Earlier today we talked about how Microsoft purchased Mojang, which, by proxy meant that they bought the crazy smash hit that is Minecraft. It was a lot of money, enough to where Notch’s own personal share in Mojang meant that he was not only rich like before, but filthy rich. He made the curious decision today to announce that as soon as the whole thing is over and done with that he’d be walking away from Minecraft, from Mojang and from the chance to ever have a huge project ever again.
He’ll go back to entering into contests like Ludum Dare (where you build a game from scratch, alone, over the span of a weekend for a contest) and making small web projects. He flat out said if anything he does gets big again that he’ll immediately abandon it because he doesn’t want what happened with Minecraft to happen ever again. So why this level of disdain for something that made him filthy rich? Why this level of disdain for being a quasi-celebrity?
Some are going to say that he cashed in and then bailed on everyone after their undying support for both him and his game. He’s made more money than he ever figured that he would and now that he’s become a symbol within the game industry he’s incredibly uncomfortable with it and he’s incredibly uncomfortable with the things that he’s become associated with. He no longer feels his connection with the people that play his games anymore.
If you’ve paid attention to the gaming world over the past few months you’ll probably be able to immediately conjure up the kinds of debates that drive people like Notch away. #Gamergate, misogyny/SJW (“social justice warriors), journalistic ethics and just general hate and awfulness being spewed. The game community was a fun place at one time, then everything just got really dark and someone like Notch wants nothing to do with it. That’s kind of a bummer. It’s interesting to note that a community can help to raise something up and encourage it, then quickly break it down when it doesn’t suit their narrative anymore.
Maybe we all just need to be nicer to each other, or something.
Check out his whole post here.