Minecraft creator Markus Persson, aka ‘Notch‘, has said that he has “never felt more isolated” after earning billions in the sale of Mojang, the company he founded, to Microsoft.
Mojang was sold for $2.5 billion in 2014, after which Notch left the company and said he wanted to focus on more personal projects.
But on 29 August Notch took to Twitter to explain to his 2.47 million followers that “the problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying”.
“Human interaction becomes impossible due to imbalance,” he said.
Persson has maintained an active presence on social media since leaving Mojang, and has worked on several small-scale gaming projects, but has not released anything approaching the scale or significance of Minecraft since the game was sold. The purchase of his $70 million LA mansion — for which he outbid Beyonce and Jay Z — caused a sensation in the tabloid tech press, and resulted in nearly-instant and inevitable recreations of the house inside Minecraft, but Notch says that neither the money or the fame has made him happy.
“Hanging out in ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated,” he said on Twitter.
“In Sweden, I will sit around and wait for my friends with jobs and families to have time to do shit, watching my reflection in the monitor,” he added. “When we sold the company, the biggest effort went into making sure the employees got taken care of, and they all hate me now.”
At least one Mojang employee responded to Notch, saying that he had only resented him in the initial shock of him leaving the company.
“I mostly hated you for leaving, but that was only during the shock, you know that,” said Patrick Geuder, who is a data analysis employee at the company.
“i do not know that, nobody reached out and said it was just initial shock. So fuck all of you. Fuck you so hard,” responded Notch.
Another commenter suggested Persson sell his mansion and return to real life. “Nah, the mansion has a pool,” he replied.
Persson has long considered Minecraft’s vast success an outlier: in 2012 he told WIRED “Minecraft is a massive phenomenon. It’s not realistic for anything to come close.” At that time he had already passed over day-to-day control of the game he built, saying that “I just want to go back to coding”.
It is impossible for outsiders to judge whether Persson’s recent Tweets reflect wider difficulties in his personal life or just disillusionment with his wealth — but he did hint at the breakdown of a relationship in another Tweet, while adding that he “would Musk and try to save the world” but in his experience “that just exposes me to the same type of assholes that made me sell minecraft again”.
“People who made sudden success are telling me this is normal and will pass. That’s good to know! I guess I’ll take a shower then!”
Notch’s honesty on the social network saw thousands of well-wishers send him tweets and offers of support, which the gaming pioneer said he appreciated: “As an introvert, new friends is hard to do even when fine, but it means a lot!” he said. “And just venting and not feeling like I had to hide made it feel a bit easier to cope with already.”