The History of and Story Behind the Minecraft Logo

Minecraft

Minecraft can be considered one of the most famous video games ever made. For those who are unfamiliar, it puts the player in a 3D world with infinite terrain, which are made out of its iconic blocks. Depending on the game mode, interested individuals can engage in various activities with examples ranging from indulging in their creative side to either competing or cooperating with other players, thus enabling the game to appeal to a wide range of people with a wide range of tastes. On top of this, Minecraft is very moddable, which can be considered another factor in its tremendous success. Even now, it can claim 126 million players when measured on a monthly basis. Something that is particularly remarkable when one remembers that Minecraft started up in November of 2011.

The Basics

In any case, Minecraft was created by an individual named Markus Persson, who tends to be called by the nickname “Notch.” For those who are curious, he was once a game developer with a game studio called King, which was where he learned a number of different programming languages. During his off-time, Notch liked to make prototypes of his own games, thus resulting in a base-building game called “RubyDung.” Eventually, he became inspired by a block-based mining game called Infiniminer that came out in April of 2009, though he chose to set his prototype further apart by introducing RPG elements as well.

By May of 2009, Notch had completed the original version of Minecraft before releasing it on TIGSource forums so that he could continue making changes based on the feedback that he received. As the project became more and more popular, he quit his day job so that he could focus on a full-time basis. Soon enough, Notch had cofounded a video game company called Mojang Studios, which proceeded to grow and grow. By December of 2011, Jens “Jeb” Bergensten had replaced Notch as the lead designer, and by September of 2014, Microsoft had announced a $2.5 billion buyout of not just Minecraft but also Mojang Studios, thus resulting in Notch becoming a billionaire.

Notch departed Mojang Studios following the sale. For a time, Microsoft maintained a relationship with the man because of his pivotal role in the creation of Minecraft. However, that has since changed, so much so that Notch was excluded from the celebration of Minecraft’s 10th anniversary. That might sound harsh until one realizes that Notch has been making rather controversial statements about politics as well as other social matters for quite some time. One example would be the time that he called feminism a “social disease,” while another example would be the time when he said that the opponents of a heterosexual pride day “deserved to be shot.” Unsurprisingly, such sentiments have produced a huge backlash from a wide range of individuals. Microsoft has never stated why it removed Notch’s name from the Minecraft menu in the March of 2019, but the timing of the decision made it very clear that it was a response to the controversial comments. After all, no sane company wants a bad reputation, which is a line of speculation further supported by Microsoft’s later statement that Notch’s comments didn’t reflect the opinions of either it or its subsidiary.

How Has the Minecraft Logo Changed Over Time?

Moving on, there have been three versions of the Minecraft logo. However, while each one has been distinct from the others, there are strong commonalities between them. As such, it is very clear that the changing of the Minecraft logo over the course of about a decade’s time is a matter of gradual evolution rather than radical jumps.

The first Minecraft logo consisted of the name of the game created using blocks. In fact, the real world version looked exactly the same as the in-game version, which made sense because it was made using in-game assets. Positioning-wise, the first Minecraft logo was interested in that the letters were slanted inwards to create an upwards impression, with the result that it can be interpreted to suggest that the viewer is looking at something huge from its base. This was a good choice because of the focus on construction in the game, which has led to some truly monumental creations on the part of players both in the past and in the present. Meanwhile, the material of the letters is meant to remind interested individuals of cobblestones. Generally speaking, when people think of cobblestones, they think of cobblestone roads. However, most so-called cobblestone roads aren’t actually cobblestone roads but rather pitched surface roads, which can be recognized by the flat stones with a narrow edge. Instead, true cobblestones have a smooth, rounded shape brought about by the erosion of rivers. Thanks to this, they were a very convenient building material so long as the builders had access to such locations, thus contributing to their popularity. While true cobblestones saw common use in roads, they were often embedded in walls through the use of mortar to create a very distinctive appearance as well. Regardless, the makeshift, somewhat crude-looking appearance of the first Minecraft logo was an excellent choice for a couple of reasons. One, it was a good taste of what interested individuals could expect from the game itself. Two, that kind of crude authenticity is exactly the kind of thing that gets interested individuals thinking about what they can make. Something that goes very well with Minecraft’s sandbox nature.

Later versions of the Minecraft logo are much more polished, which reflects the much more polished nature of the operation behind the game. The look is still meant to be the same. However, the later logos were no longer created using in-game assets but rather done up using out-of-game graphical techniques and technologies. Still, they are still clearly meant to evoke the impression of cobblestone walls. Furthermore, even their positioning remained much the same. With that said, there is one notable change in that the “A” now featured a Creeper’s face, which was a neat though playful nod to one of the game’s most iconic enemies. As for the differences between the second and the third logos, they can be summed up by a bolder, clearer presentation, though this was achieved through relatively subtle methods of presentation rather than more blatant changes.


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