20 Things You Didn’t Know about Notch

Notch

When it comes to Notch, how much do you know about the name behind the popular video games, Minecraft and Mojang? In this article, we’ve come up with twenty things you probably didn’t know about Notch. For starters, did you know Notch is actually the nickname of a person?

1. Markus Alexej Persson is Notch

Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the man behind Notch was born Markus Alexej Persson. He was born on June 1, 1979. While growing up, he took an interest in computer programming. When he was seven years old, he began to tinker with his father’s Commodore 128 computer. When he was eight, he produced a text-based video game. This was the first video game he created before moving on to bigger and better things in the world of computer gaming. The reason why he has the moniker, Notch, is because he felt it sounded good enough at the time to use.

2. He was King

King Digital Entertainment was founded in 2003 by Riccardo Zacconi and is also based in Stockholm, Sweden. As one of the company’s game developers, Markus Persson spent over four years on the team before becoming a programmer for Jalbum. Before leaving in 2009, Persson was part of the game development team that produced about two hundred games for its web portal.

3. The Mojang Connection

Starting in June 2005, Markus Persson founded and operated Mojang Specifications until October 2007. It was then changed to Code Club AB. This was the same game development company behind the startup of Wurm Online. Starting in October 2010, he founded Mojang Studios. As its chief executive officer and game developer, it was through this venture he created the popular video game, Minecraft.

4. Minecraft: The Story of Mojang

In 2012, a documentary was produced that featured the man behind the company, Mojang Studios, and the game, Minecraft, Markus Persson. He, along with Jens Bertensten, was part of the 2 Player Productions filmmaking project that was funded as part of a Kickstarter campaign. This filmed documentary presentation premiered on December 22, 2012, at the Xbox Live show and became available for download and streaming the very next day. Minecraft: The Story of Mojang has since been archived as a website but is still accessible for fans of Minecraft who may have missed this fascinating piece of the game’s history.

5. Video Game Competitor

When not designing video games for companies, Persson has developed seven different computer games for competitions for the Java 4K Gaming Programming Contest. The Ludum Dare 48-hour game-making competition challenges developers all over the world to see who has the talent to bring forth award-winning video games. Breaking the Tower was a game Persson developed that took place on a small island where the player needed to put enough resources together in order to destroy a mighty tower that was on it. For Notch, this game did receive a bit of media attention. As for Minicraft, this was a game that was presented at the Ludum Dare competition in December 2011. Influenced by his own Minecraft game, as well as the Zelda gaming series, this Java-written game was designed as a small top-down game.

6. Wurm Online

The massively multiplayer online 3D video game, known as Wurm Online was a game that was developed by Notch. It first started out as a Beta in 2003 before it was officially released in 2006. Shortly after it was released, Persson left the company that was responsible for the game’s development, Code Club AB. Originally founded as Mojang Specifications, the name changed when Persson wanted to keep the Mojang name for himself. It was he who designed the infamous logo. The other founder, Rolf Janssen, renamed the company twice over before settling on Code Club AB on October 12, 2011. In 2015, Wurm Unlimited became the second sandbox-style video game it would produce. Both games are still accessed online. Wurm Online has its own site while Wurm Unlimited is accessed through Steam.

7. Award-Winning Game Developer

The most popular video game creation credited to Markus ‘Notch” Persson was Minecraft. It first became publicly available for the first time on May 17, 2009, before it was fully released on November 18, 2011. At the time, Persson was still employed at Jalbum before developing Mojang Studios to further focus on the development and progress of Minecraft until its completion. By early 2011, Minecraft sold one million copies of its sandbox-based video game. As the popularity of the game continued to grow, so did the need for Persson to hire new staff members to join his Mojang Studios team. He later passed the lead developer role to Jens Bergensten. In 2011, the Game Developers Choice Awards recognized Minecraft as Best Debut Game and Best Downloadable Game. It also won its Innovation Award that same year. In 2016, Minecraft was recognized as a Pioneer Award Winner by the same organization. In 2012, it won BAFTA’s Special Award.

8. Minecraft, Microsoft, and Mojang

For $2.5 billion USD, Microsoft purchased Mojang Studios. After this, Markus Persson ceased working on Minecraft. The deal resulted in Notch’s net worth reaching the $1.5 billion USD mark.

9. Notch’s Challenge

With Minecraft now behind him, Markus Persson teamed up with Jakob Porser for Scrolls, a video game that combined board games and collectible card games in a new development. However, on August 5, 2011, it was announced Persson was being sued by Bethesda Softworks and its owner at the time, ZeniMax Media, as the company felt the usage of Scrolls as a name conflicted with their own video game series, The Elder Scrolls. On August 17, 2011, Persson challenged Bethesda to a Quake 3 tournament as a means to settle the dispute between them. After the lawsuit went to court, the settlement awarded Notch and his Mojang Studios the right to continue using the Scrolls, but not as a trademark.

10. Woes Between Scrolls and Servers

Despite Mojan Studios winning the right to continue using the name Scrolls as its strategy-based digital collectible card game, they renamed it anyway. Although Scrolls was announced as a game on March 2, 2011, Notch and his company discontinued working on the development of the game in June 2015. It wouldn’t be until June 2018 that it would be officially released, but as Caller’s Bane instead. It uses scroll-type cards as part of a fantasy-themed video game that’s played online in the same format as massively multiplayer online video games are. At one point, the game servers behind Scrolls was shut down before hooking up with community servers to make what has since become Caller’s Bane a free game for players to access.

11. Alternate Reality, 0x10c Style

Starting in March 2012, Markus Persson embarked on an alternate reality space game that had a storyline set in the distant future. On April 1, 2012, Mojang Studios released a parody website called Mars Effect, using the lawsuit it had with Bethesda Studios at the time as a source of inspiration. As 0x10c, this game was designed as a space sandbox-style title. However, Persson discontinued working on its production as of August 2013. To this day, the game remains undeveloped but Persson did comment at one point if another Mojang Studio employee was interested in continuing with the game development’s progress, it may still yet reach completion.

12. Notch is a Gamer

In order to become a top-notch video gamer, one has to be a fan of video games as a player, to begin with. It’s not uncommon for Markus “Notch” Persson to keep people waiting when he’s in the middle of playing a video game. It has been established he’s a big fan of the Dungeon Master series, Doom, and Grand Theft Auto. However, even his stated favorites change all the time.

13. High School Dropout

While it is commonly believed without a high school diploma it would be harder to become a success story, Markus “Notch” Persson proved this theory wrong. His parents encouraged him to work on his natural talent since he was a small boy who credited his time growing up in Edsbyn, Sweden, as the source of inspiration that brought about the popular video game, Minecraft. While most of his fellow eighteen-year-olds were trying to figure out what more to do with their life, he was already working as a programmer.

14. Markus Alexei

As Markus Alexei, Notch has performed and recorded electronica-style music. A sample of his work can be found on YouTube, via MIC: LEE.

15. Notch is Athiest

According to Mojang Fandom, Markus “Notch” Persson is an atheist. He mentioned this as he expressed his views while serving as one of the donors to charity during a 2011 Thanksgiving event.

16. Top Notch Criticisms

Markus “Notch” Persson has never been shy when it comes to his political and social opinions. At one point, he came under fire after referencing feminism as a social disease. He also criticized another video game developer in a manner that triggered criticism against him for making a remark they felt was inappropriate. This included his push to support heterosexual pride as he’s made it loud and clear what he thinks about the LGBT-related communities and their agendas. Because of Persson’s political and social positions, as well as his refusal to cater to movements he disagrees with, Microsoft’s 2019 update of Minecraft made a point to remove all mention of Persson from its game menu. However, his name still remains in the credits. When the game held its tenth-anniversary event that same year, he was not invited. Microsoft’s position against Persson has come about due to the Mojang Studios’ owner and CEO’s comments on Twitter which is currently in the headlines as a social media platform with questionable business practices.

17. Notch vs. Pirateers and Video Game Corporations

Markus Persson has made it no secret what he thinks about internet piracy and how large game companies respond to it. As a member of the Pirate Party of Sweden, he has served as an advocate against gaming corporations and other industries in their stance against sites that exercise piracy as a means to copy the game and either distribute it for free or at a small fee on the internet. As far as Notch is concerned, this practice is not theft as it’s only copying the game and not flat out stealing it. He has made it clear that if game developers want their video games to last more than a week or so they should be updating on a regular basis to keep the gaming community interested enough to keep playing.

18. Mensa

The Swedish chapter of Mensa is part of a global non-profit organization that has a membership roster of people who score at a high enough IQ percentile to be accepted into what is the oldest society of its kind in the world. Under the umbrella corporation, Mensa International, this British-headquartered organization chose “Mensa” as it is the Latin term for the word, table. Performing as a round table community, this collection of high IQ society members includes Markus “Notch” Persson as one of them as his quiz results positioned him in the ninety-eighth profile that is required. At the moment, there are over 130,000 members who’ve managed to earn a spot as Mensa representatives.

19. Divorced Father of One

In 2011, he had a short-lived marriage with Elin Zetterstrand that ended before 2012 was over. The two had a daughter together before going their separate ways. Zetterstrand, at one point, was an administrator on the Minecraft forums.

20. Hello, Beverly Hills

For seventy million American dollars, Markus Persson purchased what was the highest sale price for a Beverly Hills home in December 2014. The money he used to buy this home came after Microsoft purchased Minecraft for $2.5 billion dollars. This made Notch a very rich man, encouraging him to purchase this home, which is located in Trousdale Estates. Trousdale is a neighborhood located in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains. It began development in the 1950s and is named after the man who bought the region, Paul Trousdale.

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