Markus Alexej Persson
|Date of birth||
June 1, 1979 (age 42)
Creating Minecraft, founder of Mojang Studios
|Also known as||
|— Notch on January 6, 2020|
Persson started programming at the age of seven, using his father's Commodore 128. He produced his first game (a text-adventure) at the age of eight, with the help of type-in programs. In 2005 he started working as a game developer for King.com, which he left in 2009 to work as a programmer at Jalbum. He is also one of the founders of Wurm Online. After Minecraft sales grew he moved from full-time to part-time at Jalbum and then eventually left to focus full-time on Minecraft in June 2010; many of the original Mojang employees (including former CEO Carl Manneh) were also ex-Jalbum employees. After the full release of Minecraft (1.0.0), Persson transferred creative authority of the game's development to Jens Bergensten.
Persson sold Mojang and all of its assets to Microsoft on September 15, 2014. In a lengthy blog post, Notch states "I love games and I love to program, but I don't make games with the intention of them becoming huge hits, and I don't try to change the world." He then goes on to say that "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."
Persson left Mojang on November 5, 2014, along with the other founders. He wrote that "as soon as this deal is finalized, I will leave Mojang and go back to doing Ludum Dares and small web experiments. If I ever accidentally make something that seems to gain traction, I'll probably abandon it immediately."
Persson has not been involved with Minecraft since selling Mojang to Microsoft, and the company has since disassociated with him, with a spokesperson for Microsoft stating that "[Persson's] comments and opinions do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang and are not representative of 'Minecraft'."
Outside of work Persson frequently takes part in competitions, including Ludum Dare, LD12 and the Java 4K Game Programming Contest.
Persson engaged Ez during a vacation in Indonesia, and married her in August 2011. The two separated on August 15, 2012. Her brother, Kristoffer, is the artist whose paintings appear in the game.
Games and other work
Notch has released much of his work, including, but not limited to:
- Wurm Online, an MMO featuring sandbox elements similar to Minecraft.
- MEG4kMAN, a Mega Man clone featuring old-school graphics.
- Left 4k Dead, a zombie shooter game inspired by Left 4 Dead. (Archived here)
- t4kns, a real time strategy game. (Archived here)
- Miners4k, a game kind of inspired by Lemmings and Diggers. (Archived here)
- Hunters4k, a first person shooter.
- Dungeon4k, a dungeon exploration game. (Archived here and here)
- Sonic Racer 4k, a racing game with stolen sprites. (Archived here)
- Dachon4k, a gravity based shooter. (Archived here)
- l4krits, a Luxor clone. (Archived here)
- Blast Passage, an 8-Bit mashup between Bomberman and Gauntlet. (Archived here)
- Bunny Press, a violent puzzle game made for Ludum Dare 14. (Archived here)
- Breaking the Tower, a slow-paced strategy game. (Archived here)
- The Europa Arcology Incident, an RPG-style game Notch made in 48 hours for Ludum Dare 16.
- Infinite Mario Bros, a Super Mario clone featuring an endlessly-long level. (Archived here)
- Metagun, a puzzle game Notch made in 48 hours for Ludum Dare 18.
- RubyDung, a cancelled Dwarf Fortress-inspired game containing textures that were reused in Minecraft.
- Zombie Town, a cancelled GTA: Chinatown Wars-inspired game containing models that were reused in Minecraft.
- Minecraft 4k, Minecraft in less than 4 KB for a Java4K competition.
- Minicraft, a top-down Zelda-esque game with elements from Minecraft, made for Ludum Dare 22.
- Brickcraft, a cancelled sandbox game developed in collaboration with the LEGO group.
- 0x10c, a cancelled space sandbox game featuring programmable spacecraft.
- Shambles, a hectic shooter greatly inspired by Doom.
- Cliffhorse, an open-ended game in which you play as a horse that can scale cliffs.
- Last Minute Christmas Chopping, in which you play as Santa collecting wood to build a sleigh.
- Drop, a typing game that increases in speed as you play.
- Drowning in Problems, a clicker game that gets progressively more complicated.
- Legend of the Chambered, a dungeon crawler containing many textures that were reused in Minecraft.
- Prelude of the Chambered, an escape game Notch made in 48 hours for Ludum Dare 21. (Archived here)
- First person shooter prototype in flash (Archived here)
- Flash doom level renderer (Archived here)
- Dungeon master type game engine in Java (Flash version uses static graphics) (Archived here)
Notch also has a soundcloud page which includes 53 tracks in total. He would sometimes use his music on his old YouTube channel Nizzotch.
- 3D1, a free-roaming engine based on Wolfenstein.
- Ruby, a free-scrolling engine inspired by JRPGs.
- ISOM, an isometric renderer test which included a random terrain generator.
- Turbo, an "over-the top side scrolling shooter".
- IQ Ball 2, a sequel to IQ Ball, where the object of the game is to get a ball safely to the goal, and in which all balls are moved when a directional key is pressed.
- HEDE, a platformer that involved shooting slimes with a gun.
- HEDE 2, the sequel to HEDE, albeit top-down instead of a platformer.
- Rubylands x, a tile based roguelike.
- RUBYLAND, a "first person tile based dungeon crawler".
- Howl, "a Megaman-type game".
- STRAT, inspired by Dune 2.
Notch with his fans at MinecraftCon 2010.
Notch icon on Adweek's The Top 10 Technologists.
Notch at the 2016 Game Developers Conference.
- On June 1, 2011, Notch posted on Twitter that he was 25 years old. 25 is 32, which was his age at the time.
- Notch programmed the Minecraft splash screen to display "Happy Birthday, Notch!" all day on June 1. This was removed in Java Edition 1.8.5.
- Kristoffer - Former brother-in-law
- "Turning 30 is scary." - Notch on Tumblr; May 27, 2009
- "Imagine countless wiki editors all using each others work as basis for their own, reasoning what must be true from what they already assume is. Wouldn't that make for a weird reality?" – @notch on Twitter, January 6, 2020
- "Interview: Markus 'Notch' Persson Talks Making Minecraft" by Alex Handy – Gamasutra, 23 March 2010.
- "Minecraft Mastermind Markus Persson To Receive Bafta Special Award" by Kristoff Clark – Gamasutra, 5 March 2012.
- "Notch steps down as lead developer on Minecraft to focus on 'new project'" by Christopher Grant – Joystiq, 2 December 2011.
- I'm leaving Mojang - Notch.net; September 15, 2014
- "‘Minecraft’ Creator Excluded From Anniversary Due to ‘Comments and Opinions’ (EXCLUSIVE)" by Brian Crecente – Variety, April 19, 2019.
- "We actually got engaged in your country :D Indonesia is very beautiful!" - ez on Twitter; June 7, 2011
- "Illness!" - Notch on Tumblr; September 30, 2009
- "As of today, I am single. #mixedemotions" – @notch on Twitter, August 15, 2012
- "It's my birthday, and I'm turning 2^5 today! ez got me saké (for later) and breakfast (for now). :D <3" – @notch on Twitter, June 1, 2011