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Minecraft creator has “writer’s block”, feels “remarkable pressure”

Monday, 15th April 2013 02:46 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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.

The swedish designer looks set to rank highly in Time’s 2013 top 100 list of influential figures.

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11 Comments

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  1. Diingo

    Perhaps the next wave of indie developers will be anonymity.

    Rule 1: Stay low
    2: Keep quiet
    3: Create amazing games.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. xBASSxMONSTAx

    Just make Minecraft 2 for next gen.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Sanwiches

    what’s Minecraft 2? everything in spheres instead of cubes?

    #3 1 year ago
  4. SeWICX

    LoL..

    This guy got lucky, he got hes one hit wonder.
    Just because he had succses with Minecraft, does not mean he is able to make good games every time.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. YoungZer0

    He should chill out. He already achieved what most couldn’t even dream of. Relax, make the game you want to make and don’t let that one game get in your way. I think nobody expects you to top Minecraft and you shouldn’t even try that. Minecraft was a luckyshot, a success no one expected. You can’t do something like that twice.

    Personally I don’t like minecraft. I think it’s boring, but I understand the appeal.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. silkvg247

    If I were him I’d stick to minecraft and expand on it. Introduce technology to leave the planet and find other planets which look and feel and behave differently – introducing new crafting and bad guys.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. mathare92

    The article is really worth a read in its entirety. There’s a particularly somber section about his dad’s tragic passing.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Hybridpsycho

    It’s because he in actuality doesn’t know shit about game-design.

    He’ll learn and he’ll get there.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. xxJPRACERxx

    Just make a new game under a different name?

    #9 1 year ago
  10. roadkill

    Notch just step back and remember why you started making games. F**k whatever people say! The most important thing is for you to be happy. I haven’t played MC but as far as I know people love it. You gave enough to humanity. Cheers!

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Cobra951

    @7: Thank you. The full article is indeed very worthwhile.

    #11 1 year ago