In a recent update to the popular game Minecraft, changes were made to remove any reference to the game’s creator from the game’s splash screens.
On March 27th, Mojang AB released the 19w13a snapshot update for Minecraft to players worldwide, adding new features such as a new effect called Hero of the Village, changes to raids based on a player’s selected difficulty, and numerous bug fixes and gameplay improvements. Among the list of changes and improvements, one particular change stood out to fans: the removal of any reference to Minecraft creator and Mojang AB founder Markus “Notch” Persson.
However, this decision was not detailed by Mojang customer support agent Adrian Östergård in an official blog post detailing the 19w13a update, who omitted any information regarding the removal of references to Persson. Instead, the change was discovered on the Minecraft Gamepedia page for 19w13a:
While the splash screens will remove any reference to Persson, it is important to note that his name remains listed as the game’s creator in the game’s credit.
No official explanation was given as to why the references to Persson were removed, but many have speculated that it is due to Notch’s public rhetoric in the years since he sold Minecraft to Microsoft (a sale for which Persson received $2.5 billion). Persson is an active user on Twitter and has been unapologetically upfront with his criticisms of liberal policies and social justice ideology:
Evil calls itself communism to hide. By making itself appear to strive for the best, it becomes beyond critique. That’s why the scum gathers there. That’s why is [sp] is Legion.
– notch (@notch) March 20, 2019
You have to have a job though, you have to send your kids to school, because you use that stuff daily, and the insurances you love so much also need to get paid.
If you think socialism is better to the people, it’s not. Is this system of dependence to the maximum.
— notch (@notch) March 9, 2019
Q is legit. Don’t trust the media.
— notch (@notch) March 2, 2019
Yup. The left is evil.
Most on the left are not evil, they just think they’re stuck there.
Thinking they’re stuck there also applies to the right, which will turn that evil too in time.
There are no sides. https://t.co/olCwwGrJPQ
— notch (@notch) June 23, 2018
Neither of those accusations fit the definitions of neither nazi nor alt-right. I flirt with everybody regardless of political views, and I refuse to on command condemn anything people order me to condemn.
What you actually mean to say is “you are not one of us”
— notch (@notch) March 1, 2018
— notch (@notch) July 8, 2017
Said criticisms have led to Persson being labeled as a Nazi, white-supremacist, and anti-trans bigot, despite the fact that he has never endorsed or supported said discriminatory ideologies.
Following the publishing of the changelog, Persson himself would personally comment on the matter on Twitter, indicating that the situation was a “win-win” for himself:
My options here are to keep my name on a thing I’m proud of, or to get less tightly associated to one of my products, so it’s win-win.
— notch (@notch) March 27, 2019
Persson also noted that he believed 2019 has been a bad year for Minecraft before reminding players that the game belongs to the fans:
Nah just kidding this year sucked for it.
To worried fans: remember it’s yours, not theirs.
You make your own adventures in there, and anywhere else you go. https://t.co/yp6awyRiIn
— notch (@notch) March 27, 2019
What do you make of Microsoft removing Notch from splash screens?