Markus "Notch" Persson, the Swedish indie developer who became an overnight star thanks to the world-conquering Minecraft, is feeling the pressure of fame. The revelation comes in a frank and candid interview with New Yorker magazine.
It's perhaps not surprising that he's feeling anxious about following up such an enormous hit. Minecraft has sold over twenty million copies across PC, Xbox 360 and mobile, earning Notch's studio, Mojang, a hefty £152m in 2012. He's currently ranked second, just behind Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, in Time magazine's poll to find the most influential people in the world.
"I'm starting to feel writer's block as a result," Notch told New Yorker. "I'm not sure if it's pressure to repeat - actually, it is the pressure to repeat. With Minecraft it was just easier, because nobody knew who I was. Now I post a new idea and millions of people scrutinize it. There's a conflict between the joy of being able to do whatever I want and the remarkable pressure of a watching world. I don't know how to switch it off."
The Minecraft success story doesn't look like it will be ending any time soon. Xbox 360 owners who are unable to download the game will soon get the chance to join in as well, when Minecraft Xbox 360 edition comes to shops in a retail disc version. That's expected to launch in June, delayed from this month in order to include as many gameplay updates as possible.