Blocky sandbox game Minecraft is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Microsoft is planning to celebrate with a press event at the Mojang studio in Stockholm on May 17. But according to Variety, one notable person won’t be there: Markus “Notch” Persson, who sold the game he created and the company he built to Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
This is no accident. A Microsoft spokesperson told Variety that the reason for his exclusion is the “comments and opinions” Persson has expressed on Twitter, saying that they “do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang, and are not representative of Minecraft.”
Back in March, a number of references to Persson were removed from the game. Microsoft made no statement at the time, but it’s believed to be for the same reason.
Since becoming a billionaire, Persson has earned something of a bad reputation. Shortly before the in-game references were removed, he made such family-friendly tweets as “I’d rather be a fascist cunt than have a feminine dick” (though this was subsequently deleted), and he has tweeted endorsements of both the Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracy theories. He has propagated the false claim that people face fines for “using the wrong pronouns” to refer to trans people. Persson has also tweeted right-wing slogans such as “It’s OK to be white,” and he’s said that anyone who recognizes systemic racial biases and imbalance within Western society is racist. In 2017, he tweeted, “If you’re against the concept of a #HeterosexualPrideDay, you’re a complete fucking cunt and deserve to be shot,” though this, too, was subsequently deleted.
Persson’s name can still be found within the credits of the game, but this appears to be the full extent of the association Microsoft wishes to have with him.