Independent sandbox game Minecraft was not only a critical success for creator Markus "Notch" Persson, but also a financial boon. According to a Swedish media report (via GamesIndustry International), developer Mojang recorded revenue of $240 million in 2012, with pre-tax profits landing at around $92 million. Persson explained on Reddit recently that he has been blown away by the wealth he has amassed from Minecraft, describing it as a "s*** ton of money."
"It's weird as f***," Persson said. "I grew up in a relatively poor family, but once I got a decent job, I never really had to worry about money. My hobbies were playing games and programming, so there wasn't any real drain. I could eat out when I wanted to, and go to the movies without having to save up for it. I still had to save up for trips and to be able to buy computers or consoles, but that just felt normal."
The success of Minecraft did not change Persson's interests, he said, noting that he still enjoys gaming and programming. Though with his new wealth, Persson said he plans to set some aside for his family and give to charities that help children and promote freedoms.
"Now, all of the sudden, as a result of how modern society works, I managed to somehow earn a s*** ton of money," he said. "I still like playing games and programming, and once I had the latest computer and consoles, there really isn't much more to spend the money on than traveling. I might eventually get a driver's license so I can buy a car."
"I think the right way to use money like this is to set a decent portion aside to make sure my family is comfortable, spend some on living out your dreams, and then try to put the rest towards making society a better place," he added. "For me, this includes charities that help children, and charities that help promote freedoms I think are vital in the coming dozens of years, such as the [Electronic Frontier Foundation]."
The EFF is a donor-funded nonprofit organization aimed at defending digital rights. Persson donated $250,000 to the group's new patent reform project in December.
The Minecraft series (PC/Mac, Xbox 360, and mobile) has sold more than 20 million units to date. The PC/Mac version of the game remains the most popular, selling around 9.2 million units as of this writing.