Notch loving programming life post-Minecraft

Notch thumb

The post-Minecraft life appears to be treating Marcus "Notch" Persson quite well, and not just because Microsoft's purchase of Mojang last year left him insanely wealthy. The real source of his happiness, judging by his recent tweets, is that he can finally get back to doing what he loves: Making small, strange games without the whole world looking over his shoulder.

He also still seems happy to talk to his fans. In one particularly interesting exchange, he acknowledged that his decision to sell Mojang to Microsoft for $2.5 billion left him feeling like a bit of a sellout, but he still feels like it was the right choice. "I guess some things always come at a cost," he wrote.

And the upside is undeniable. "The one trick pony thing was hard to deal with. Matching the insane success of Minecraft would be impossible. I'm ok with it now," he continued. "Once I remembered I make games because I find it's fun, I just got back to small prototypes I don't even show people. And the fun is back! Programming is annoying and frustrating, but SO MUCH FUN. And then when most prototypes are horribly unplayable, nobody judges me :D"

Tellingly, when it was suggested that one of those prototypes could be the next "gaming superhit," he replied, "Oh, almost certainly not, and it feels nice to finally be ok with that."

GameSpot says Notch was believed to have held a 70 percent stake in Mojang, meaning that the sale to Microsoft earned him roughly $1.75 billion. That's the kind of payday that leads very naturally to cynical jokes about the correlation between money and happiness, but in light of his obvious joy at being able to return to his passion for programming, in this case I think it's easier to just be happy for him.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.