It’s 7 p.m. on a Monday in Stockholm, and Markus Persson sits on the terrace of his ninth-story office, sipping the speedball of alcoholic beverages, a vodka Red Bull. Three hours ago he committed to not drinking today, still in recovery from a 12-drink Thursday bender while nursing an ear infection. Yet here we are, embracing heavy-handed pours of Belvedere while surveying the workers in adjacent high-rises hacking away at their keyboards.
“He looks worried,” says Persson, pointing to a man in a building across the street rubbing his face and staring blankly into a computer screen.
After a few more seconds of looking at the man, Persson seems bothered by the scene and darts inside. For the better part of the last five years the 35-year-old Swede was that guy, a man who constantly stressed about his creation, Minecraft, the bestselling computer game of all time. Even calling it a game is too limiting. Minecraft became, with 100 million downloads and counting, a canvas for human expression.