And finally… ’It’s boring being a billionaire’, says billionaire
Markus Persson, the 36-year-old creator of internet gaming sensation Minecraft, has taken to Twitter to complain of how super-wealth has brought him only boredom and loneliness.
Despite selling the massively popular virtual-building game to Microsoft for $2.5 billion, Persson says he has nothing to do all day, while his former employees loathe him because, unusually for the tech world, staff were not equity holders in the company so could not share in the windfall enjoyed by the founders, prompting deep resentment among those left behind.
He said he also feels cut off from his old friends, explaining: “In Sweden, I will sit around and wait for my friends with jobs and families to have time to do shit, watching my reflection in the monitor”, he said, before adding that he had “found a great girl, but she’s afraid of me and my lifestyle and went with a normal person instead”.
Mr Persson also said he had grown tired of “hanging out in Ibiza with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want” and claims he has “never felt more isolated” since he sold his 71 per cent share in Mojang, the Stockholm-based studio that runs Minecraft.
Mr Persson, who is known to the game’s global hordes of players as “Notch”, is a school dropout who taught himself to code. He started work on Minecraft, a sort of virtual Lego kit, after work at his day job and launched it on an independent site six years ago.
“When we sold the company, the biggest effort went into making sure the employees got taken care of, and they all hate me now.”
He has apparently spent more than $180,000 in a single night in a Las Vegas nightclub and splurged on even bigger nights in, with celebrities including Selena Gomez and the skateboarder Tony Hawk showing up at his new Los Angeles home.
Players work alone or together to create new homes, palaces and worlds, fending off zombies or building in peace if they prefer.
Estimates suggest that it has more than 100 million users and by some calculations is the bestselling computer game ever, despite its simple graphics, few rules, no clear narrative and no advertising.
Warner Bros is working on a film and in May Minecraft-related YouTube videos were watched 4 billion times, according to a research group.