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 King.com 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.