Minecraft mastermind to recieve BAFTA special award

Minecraft mastermind to recieve BAFTA special award

Markus Persson, the Swedish developer behind the phenomenally successful game Minecraft, is to be given the Special Award at the GAME British Academy Video Games Awards on Friday 16 March 2012.

32 year-old Persson started his career in games programming at and jAlbum where he developed games including 'Funny Farm', 'Luxor' and 'Carnival Shootout'.  After leaving the company, Persson designed and released an unfinished version of his block-building construction game 'Minecraft' in May 2009. BAFTA's Special Award, which is presented to an individual for their creative contribution to the industry, highlights 'Minecraft' as a standout accomplishment in Persson's career.

Despite remaining unfinished, 'Minecraft' is continually updated and since its first release has amassed over 16 million registered users who have built everything from the Taj Mahal to the Starship Enterprise within the game.

The game now brings in revenues of around R2.25 per day and to date has made R868 million.

'Minecraft's success has allowed Persson, dubbed the poster-boy of digital distribution, to create his own development company, Mojang Specifications, and secure merchandising contracts with companies such as The Lego Group.

On being invited to receive the Special Award, Persson said: "I've always considered the BAFTA Awards to be one of the most prestigious awards one can receive, and I was very happy when it expanded to cover video games in 1998. When I first heard that I would receive a BAFTA Special Award, I was blown away and deeply humbled.  Going to London to accept this award is going to be a very positive and interesting experience that I'm very much looking forward to."

Ray Maguire, Chair of the BAFTA Video Games Committee, said: "Markus is an inspiration for all games developers and this Award reflects the determination and innovation that he continues to show to both the developer community and to gamers worldwide. We are thrilled that he will accept this Award and are excited to see what new developments he will introduce to the industry in years to come."

The GAME British Academy Video Games Awards will take place on Friday 16 March 2012 at the London Hilton on Park Lane and, for the fourth year running, will be hosted by comedian and gamer Dara O'Briain.

Date Posted : 05 Mar 2012