Minecraft’s latest update has reportedly removed all references to its creator, Markus “Notch” Persson, from its loading screens.
Kotaku is reporting that as of yesterday’s 19w13a hot fix, some of the randomised messages that pop up on the loading screen – which had previously included phrases like “Made by Notch!” and “The Work Of Notch!” – no longer refer to Minecraft’s creator. He is, however, still listed as the game’s creator in Minecraft’s credits.
Persson hasn’t been involved in Minecraft’s development since Microsoft acquired developer Mojang five years ago, so it’s possible the changes are just reflecting the half-decade old change in leadership. Kotaku intimates the changes may also be due to Persson’s controversial debates on social media.
Minecraft is still going strong and still relevant, according to Microsoft. The creative playground was still logging over 90 million monthly users at the end of last year. Microsoft’s $2.5 billion (£1.9bn) purchase of Mojang back in 2014 was a huge sum to pay for what was, in essence, a one-game studio. It’s paying off, though; in 2018 alone the monthly player count has increased by around 20 million, and while there’s speculation about when – or whether – the game might see a sequel, Microsoft’s not talking about it yet.
“It’s something that always fractures the community”, Microsoft’s head of Minecraft, Helen Chiang said last year. “We don’t want to ask [players] to move from Minecraft 1 to Minecraft 2. We want them to just enjoy Minecraft. And there’s other ways that we can expand that are more meaningful and authentic to what we want to be, rather than just releasing another iteration in the way that most other franchises do.”