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Minecraft: The Story of Mojang

2013, Technology  -   14 Comments
Ratings: 8.52/10 from 104 users.

In 2009, Markus "Notch" Persson released an early version of Minecraft, a computer game he developed in his spare time at home. He grew up in Sweden in a place called Edsybn and programming was one of his hobbies. He was programming since he was eight and he kind of always knew that he wanted to make games.

While he worked at he was allowed to make games in his spare time but he couldn't do it as a business. He wanted to try that so he left and he begun with this 6-to-12-month project which turned into what Minecraft is now. No one could predict the success of Minecraft from looking at it back then. The game was like a digital Lego. Everything is made of blocks where the only limit is your imagination. It is the most significant sandbox you'll ever set foot in.

At first it was 40 sales a day, and then it was like 10,000 sales a day. Alone he couldn't keep up with the demand so he started a company. Now they're 7 people and they have an office. It's a very unique success story because Minecraft never had a PR department. They did it all virally and through word of mouth, and they sold 3 million copies off that. People saw the potential in it, and the game pretty much sold itself.

This game had a really special community around it. Before the magazines and the TV shows were covering it, there was a whole community that was loving this game and supporting it, and it was really self-sufficient at that point. The game existed in its own little bubble, but then the world found out about Minecraft.

Back in the '80s and the '90s when you would get a game on PC, or much more often when you got a game on console, that was it, game was done, game wasn't going to change. That changed bit by bit when people started patching and updating games, but none of that prepared anybody for how malleable and evolving Minecraft was going to be.

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14 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Dan Phillips

    Not sure how sad and sorry the lives of the people who had only nasty things to say about one of the most creative uses of a computer ever. Lego was a completely unique and singular invention as well, it has spawned theme-parks and generations of kids who were inspired by the little blocks. One of the designers of the replacement for the World Trade Center was an avid Lego player as a child. I expect that some day a Minecraft player will be involved in the creation of something fantastic. In the meantime it will keep millions of children off drugs and off the streets, where they could find things to do that don't have such boring and simplistic applications.

  2. Martin Pastor

    I used to be excited
    about recess and playing soccer with my friends or just messing around with
    everyone. Kids nowadays are excited about creating fake worlds in a computer :(

    1. Shaman

      Yo sir, should read some about psycholigy and learn a few things how to understand things you dont understand.

      Read the 2nd comment and see how to see the positive side of things...

    2. SKYNET

      One can do whatever they like ! It's not like you are curing cancer while "playing soccer & messing around with everyone". The fact that you are able to say this on the internet has been enabled by a series of people who falls into "creating fake worlds" category. Actually you have written this comment in a virtual(fake) world as well !!!

  3. rljp

    As a parent of an 8 year old boy who loves this game I am happy and inspired that something so creative and tame is out there compared to the violient content in games. The real story here is not the adults who play this game but the kids. In my humble opinion. Creative mind expanding game. And I am not a gamer at all but just really impressed with how kids enjoy the creativity and imaginative value of this game. Well done Mojang keep up the great work.

  4. kgamiel

    Highly recommended for kids starting at age 6 or so.

  5. cacabuns

    One of the most boring simple minded games out there. Like always, there is a simple core that is repetitive and not really creative due to it's restrictions. How to lift those restrictions? Hack. Or mod...depending on how you look at it. You can hack into files to make things do what you want. Raise walls with a button click, not months of playing, etc... Since you paid once and it is "yours" go for it!
    Then you have the fat man geek wars of whos land is better etc.. That dwindles down usually to programer / Graphic design level , leaving the average consumer in the dust and total marketing trap thinking they can make the same thing. Which they cant.
    Thankfully, I pirate this game. Never spent a dime to support this nonsense. The same guys that market are the same ones that learn to host private servers. HAckers, lover em or hate em, they are the internet hero.

    1. Jason Cline

      Simplicity is power. The more noise you take out of a game the more freedom you have and the deeper the actual experience, which is all that matters. If someone can't find anything of value in minecraft it's much more a reflection on themselves than the game.

  6. djc200

    Very well-made documentary. Imo, it's extra special because it was crowd-funded (kickstarter). And in my copious amounts of free time, I was able to think about starting to play this game. But then I had to go to work. Maybe in my next life...

  7. Lauri Neva

    I am out of the loop so to speak. All Greek to me.

  8. rngfarrell

    Great story. I had to stop and play minecraft halfway through though.

  9. Paul Gloor

    Not the face of a millionare... I am proud to say I bought this game and happy this man built a company out of it. One of those 5 bucks in my pocket stories which are so rare these days.

    1. Alexandru Matei

      Truly an inspiring story, I didn't know much about this game :)

    2. TheDanishViking

      Me too. The prize goes to the dude that made a computer inside the game!?