Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has said the huge success of the sandbox title has affected his ability to work on new games.
In a lengthy and interesting profile piece in the New Yorker, Persson said that Minecraft’s cucess was “a freak thing” and could not be reproduced intentionally.
“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,” he said.
“With Minecraft it was just easier, because nobody knew who I was. Now I post a new idea and millions of people scrutinize it. 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.”
Maybe that’s why 0x10c has gone back under the radar?
Expectation isn’t the only thing dogging Notch since his sudden rise to gaming stardom; his approval can make or break other fledgling indies, and judging when to wield this power is a tricky business.
“I try to tweet about the games I love and feel passionate about. But it got to the stage where I could ‘make’ a small studio, and so it began to feel like a duty. I started promoting games that I wasn’t so enthusiastic about,” he admitted.
You’re probably going to get a nosebleed from scoffing hard enough to burst blood vessels when you read this one, but Notch also has trouble figuring out what to do with the oodles of money he makes.
“At first, I had a really hard time spending any of the profits. Also, what if the game stopped selling? But after a while, I thought about all of the things I’d wanted to do before I had money. So I introduced a rule: I’m allowed to spend half of anything I make. That way I will never be broke. Even if I spend extravagant amounts of money, I will still have extravagant amounts of money,” he said.
Notch spreads his cash around; one year, he gave his Mojang earnings back to his employees; he gave $250,000 to the EFF; and even funds other studios.