Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 25, 2014
arrowPress Releases
July 25, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 Minecraft  creator shares his personal dividends of $3M among staff
Minecraft creator shares his personal dividends of $3M among staff
March 2, 2012 | By Mike Rose

March 2, 2012 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    26 comments
More:



Newsbrief: Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator behind indie hit Minecraft, has distributed his notable personal dividends of $3 million to the rest of his Mojang team.

Persson revealed the act via Twitter, explaining, "Every single Mojangsta is a massive part of the reason Mojang is the best place on earth to work at right now."

He distributed the dividends from the last fiscal year as part of the team's celebrations of Minecraft sales surpassing 5 million units for the browser version.


Related Jobs

Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment — Irvine, California, United States
[07.25.14]

Test Engineer
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment — Irvine, California, United States
[07.25.14]

Quality Assurance Analyst
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment — Irvine, California, United States
[07.25.14]

Test Manager, Quality Assurance
Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Entertainment — Irvine, California, United States
[07.25.14]

Software Engineering Manager










Comments


Sean Davis
profile image
Now THAT is how you keep your employees happy. Take notes Corporate America. Take serious notes.

Philip Wilson
profile image
Corporate America? Shoot...more like corporations in general that don't treat their employees with respect or reward them with profit sharing and/or meaningful perks, etc.

Micah Wright
profile image
No no no... he's supposed to LAY OFF all of his workers and give himself a $300 million bonus. What doesn't this guy understand about how game company executives are supposed to behave?

Brian Pace
profile image
This is why I like notch he makes it a point to go against the grain when it comes to greed and corruption in the game industry. From all his actions I read about in the media like challenging Bethesda to a quake match instead of going to court, teasing Bleszinski about a gray gears of war 3 and on numerous occasions he tries to be the top bidder on humble bundle. He seem like a really good guy who just wants to have fun, make/play games and share the wealth.

Harry Fields
profile image
free-market capitalism with a personal sense of social responsibility... wish more top dogs were like Notch. The world would be a much better place.

Evan Combs
profile image
That is exactly the kind of person I want to be and inspire others to be. Capitalism is the best system when you have good people in power, and not businessmen and politicians. That though is the biggest fault of capitalism (or really any system), those who should be in power typically aren't the kind of people who want to be in power.

Ramon Carroll
profile image
Actually, the true problem with unrestricted and unregulated capitalism is that it assumes that those in power follow the same ethics as someone like Notch.

Marc-Andre Caron
profile image
May Notch inspire more business owners in our industry and inspire more creative individuals to run their business. Too many MBA types run sweatshops in the hopes of cashing in quickly by selling their "baby" to the first big publisher who comes-a-knocking.

sean lindskog
profile image
Wow.
This man is an inspiration.

Carlo Delallana
profile image
...and the Legend of Notch continues to grow. At least i know where my money's going when i decide to support Mojang. Sending good vibes over there for continued success!

Philippe-Olivier Blanchet
profile image
It's never easy to go against the current on a first post, but I thought this would make for an interesting, polite discussion.

I'm not fully aware of Mojang's policies for employment or it's financial structure, so if anyone has more information on that matter it would be welcome. However, I can't help having mixed feelings about this news. I can see how honorable this gesture is if I take on the role of a gaming industry worker, but as a financial analyst, I can't say I completely approve.

Now,my goal here is not to start a debate on capitalism or on to give a lecture on the theory of signals in dividend redistribution, but if I go back to Finance 101 on the redistribution of excess revenue you either:

A) reinvest in future projects that have a decent expected return towards risk

B) give it back to your investors so they can invest it as they please if you do not have any decent projects

I doubt Mojang's is ruining out of ideas, or that the company is fueled by simple growth, but wouldn't it be better for the future of the company, and so the future of the employees' job, to reinvest this $3 millions towards stabilization?

Of course, we can't say that employees are investors in this situation, but let's say that instead of giving the money directly to the employees, you invest it in your employee benefit and compensation program. It directly benefits the workforce, but also gives them an incentive to stay with the company, rather then cashing in the big check and leave for another job. If you stretch it a bit, it does sound like a "teach a man how to fish" situation.

I'm no expert in term of HR policies and remunerations, nor am I acknowledge in the fiscal policies of Sweden so I can't make any assumptions on their impact on such a decision. Again, I'm not condemning the gesture, I am only stating that it does send mixed signals in a financial point of view, and if the main goal was toward redistribution of wealth, I'm not sure it is the wisest decision on the long run.

Stephen Chin
profile image
I would agree but note that he's giving away his personal dividends not his company's. Basically, he's giving away his cut of the money that was bookmarked for employee payroll. This, of course, is different than giving away all of their revenue.

Philippe-Olivier Blanchet
profile image
Then can we make the assumption that theses personal dividends come from his share of Mojang, i.e. not from other stock investments? If so, I think my point is still valid, but that's something that would be hard to verify.

Daniel Gooding
profile image
I'm no financial analyst.

But seems to me, putting the money into the companies financial growth would be more geared towards growing the company, hiring on new people, and making a requirement to make better selling games.

Perhaps Notch is not interested in hiring new employees, or trying to make blockbuster games.

Now he has 16 of his close friends that can stay and make games with him easily for the next 6-10 years depending on their spending habits without having to worry about whether a game flops, or whether it sells amazingly.

Why would they leave a work environment like that?

Also seems like if they all just got a pretty nice check, they can pay their own medical/dental plans.

Philippe-Olivier Blanchet
profile image
Like I stated previously, I don't think Mojang is fueled by growth, but stabilization of activities doesn't have to come with hiring new employees. It can be used towards innovation, or to take away the many obstacles that limits the creativity of your staff. In that case, we could talk about making commodities accessible, or simply offer better equipment.

Would employees stay based upon friendship? That's a good question, and it would be easy to fall into personal experience here (for both sides of the medal). Business among friends or family is in any case a double edge sword.

That being said, if the money is split evenly between theses 16 friends, not counting Notch, we have an amount of 187 500$ before taxes per person. That's a nice year indeed. You give that amount to a financial enthusiast, he'll probably be able to secure it for the next 5 years ( or the next 5 hours in some cases). Anyone else would probably contact his bank account manager and plan it out.

However, they would not benefit from the same advantages if they had a common pool of money managed by the same portfolio manager (lower management cost, access to better products,access to better services, etc.). 3 M$ is a nice financial lever and if some of it can be guaranteed by the company, it is more beneficial for everyone in the long run.

Notch comes as a good guy with good intentions, but it would be sad to see a unique company like Mojang disappear because of questionable decisions. Then again, a lot of assumptions are made here.

Achilles de Flandres
profile image
I like the way this man treats his employees. This makes me want to buy Mojang games knowing it will be money will spent (and distributed).

Kevin Gallant
profile image
Corporate role model. Reward those who have passion to make great games.

Matthew Cooper
profile image
Amend the Constitution. Notch for Prez 2012.

Glenn Sturgeon
profile image
Its nice to see there are still successful people, who understand the impact the people around them have. After this i bet he gets a mass flood of resume's from people trying to get a job there. lol

Brian Stabile
profile image
What reason would Notch have NOT to be a nice guy? Trust me, I'd be extremely generous too if I made millions practically overnight off of an unfinished game as well!

Evan Combs
profile image
Look at the vast majority of CEO's in the vast majority of industries. Typically the people who make the most money are not the nicest of people. When as a society we don't consider what kind of person or company we are buying from the sharks are going to rise to the top while the good guys sink.

Ramon Carroll
profile image
Brian,

Most (but not all, of course) of today's millionaire and billionaire CEOs repay their employees by cutting wages, medical insurance benefits, and/or laying them off so they can either:

A. Replace them with computer programs that don't ask for medical benefits or minimum wages, or
B. Replace them with overseas workers who will work for pennies and no medical benefits

All this just so they can make another couple million and start the process all over again.

Notch is more like you and me than you probably care to admit, which is why he's considered a legend in our circles. He's the average game designer who just loves games. Why turn on him for his success? Are you jealous?

Philip Michael Norris
profile image
Hire me!

Justin Meiners
profile image
I love how you guys are trying to call out corporate leaders with this example. First of all if some big company gets rich making a game or something does that mean you all of a sudden have less money? No the industry gets more jobs and you get more games. Second the two are uncomparable:Corporations have thousands of employees, trying to distribute a CEOS dividends would end up with like 100 bucks per person in their company? Sounds like money well spentNotch has like 6 friends for employees who he hangs out with in his one room office everyday. All small businesses I have worked for give much more bonuses etc than bigger companies, its just how it works.

Matthew Mouras
profile image
Would have to say that my own person experience has been very different from yours. I worked for a number of small businesses when I first began my career. I received my first bonus 10 years into my working life when I took a job at a massive fortune 500.

Kostas Yiatilis
profile image
Well if he treats his people like this he also creates a value around his name and company. A lot of people (in thread too) said: hire me!. If you want to work for him, he will gather top talent.

For years companies have gathered top talent because they made cool games, something that has started to die out as we grow closer to the movie industry model (assemble team per project). A lot of cool places have started to look like factories and jobs in companies not always running to meet an impossible deadline are scarce. Coupled with the fact that you may be screwed over by the publishers, instead of a bonus you get the boot and huge padded games that seem to be milking a franchise, the game industry doesn't look like a fun place to work anymore.

More and more people stop and read a few articles before taking the leap and fear they will never make it. Gone are the days of team members getting slices of the pie, so you have to either go indie or settle. Enter Notch, hi guys, I'm so cool I even gave 3mil away no sweat, want to come work for me now? Suddenly there is a place that looks like Utopia: focused games, less overhead, less rush, more money, casual atmosphere and you get something that existed maybe 10-12 years ago.

I can see this as an investment in the company's image, his own (they seem indistinguishable sometimes), the attractiveness to top talent and team moral.

When you see Bobby, from Acti-Lizzard, buying and selling stock overnight, making millions and then shutting down acquisitions (smaller studios) that don't make flagship-mothership franchises, you can easily see who you would pick to work with. Compared to the majority of greedy scum CEOs, Notch is GOD.


none
 
Comment: