I wanted to wrap up my Developer Appreciation Week posts by sending a heart felt thanks to Markus “Notch” Persson and the rest of the team at Mojang: Daniel Frisk, Daniel Kaplan, Jakob Porser, Jens Bergensten, Junkboy, Carl Manneh, and Tobias Mollstam.
Notch started out developing Minecraft as a one-man shop. Like most developers he was not too concerned about the business aspects of things and very open about his sales and what he was working on. When Minecraft’s popularity exploded, he didn’t change that. He started a company and hired a small staff to help. This is the point where Notch could easily have pulled back from the community but hasn’t.
The entire Mojang team is on Twitter, check out Daniel Kaplan’s Mojang list to see the public company discussions. Notch still keeps up on his blog, although he did have to turn off comments (no loss there given some of the commenters that I read), and the stats page is still ticking off registered users and sales. He’s shown up on Reddit a few times, and is active with the Minecraft player community on Twitter. Just last week, I highlighted some posts from Jens about wolves, and several recent features like beds and cake have come about from interactions with the player community.
As much as I enjoy playing Minecraft, seeing how Markus has handled his success has been nearly as interesting. Go watch the twenty minute short documentary if you want to see what I mean.