In an unusual move, Microsoft have remove almost all mentions of Markus “Notch” Persson from Minecraft, the smash hit game that propelled him to fame and riches at the start of the decade. Though he hasn’t worked on the game since selling it and development studio Mojang to Microsoft in 2014, his role in the game’s creation has still been felt through randomised messages like “Made by Notch!” on the game’s splash screens. He is still listed in the game’s credits, but all other mentions to him have been scrubbed in the latest 19w13a snapshot update on PC.
While this makes sense from one perspective, that he hasn’t had a hand in the game’s development for five years and that it’s now a part of and developed by a huge international company, it’s also likely that Notch himself is part of the reason. Since selling the company he has made numerous controversial statements on Twitter that not only cut against the political grain of an admittedly left leaning games media, but also do so in a vitriolic and abusive manner (to put it mildly).
When Minecraft is held up as a family friendly game that is open to and enjoyed by millions of young children, having it overtly tied to a creator with this public image isn’t the best idea.
Having been asked for comment by Kotaku, Microsoft have not yet issued a statement on the change.