What Notch Has Been Up To Since Leaving Minecraft

What Notch Has Been Up To Since Leaving Minecraft

Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson sold both his game and his company to Microsoft last year. It made him very, very wealthy. So what’s he been up to since, aside from buying super expensive houses?

Forbes’ Ryan Mac tailed around with the guy to find out. Turns out he’s been, well, spending a ton of money and not doing much work. Just like you would probably do if you suddenly became so wealthy you’d never need to work another day in your life.

So with well over half his life ahead of him, the man who created an entire universe, whose persona was synonymous with it and who received the wrath of his community for abandoning it, must now figure out exactly who he is.

The results so far are unimpressive, as he’s mostly acted like a dog chasing cars. When Persson decided to buy a house in Beverly Hills, he went for a $US70 million, 23,000-square-foot megamansion, the most expensive home ever in an enclave known for them. He’s become known for spending upwards of $US180,000 a night at Las Vegas nightclubs. He and Mojang cofounder Jakob Porsér have started a company called Rubberbrain in case they think of a new game idea — but right now he can’t focus much on any.

The story is long (it has to get regular Forbes readers up to speed on Mojang & Minecraft), but very much worth your time. It paints a picture of a man who, having struck it lucky/rich, is now entirely lost at sea, unsure what to do with his time or even make of his legacy.

…there are also a slew of younger Markus Perssons who are hungrier and more attuned to what the next generation of kids wants. Asked about this, the Minecraft creator responds that he’s completely comfortable being a one-hit wonder. Being insanely rich and prematurely washed up apparently trumps the stresses of responsibility over a virtual nation that alternately reveres and despises you.

“People were starting to talk about the concept of Notch, or whatever, like the ideal,” he says, parsing through his two identities. “I thought back to when I met my idols and [realised], ‘Oh s — t, these are real people. ‘That disconnect became so clear to me. I don’t have the relationship that I thought I did with my fans.”

It’s a wonder he’s trying to make new games at all. I’d have just toured the world forever eating expensive cheese.

Picture: Jamel Toppin/Forbes


  • I wonder if he has considered investing in games, seems like the ideal position for someone who loves games but doesnt really seem to want to work on them that much who also has an overflowing abundance of money

  • Put all your money into one of those managed funds and live off a percentage of the return. Work out how much you have per day. Save if you want something expensive, or just spend it all each day – nice big tip for the waitress, buy everyone in the queue’s groceries, donate to this or that cause/charity. You’d feel great.

  • I wonder if he ate all those M&Ms because if that was my mansion, they’d be all gone by now.

  • I hope he doesn’t end up all fucked up and broke. He’s not a lottery winner – exactly – but people who come into a hell of a lot of wealth can sometimes end up blowing it all in a heady haze of booze, coke, and clubbing.
    $70m on a house and $180k a night at nightclubs? Good for him. I hope he’s having fun.
    However, directionless and ludicrously cashed up can be a dangerous combination.

    • I think the difference is he has been practised at being well off for a few years already now. He wasn’t exactly struggling before the sale he was still very comfortable.

      • Oh definitely. He also had something to do, though – run a business, community interaction, so on and so forth.
        From the excerpts from the article it sounds like he’s just hanging around, spending massive amounts of cash, and getting plastered in nightclubs.
        And good on him! He’s worked hard, and earned it. it just sounds like a completely different Markus to the one I had in my head – quiet, humble, hard-working. Not judging him at all; just hoping he’s happy.

  • Poor old Notch. I think he had a kind of existential crisis with all the fame and success. The interest in his cancelled space game was too much pressure. Too many eyes, too many voices, too many expectations. He probably needs to figure out the difference between who he is and who his public image is and come to terms that these are two different things before he can work in that limelight again. Because the famous Notch who was catapulted onto the stage is not the developer who dedicated himself to creating what he probably thought was only ever going to be a niche mining/crafting simulation.

    Mind you, a few hundred million dollars is a pretty good balm for your troubles.

  • He’s unlikely to do anything of worth until the novelty of being a billionaire wears off (who knows…this might never happen).

    Perhaps eventually he’ll return to the ‘scene’ with a new perspective. Removing money as motivation can lead to unfettered, purely creative pursuits.

    And here’s a totally unexplained photo of Notch pretending to be a DJ.

    • I wouldn’t say pretending, it seems perfectly in character, he has always been a big EDM fan so why wouldn’t he pick up that sort of gear and give it a work out.

  • Just needs to find what makes him happy and do that…..Oh whats that, he has a billion zillion dollars? Buy some shit, eat some in-n-out, happiness found.

  • Dude can do whatever the fuck he wants. He’s set for life. He doesn’t owe anyone anything. I’d be doing about the same.

  • I sold my business in 2005 and spent six months walking around my house annoying my wife. I eventually went and got a job at the place I use to own………… who knows he might eventually do the same thing.

  • When I read that headline my mind went straight to Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money bin.

    Turns out, I was kinda right

  • I’m too pro-scientific, if I had the money I would be investing in some VERY interesting bio-technologies that I have been keeping my eye on.

    Would also make a dream game I have been making at a snails pace as of lately. But clearly notch is having fun chilling and enjoying life, good on him.

  • Personally I feel that anyone with that kind of money should be using it to do some good. $180,000 at a night club and 70 million for a house are disgusting when there are people without basic human needs in the world.

  • His net worth is 1.3 billion and he sold Minecraft for 2.5 billion. He has chewed through 1.2 billion dollars since September.
    I just did some rough calculations and that works out to be almost 7 million a day.
    That mean’s that if he continues the way he was going he should be bankrupt by around 8/09/2015. Yikes.

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