 2011
- Markuss Persson.http://notch.tumblr.com/post/3597302583/ah-i-forgot. Retrieved 3 April 2011
- Webster, Andrew (10 August 2011). "Elder Scrolls vs. Minecraft dev: "scrolls" is our word". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Schreier, Jason (19 August 2011). "Minecraft maker jokingly calls Quake challenge "poor choice," vows fight". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Markuss Persson. http://twitter.com/#!/notch/status/118644693801250816. Retrieved 27 September 2011
- Markuss Perrson. http://notch.tumblr.com/post/10814623188/the-eventual-release-and-the-legal-documents. Retrieved 30 September 2011
- Orland, Kyle (12 March 2012). "Bethesda, Mojang settle trademark dispute over Scrolls name". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Fields, Rebecca (31 March 2012). "'Minecraft creator scores April Fool with 'Mars Effect". Shadowlocked.
- Knapp, Alex (3 April 2012). "Mojang Registers Website For Its New Game '0x10c'". Forbes.
- Notch (2011). "Ludum Dare Notch". Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Breaking the Tower". Mojang.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Creating Breaking the Tower". YouTube. 11 August 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Breaking The Tower". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Tim W. (19 August 2008). "The Weblog". IndieGames.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Person Shooter: Metagun". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Notch (22 August 2011). "Prelude of the Chambered". Notch.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Nizzotch (30 August 2011). "Creating Prelude of the Chambered". Retrieved 18 August 2012. "within 48 hours"
- Notch (22 August 2011). "I made a dungeon crawler!". Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- "Markus "Notch" Persson creates Minicraft in two days". GamesRadar. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Yin, Wesley (19 December 2011). "Notch makes Minicraft in two days • News •". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- Notch (19 December 2011). "Ludum Dare is a wonderful thing : The Word of Notch". Notch.tumblr.com. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "ezchili on Twitter : The Word of Notch". Notch.tumblr.com. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012. "I’m getting married to ez tomorrow"
- "Notch!". Mojang. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Markus Persson (15 August 2012). "Twitter". Retrieved 15 August 2012. "As of today, I am single."
- "Minecraft kan bli fyra gånger större". Aftonbladet. 1 December 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "I am an indie game developer who made a commercially successful game". reddit. April 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "Notch on piracy: "if a pirated game is a lost sale, should bad reviews be illegal?"". PC Gamer. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "Piracy is Theft? Ridiculous. Lost Sales? They Don't Exist, Says Minecraft Creator". TorrentFreak. 3 March 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
- "Reddit atheists upvote fundraising for Doctors Without Borders". The Daily Dot. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (20 February 2012). "Humble Bundle Mojam raises nearly $500k for charity". Eurogamer.
- Good, Owen (3 May 2012). "Minecraft Creator Calls Electronic Arts a ‘Bunch of Cynical Bastards’". Kotaku. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- "EFF Patent Project Gets Half-Million-Dollar Boost from Mark Cuban and 'Notch'". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Oculus sold for $2bn to Facebook". News Statement. Retrieved 7 April 2014.