Thursday, January 3, 2013

When Notch stepped aside, legions of young Minecraft fans missed daddy

[Another post exhumed from deep in the drafts folder.]

In December 2011, Notch announced that he was stepping aside from Minecraft development:

Notch tweeted "As of yesterday, @jeb_ is the lead developer on Minecraft!" [Link no longer works due to Twitter's link rot.]

So although it had been telegraphed for weeks, when Notch himself finally announced it on Twitter and his blog, these young fans were left in a state of shock. Many were caught blindsided; the news item on the Minecraft Forum received over 500 comments, many to the effect that they "didn't see it coming."

Note the first four choices in this poll on the forum:
  • I miss him. D:
  • I kinda miss him
  • I think it'll be okay without him
The abandonment issues raised by Notch's move were so strong that many young fans were in denial. This was perfectly illustrated by a comment to an item in Blue's News:

Hes not abandoning it ether, hes still going to do work on it in addition to his new project, its just he wont be the lead man anymore.

The meme that Notch would "still do some work on Minecraft" appeared many times in posts on Minecraft Forum.

Apparently one characteristic when a game's community has a large percentage of younger players is that they will reject news from credible sources. This not only includes gaming news sites such as gamespy and IGN, but even Notch himself.

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