Minecraft creator feeling pressure to repeat

Markus "Notch" Persson describes sandbox game as "freak thing," says he is beginning to struggle creatively for next project.

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Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson is feeling pressure to replicate the success of his landmark sandbox game. In a New Yorker profile, Persson said making Minecraft was simpler because no one knew who he was.

"I definitely think Minecraft is a freak thing," Persson said. "There's no way you could replicate it intentionally. And yes, I'm starting to feel writer's block as a result. I’m not sure if it's pressure to repeat…Actually, it is the pressure to repeat. And with Minecraft it was just easier, because nobody knew who I was."

"Now I post a new idea and millions of people scrutinize it," he added. "There's a conflict between the joy of being able to do whatever I want and the remarkable pressure of a watching world. I don't know how to switch it off."

The Minecraft franchise has sold more than 20 million copies across all platforms. Persson previously explained that he been blown away by the wealth he has amassed from Minecraft, describing it as a "s*** ton of money."

Persson is no longer directly developing Minecraft, having left the internal team at developer Mojang in December 2011. He is now working on the collectible card game Scrolls (with a beta scheduled for this month), as well as the space game ox10c. Persson told Polygon recently that though he has completed two playable prototypes, this project is "on ice" for now due to his own "weird creative block."

Discussion

98 comments
JpachoD
JpachoD

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Give it a watch and tell me what you think, please and thank'ums potential viewer!Minecraft playlist: Minecraft; Lets Build 

vadagar1
vadagar1

Call Of minecraft: modern Pickaxe fare

tightwad34
tightwad34

And the pretentious one  speaks again. Don't overthink it and just make a game you would love to play and the rest will take care of itself. Well, I don't know what kind of games you are into, but if you don't think too much and just go with your gut it will turn out just fine.

Poodger
Poodger

I am really excited for Scrolls. I have been for nearly a year now. I don't to like Scrolls as much as Minecraft, and I don't expect it to do nearly as well either, but that doesn't matter to me at all. I like the way Mojang does business. They are very friendly to their customers, and their products will always be good, even if not as great as Minecraft. With that, I look forward to the open beta of Scrolls later this month.

PacoTaco
PacoTaco

Most people only have one Magnum opus.  Be glad that yours paid the bills for life (probably) and you can take up other hobbies/relax/travel/sleep until you feel inspired again.  If the day never comes - you still did better than most ;)

killerlavaman
killerlavaman

Notch make something that you enjoy and F**K everyone that says otherwise.

Greyfeld
Greyfeld

I see a looooot of haters in the comments here.  I don't even like playing Minecraft, but at least give credit where credit is due.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Welcome to the gaming industry. 

Renato1984
Renato1984

I bet To The Moon's dev, a Canadian by the name of Kan Gao, is very satisfied with how his career went.

HomieHesAKlown
HomieHesAKlown

Minecraft was a stolen idea that was in some shape or form on the PC for decades over the years as homebrew long before this idiot ripped of the idea.

Do not support, writers block because he didn't even come up with the idea in the first place.

J_Dangerously
J_Dangerously

Don't go buying any Bugatti's, write dat code, and whatever happens happens.  You don't have to worry about anything for the rest of your life.

If the only great thing he ever accomplishes is Minecraft, it's still more than what most of us reading here will ever do.

ACMC85
ACMC85

He should enjoy himself. He has plenty of money and gave a game the world loves. He shouldn't worry.

prostar343
prostar343

I think its admirable that he still has a passion for making games, and is willing to risk his reputation on something new.  He could have taken no risks, and slowly iterated on Minecraft and lived easy.

Tauu
Tauu

Minecraft could be so much better, there's so much potential. The formula is a hit, why not run with it and take it to the next level? Nintendo didn't give up on platformers, Capcom didn't give up on fighters, Blizzard didn't give up on RTS's and SE didn't give up on RPGs. Why does Notch feel like he has to give up on sandbox survival? If Mojang doesn't lead the way some other developer will.

hippiesanta
hippiesanta

maybe Minecraft are no Little Big Planet

Atheosis
Atheosis

He really shouldn't worry about it.  He's made all the money he'll ever need so anything he makes now is just icing on the cake.  He should really just focus on making the game he wants to make and not worry about the reaction of his fans.

Daian
Daian

If I had his money I'd feel 0 pressure to make another great game, my livelihood doesn't depend on it so I can work on it relaxed and do it out of pure passion for games.

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

I think he's worrying about it too much. It's not the end off the world if it's not as successful as Minecraft.

It's not like he even has shareholders to please.

I don't expect every one of his games to be amassing. Even Miyamoto has had missteps.

yearssomuch
yearssomuch

I say 'Good'. Maybe it's just me, but Notch has always rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like yes, he knows the massive popularity for his game was something of a freak occurrence, but it doesn't change the fact that the success has given him a bit of an ego. Since then, I've simply heard him say some very, very stupid things, in fields and discussions he has no right to speak in.

Succumbus
Succumbus

ox10c looks like something I would play, I am a big fan of those style of games (Dark Forces II anyone?). I have stopped playing Minecraft for a while, I doubt he will ever reach anything just as huge. It was a freak accident no doubt. 

cjlebron
cjlebron

A lot of people below seem to be jumping to the conclusion that he can't or won't do it (whatever"it" is again) and that's not the point of his statement. He's being uncharacteristically candid about the difficulty of being an indie developer. We should be glad he's facing the issue now rather than pushing the creative process at all costs and delivering some mess, as so many ambitious, but half-baked AAA titles seem to be these days. Give him some credit and let him do what he does and judge him instead with the game he actually puts out rather than judging screenshots and the like.

n8b1979
n8b1979

Yea that new game looks very lame when compared to minecraft. Dude just make minecraft 2!

jonasas2
jonasas2

so, he just confessed that minecraft was an accident and he isnt great at game creation?

LavaEater5
LavaEater5

yeah he seems to be having a lot of trouble with 0x10c, the polygon article was the latest after about 3 months(at most) of silence. Poor Notch, he makes one good game and now he's got a lot of pressure just to live up to Minecraft.  

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

Notch is already a house hold name. He did what he never even meant to do. He dominated pretty much every platform that can play his game and every website that has an 'upload video' feature. He does not need to prove anything to anyone..There should be no stress about anything else he does..just do what you love to do man.

What he could do or get his company to do is maaaaybe make a smooth voxel version of Minecraft? With better graphics and maybe some random quests just to give it some depth?


feleas
feleas

@killerlavaman that's actually what a lot of writers, artists, and some game designer teams do haha. in the words of Ryan Sohmers who created Blind Ferret, "Writing these comics is like pleasuring myself and letting you guys watch."

flammable_zeus
flammable_zeus

@Tauu ox10c is going to be a sandbox game. It'll just be very different to Minecraft. Just because he's already made Minecraft, it doesn't mean that any other sandbox game he makes has to be just like it.

theHydra014
theHydra014

@Tauu I think it maybe a fear of doing the same formula over and over. 

Blazvatan
Blazvatan

@Tauu He hasn't given up on Minecraft. He handed it over to a trustworthy and passionate developer who could devote time to the game. Jeb is the one who leads and directs Minecraft now. The game is still being updated and improved.

Renato1984
Renato1984

@Daian 

It seems to me this is a lesson every American citizen is taught in their childhood. Fortunately, not every one accepts it as a holy truth, usually the more talented individuals.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Daian I think it's more about pride and proving he's not a one-trick pony. It's like defending a championship title - you've already won it, so the accomplishment has been achieved, though the fear of losing it, of being proven unworthy (In your own mind) of the title you've been holding, that's pretty nerve-wracking.

Poodger
Poodger

@yearssomuch I have never gotten the impression of an inflated ego from Notch. He has seemed mostly humble, and has always supported the players. The only big name developer I can think of that I respect more is probably Gabe Newell.

Scarab83
Scarab83

@yearssomuch You mean the times everyone under the sun has rushed to him for his opinion on things, and he's given them an honest answer? That doesn't exactly make him egotistical.

Stiler
Stiler

@yearssomuch Like what? he seems extremely down to earth to me and has given back a lot to the gaming community as well (he's helped countless indie games on kickstarter to get funded, throwing in 10k + money on some). 

Poodger
Poodger

@n8b1979 I think Scrolls looks great. Not as good as Minecraft, but I am still excited for it. I am glad to be getting a cool looking Online trading card game that isn't going to nickel and dime me to death for new cards, and from a trusted developer that treats its customer base well.

MuddVader
MuddVader

@n8b1979 Its a different target audience.. Not everything he puts out is going to be aimed at Minecraft fans

Hurvl
Hurvl

@n8b1979 Lol, just make a direct sequel? It's funny how much support this thought sometimes get and how much loathing it gets in other situations. 

With all the updates they've made, all the way from the playable alpha/beta, I don't think a Minecraft 2 can be justified unless it's a completely new game. Creating the wheel a second time usually just results in a slightly different wheel. Just add more updates and people will be content with the content.

Poodger
Poodger

@jonasas2 It is called being humble. He gave Minecraft his all, and it was a great product. He IS great at game creation, but he is humbled by its success.

kingcole225
kingcole225

@jonasas2 No he just said that Minecraft, being the huge success it was, isn't very easy to follow up. Everyone's human. If someone has done something awesome in their life there's a very good chance that they've done 10 horrible messes that taught them how to create that something that was good. Perssons just understandably worried that he doesn't have what it takes to make another success like Minecraft.

Falru
Falru

@jonasas2 Yes. Did you not read the article? It's called someone being honest. No one expects a little sandbox game you make for fun with your friends to amass global popularity and rake it tons of dough. It's like being suddenly thrust into the spotlight on stage and being expected to sing opera.

Azugo
Azugo

@WingChopMastaVoxel Minecraft with quests? Enter 'Planet Explorers' in your search engine -- could be what you're after.

DGWTF
DGWTF

@Hurvl @n8b1979 Well I for one thought that Minecraft had an excellent story, with much need for follow up.

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

@Azugo @WingChopMasta Thanks man. I have actually been following this game. I am a console gamer sadly so I miss out on too many great games like this..I cross my fingers for more diverse games with the new generation of console..specifically the PS4 it seems that games like this will be more viable next gen and I can not wait.


Poodger
Poodger

@hippiesanta @Poodger Actually, yes. Not only has it sold more, but it has generated FAR more impressive user created content, and allows the player to be far more creative. Little Big Planet is just a sidescrolling platformer with a level creator. Minecraft is a UNIVERSE CREATOR.