Today Notch announced, in a rather long post in his blog, that he was to hire several people and start up a proper company. Farther down his post, he mentions he wants to invest–money I would imagine, See the Brazilian Server List for minecraft pc and pe servers. and probably time too–into a game a friend of his is doing. At least that’s what I understood.
Although I do admire the man for his talent, it seems to me he is oblivious of the pitfalls.
But before I go on I would like to point out, rather vehemently, that the following is not to put him down. I am merely stating what I believe is happening and of things I see. Again, I admire the person behind what is Minecraft, but because of this I simply cannot close my eyes to the rest. I will not bow down and worship him as a god, as some users do in the official forums or in the comments section of his blog. I have never done this and will never do so for anyone. I am certain Markus is a good person, but he needs to adjust his perspective and his priorities.
Markus. Please. Reconsider before starting and also investing in a company. I’ve had three and I know how it works. Maybe things are different in Sweden, but I doubt the gaps would justify throwing yourself head first into the corporate world. Managing a company is never easy. It’s rarely a walk in the park and it sure impossible to do all those required tasks in a snap. Your coding time will vaporize that’s a certainty. If you want an advice, hire someone to take care of the daily affairs. Maybe your wife/girlfriend would be willing to jump into the boat. But then again, it’s preferable if it’s someone who has never heard of you. Someone objective. Someone who will not be afraid to either hurt your feelings or contrary you; but ultimately someone who will want you and Minecraft to succeed. You need someone who has the experience administering a business in Sweden and with the global market (that would be in the perfect world). Just don’t cross that bridge by yourself. You’re likely to fall off and drown. Which is something nobody wants. Not us your fans and I’m pretty sure not you either.
One of the reason Mojang Specification (maybe?) is going into a full-fledge company is that Valve’s offer was so interesting that he accepted it, but he needed to have an official company registered so he could be bought. That I doubt but it is in the realm of possibilities.
Finally, I’ve read many posts and comments about his feelings for the community and, to be bluntly honest, I’m starting to believe that, either those were only sweet words launched into the air to appease the mob–making an appearance on the forums or in IRC to show people he’s alive, or maybe it was really the initial intention: talk and exchange ideas with visitors on his site or IRC, listening, pondering what was suggested. Lately–in the weeks I have owned Minecraft, visited the official forums daily, helping poor users unable to play the game then starting this site–I have never seen Notch visit the forums. I know he did so after I tweeted him I had compiled a list of Alpha bugs and slightly after that he visited the forums again a bit to prepare “MinecraftCon 2010″; an understandable and good decision. But I’ve also asked him to link minecrafthelp.info to the community pages of the official site and I have never received either an acknowledgment or a complain why he didn’t do so. Where is that community sense? I am starting to wonder if all money has changed Notch. He is a millionaire now. That’s a fact. At least he earned a million euros selling Minecraft to a hoard of gamers. Now if he still has that much is a different story and it’s also none of our business. But it is also a fact that money changes people. So I wonder. Is this the case here? Then again maybe he just hates me for some obscure reason.
Hopefully I’m wrong on all accounts. But if there’s one thing I’d like to see is contemplating Notch fully involved into Minecraft’s development, not the day to day administration and management of a gaming company. He is not a Bobby Kotick, that’s for sure (anybody with a brain and a heart can’t be Kotick), but if Markus goes the way of taking care of the real business, I am somehow seeing gloomy days for Minecraft. There are only 24 hours in a day and a man can’t do everything at once. It’s not a bad vote on the person, but I do think a reevaluation of priorities is in order.
We’ll see what the future holds.