- Hit video game Minecraft has removed references to its creator, Markus “Notch” Persson, from its splash screens, users have reported.
- In recent weeks, Persson has posted a series of offensive tweets, including one which read “I’d rather be a fascist c*** than have a feminine dick, so gladly!”
- Persson has also endorsed QAnon, a bizarre rightwing conspiracy theory that many US political figures are involved a pedophilia ring.
- Microsoft, which owns the Minecraft brand, did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
An update to Minecraft has removed references to its creator, Markus “Notch” Persson, from the hit game’s splash screens.
The update removes references to Notch from the yellow text that pops on the game’s opening screen. That text would display random messages, some of which read “Made by Notch!” or “The Work Of Notch!”
Persson is still referenced as the game’s creator in Minecraft’s credits.
Microsoft, which owns Minecraft, has yet to explain its decision. But the update coincides with the 39-year-old Swede posting a series of questionable remarks on social media in recent weeks.
On March 19, Persson tweeted “I’d rather be a fascist c*** than have a feminine dick, so gladly!” (the tweet has since been removed). In another tweet, which has also been deleted, Persson reportedly told his followers to “punch a commie”, only to backtrack three hours later by tweeting “(do not actually punch anyone).”
Many of Persson’s 3.7 million followers took issue with the tweets. One suggested that Persson take a break from Twitter “for [his] own health,” (a suggestion which Persson oddly retweeted himself).
Please take a break from tweeting for your own health thanks.
— Crab (@KhlwstyKrabs) March 20, 2019
In 2017, another controversial Persson tweet read “(pizzagate is real)”, thereby appearing to endorse an online conspiracy theory of the same name. The “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory – which came to prominence during the 2016 US presidential election cycle – falsely alleges that Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. hosts a child sex abuse ring intertwined with various members of the Democratic Party.
More recently, Persson appeared to endorse “QAnon”, a bizarre and incoherent conspiracy theory that top Hollywood and political figures are involved in pedophile rings and other conspiracies. “Q is legit,” he tweeted earlier in March.
(pizzagate is real)
— notch (@notch) August 25, 2017
Persson’s tweets are uncomfortable not least because Minecraft is a child-friendly game. The basic version of the game carries an E10+ age rating in the USA (meaning the game is deemed suitable for 10 year olds), while in Europe, it is deemed suitable for children aged seven and upwards.
Since Persson created Minecraft in 2011, it has gained a vast worldwide following, boasting 91 million active players as of October 2018. Known for its distinctive block-based open world, the game’s format is simple: mine and gather resources while building almost anything you like with what you gather. Players have no set goals, and it contains little in the way of violence.
Microsoft, which bought Minecraft for $2.5 billion in 2014, did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.