Notch discusses Minecraft money

Game creator Markus "Notch" Persson says wealth from indie sandbox game is "weird as f***," plans to give to charities.

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.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

79 comments
notchfan4life
notchfan4life

He has so much money because he has a great career and puts time into what he does.

notchfan4life
notchfan4life

He, has so much money because he has a successful career and put time into what he's done.   -TMA

psuedospike
psuedospike

I hope he goes nuts and gets a whole bunch of plastic surgery and drug habits.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

It's not Notch's fault that the gaming media is all over his ass.  Be angry at Gamespot, not this guy.  This was based on a Swedish report and some comments on Reddit... it's not like he went to Gamespot and payed them millions to report nothing but Notch and Minecraft stuff.

Notch sounds exactly like me.  I wouldn't know what to do with all that money.  People do all this retarded crap like buy multi-million dollar mansions, load them with a dozen supercars, crap that nobody in the world needs.  Here's a guy that just wants to take care of his family and give to charity, both children's charities and charities that promote freedom, and people still find fault with him.

da_chub
da_chub

I can not believe there is any hate towards this guy. He creates something that people love(or not), and people want it. Considering how many people tried it, he deserves any success he has received. Any hate is just jealousy.

Falru
Falru

This is precisely the situation I would be in if I had that much money. I'd be like:

Pay off debt/school tuition: check

Top of the line electronics: check

....

Now what?

Randomisrandom
Randomisrandom

Interesting article, Notch sounds like a decent fella.

Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

"I might eventually get a driver's license so I can buy a car."

Probably the most mind blowing thing.  I'm always amazed to find that there really are grown ass adults who don't know how to drive a car.  Maybe it's a southern thing, but everyone I know older than age 17 knows how to drive and has a license.  Even if they don't have a car.

How does he buy alcohol?  With his passport or something?

codeman101360
codeman101360

In other news: EA CEO buys gold-plated yacht, says poor people are "weird as f*ck."

itzjkb
itzjkb

He....He needs to invest......

SilenceLasting
SilenceLasting

Made 240 Million...Allowed to keep 90 Million...

SecularSage
SecularSage

Charity is certainly a worthy cause. I'd also love to see him continue to put money back into the development community to continue to boost indie gaming.

hostX9
hostX9

He is one of the few rich people who got the money with serious and fair work unlike most others who gain it with scams and unfair ways.

Ultra_Taco
Ultra_Taco

Those are some good plans, Mr. Persson.   :)

ClaudiusCaesar
ClaudiusCaesar

WHAT!? "plans to give to charities" and "I might eventually get a driver's license so I can buy a car.". Wait... he's not American! It's OK, that's sounds about right.

hostX9
hostX9

The headline should be: "Indie Game dev becomes a millionaire" ;)

SweetPandaLove
SweetPandaLove

So now I have to be force-feed by a game developer how it's wrong for me to keep my money that I earned.  Do what you want with yours, let me keep mine.

erix43
erix43

@jinzo9988 

Ya, he's nothing like you. He's humble and successful. You're a troll. Take a shower. 

evansmichaelj
evansmichaelj

My thoughts exactly, he sounds really nice. at their website minecraftsp Notch is a great guy. I've read his blog at the word of notch he tells some great stories that back up this idea. Good for you Notch.... a good guy does good.

nedrith
nedrith

@DrKill09 People find the game fun because, A: it's highly modable.  B: it is cheap and was even cheaper during beta, C: it's simplistic and people tend to enjoy overly simplistic games over complex and innovative ones and D: allows you to do basically anything with things being possible for both the beginners and the highly skilled.

It's better than it looks from the beginning but still it's not one to play generally unless you have friends who also enjoy it. 

 

kingboo35
kingboo35

@DrKill09

funny that you said that minecraft is boring, unfinished,terrible graphics, and AI but you rated duke nukem forever a 8.5....yeah we should totally listen to you

erix43
erix43

@Geminon 

Don't be jealous, work on something to stand out. Quit being a loser. 

WoZe
WoZe

@Geminon What you should be asking is what is with gamespots/igns obsession with Cliff Bleszniski. He developed one good franchise and all of a sudden he's talking about his legacy and how he has graced the video game world with his presence, teaching the japanese how to develop games, and comparing himself to Steven Spielberg. No one can top Bleszniski in the dbag category. I like this Notch guy. He says some weird BS sometimes but still comes across as your average gamer.

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

@Geminon Aw, c'mon man. Your being a bit rough on him. I think him and his game about punching lego trees has been blown way out of proportion, and I personally never understood the appeal of it, but he's going to give to charities! He and that dipshit that made the PEZ game are often quoted saying vulgarities which only makes them more indietastic.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

@Senor_Kami Considering the amount of vehicle accidents and fatalities a year, combined with rising gas and insurance costs, driving is becoming at least financially impractical for a lot of people.  Plus, the necessity of owning a car really depends on what your public transportation system is like.  Some are horrid, and I'd imagine that some can be good.

jepsen1977
jepsen1977

Also keep in mind that a driver's license can cost up to around 2000 dollars in Scandinavia so that's a lot of money to spend if you can't afford a car afterwards.

johnners2981
johnners2981

@SilenceLasting He didn't pay near 140 million in tax

Rennar
Rennar

@ClaudiusCaesar Bill Gates, My friend...

ChainsawPolice
ChainsawPolice

@SweetPandaLove Dude, chill the hell out. He's not forcing anyone to do anything. He's just saying that he has no idea what to do with the money so he's giving it away to others.
Chill.

CptYoutube
CptYoutube

@SweetPandaLove He was simply stating that his wealth is unnecessary for HIS living. Never said anything about your money.  

Ovirew
Ovirew

@SweetPandaLove Yeah idk, I mean it's admirable how he is thinking, but then I think there's nothing wrong with keeping the money you make.  He could even open up restaurants or something to keep the income flowing, since Minecraft alone probably won't make money forever.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

@erix43 @jinzo9988 Do you have any idea what a troll is?  I can't even fathom how you arrived at such a conclusion from reading what I wrote.

WCK619
WCK619

@nedrith @DrKill09 it's not simplistic. It is both complex and innovative. It's only simple in that it gives you simple tools, and allows you to be as simple as you wish. It also gives you a platform to be as complex and innovative as you want.

nedrith
nedrith

@sethbouldin @Senor_Kami I would also note there's a difference between knowing how to drive a car and having a license.  I don't have the latter but I surely know how to drive a car and have(not often however when the need arises).   


I live close enough to everywhere I need to go commonly and for the rest of the time a bus to the city takes care of everything, I'd rather not have to drive to the city anyways so not having a car is perfect.  Not to mention saving the money from both car payments and insurance is fantastic.  Also state's offer ID to those without license it works the same as a license except it's for ID only.  Not to mention as long as you look over 21 most places won't question you when you try to buy alcohol.

Kr0w1Nc4rNa73
Kr0w1Nc4rNa73

@Suikogaiden 

Pretty much. Rob Halford didn't get his license until he was 38.

SilenceLasting
SilenceLasting

@johnners2981" recorded revenue of $240 million in 2012, with pre-tax profits landing at around $92 million"

Pretax profits are 92 mil.  Which doesn't mean he will only get that much, but it means he will get at least that much but way less than 240.

Falru
Falru

@Rennar Funny how people always forget that Bill Gates made his own charity. They're too busy blaming him for Microsoft's business decisions even though he isn't even involved with them directly anymore (why should he be?)

eastlaw
eastlaw

@erix43

Stop being a freak and let people speak their minds in peace.

erix43
erix43

@jinzo9988 @erix43 

Well, you're on a game forum for fanboys, criticizing the game forum, if you don't like it, get the hell out of here. You're also talking about yourself and comparing yourself to this nice plump man after you make childish, ignorant comments telling us to be angry at Gamespot. Get the f*ck out of here, troll. 

dragonlance1989
dragonlance1989

@johnners2981 errr his PRE Tax profit is already stated at $92mil, so his actual profit is around $71mil. And yea there are ways to increase tax deductibles such as giving to charities =))))

johnners2981
johnners2981

@Senor_Kami @SilenceLasting  No but we can make a good guess. Corporation tax in sweden is 22%, so 92/78*100 = pre tax profits of $117 million. 

So costs are about $123 million and tax is only about $25 million. And I highly doubt the actual costs would be that high, lots of accounting methods to increase costs in order to pay less tax