Minecraft creator scrubbed from hit game over offensive ‘comments and opinions’
Markus Persson, the billionaire creator of Minecraft, has been removed from the game’s credits and events after making a series of offensive online comments.
The Swedish developer is known for his inflammatory tweets but recent statements regarding transgender people and women have attracted particular controversy.
These include: “If we were allowed to discuss IQ differences between populations, there’d be fewer conspiracy theories”, claiming that transgender people were using the “wrong pronouns” and celebrating International Women’s Day by stating “you’re an inspiration and a cook”. In December he said: “There clearly is an agenda against white men.”
Mr Persson sold the block building game to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014 after it became a smash hit. It has more than 91m monthly active users and is one of the best selling video games in history, second only to Tetris.
Fans noticed Persson’s name had been removed from Minecraft’s credits in March. A Microsoft spokesperson on Monday confirmed that the 40-year-old would not be partaking in the games’ tenth anniversary event on May 17 in Minecraft studio Mojang in Stockholm.
“His comments and opinions do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang and are not representative of ‘Minecraft,” a Microsoft spokesman told Variety.
After giving up his share Persson, who owned around two thirds of the company, wrote a blogpost saying he did not sell for the money but to save “his sanity” adding: “I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.”
Persson reportedly bought a $70m mansion in Beverly Hills with his spoils in 2015. But a series of candid tweets later that year suggested he was struggling with his new found wealth.
He wrote: “Hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I’ve never felt more isolated.”
Minecraft lets players build worlds made of virtual blocks, fight zombies and spawn various creatures. It sparked a trend on Google-owned YouTube, where channels broadcasting fans playing the game has garnered millions of subscribers.