Remember 0x10c? It was supposed to be Markus "Notch" Persson's follow-up to the mega-hit Minecraft, but development ground to a halt in early 2013 and in August of that year Notch confirmed that he'd abandoned it completely. But it wasn't entirely unfinished when he pulled the plug, and earlier this week Minecraft composer Daniel Rosenfeld released two audio tracks he'd written for the game to Bandcamp. He also offered some insights into why Persson ultimately chose to walk away from Mojang and Minecraft.
The rumors are true: Microsoft is buying Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion. And as we discovered this morning, Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson is leaving the company. As you can imagine, the PC Gamer team has some strong feelings about the acquisition, and the impact of Minecraft.
Yesterday's all-but-unbelievable rumor is today's "looking like it might actually be so," as reports that Minecraft studio Mojang is on the verge of being acquired by Microsoft continue to surface. Even more interesting, the word on the street is that the idea of the buyout came not from Microsoft, but from Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson himself.
In what may be the most unexpected rumor of the year, Microsoft is reportedly close to completing a deal that will see it acquire Mojang AB, better known as the studio that makes Minecraft.
Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson was not a happy camper when he heard that Oculus Rift had been acquired by Facebook. He was so put off by the news, in fact, that he pulled the plug on early-stage talks about developing an Oculus version of his game, because, as he put it, "Facebook creeps me out." But apparently it was just a passing thing, and now he's more concerned about the state of his socks.
Notch defends Mojang against "literally worse than EA" accusation following Minecraft EULA monetization update
There was a kerfuffle earlier this month when Mojang's Erik "Grum" Broes took a moment to remind everyone that charging Minecraft players for in-game perks is against the rules. Historically, Mojang's tendency has been to let it slide, but Broes' suggestion that the company might start cracking down on the worst offenders didn't go over well with everyone, including one person who said the studio was "literally worse than EA." But in fact, Mojang's updated EULA actually makes it easier for server operators to support their digital realms, while still doing what it can to protect its "don't pay for gameplay" credo.
By now you may've heard the ruckus emanating from the console community. Zack Scott, prominent YouTube personality and uploader of Let's Play videos, revealed that Nintendo had "claimed ownership" of his Nintendo gameplay demonstrations—meaning, basically, that ad revenue from the videos would go to Nintendo rather than Scott himself. It wasn't an isolated incident; numerous other YouTubers found their videos had also been claimed by the heavyweight publisher.
Despite pulling out of the 2013 Ludum Dare competition, Notch delivered a new game at the weekend in the form of 'Drop' - a free-to-play browser game inspired by Super Hexagon, Fez and part of the ceiling in his apartment. Resembling an old school touch typing tutor, the game tasks you with typing cryptic combinations of words as they spiral onto the screen.
Minecon was a busy old time for Mojang’s bearded, be-hatted co-founder. When Markus “Notch” Persson wasn’t on-stage or in interview he was being mobbed by hundreds of fans, barely kept at bay by the towering mass of his bodyguard. Yet, when I catch up with him in a backroom of the New Yorker hotel, he doesn’t seem especially exhausted by the relentless bustle of celebrity. Quite the opposite: he talks with eager enthusiasm about space-faring game 0x10c, Mojang’s attitude to microtransactions, money, and how future technology will change both gaming and shake the very foundations of the internet.
As for what Mojang can do to top this year’s Minecon in Disneyland, Notch giggles and says: “I dunno, maybe go to space or something.” You heard it here first, folks!
Space's vast enormity defines loneliness. Jetting into the inky black yonder as a lone-wolf spacer doesn't seem quite as daunting when factoring the possibility of a bulky, mandarin-orange robot boarding your ship and peppering the walls with poorly accurate laser fire. Mojang's sandbox space simulator 0x10c harnesses this social dynamic quite effectively, and helmsman Markus "Notch" Persson's video of a multiplayer test run hints that exchanging pew-pew in player ships is in our future. Notch warns "most of everything is missing" with the work-in-progress, but 0x10c's progress looks good. Phase into the video within.
The fan forums are full of wild speculation about what might be in Markus “Notch” Persson’s next game, but the devs over at Mojang are still experimenting with the precise form 0x10c will take. When I head over to Stockholm to visit them, Notch has only just decided it's going to have textures.
What is clear, however, is that this is a project of considerable ambition, which brings together the principles of player-creation, multiplayer and resource-gathering that established Minecraft’s success, and pitches that into an Elite-style space-game.
Except, unlike Elite, you take control of a person inside a ship rather than the ship itself - which has a 16-bit brain you can programme. Oh and there are seamless space-to-planet transitions, too.
Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson welcomed Thursday morning with a pair of tweets assailing Microsoft's program certification process for its impending Windows 8 operating system, saying the software giant should "stop ruining" the PC's accessibility for developers.
Minecraft is a little indie balloon swelling with popularity and success, and it just burst. The main server buckled under the weight of purchases, updates, and user verifications, and Notch has suspended all of those functions to get the game working again. Which means he's made it free, for a while.
This week on the site, we want to celebrate some of the heroes of the PC gaming community. People who’ve devoted huge amounts of their free time to making something awesome for the rest of us to enjoy. Today we're talking to Markus 'Notch' Persson, creator of the awesome indie building game Minecraft - which, it turns out, most of Valve seem to be playing.