The creators of the bestselling video game Minecraft are to start an airline, according to Swedish media reports. Markus Persson and Jakob Porser have registered a new company with the purpose of leasing aircraft.
The Swedish duo were made into multimillionaires following last November’s successful sale of the Minecraft video game developer Mojang to Microsoft for $2.5 billion.
Since then, Persson has purchased a holiday home in Beverly Hills reportedly worth $70 million and outbidding pop stars Beyoncé and Jay-Z in the process. Porser has spent some of his fortune investing in Luleå Hockey, the Swedish ice hockey team he has supported since childhood. Other than that, the pair has largely avoided media attention.
Their latest business move takes them away from the world of video gaming. The Stockholm business daily Dagens Industri reports that the pair have registered a company called Notch Air AB with Swedish authorities. The paperwork states that the firm, which takes its name from Persson’s nickname, ‘Notch’, will primarily deal with aviation and specifically aircraft leasing.
The newspaper reports that Persson controls all the shares in Notch Air AB through his company Notch Enterprises AB, which he also uses to manage his share of the profits from Minecraft’s sale. It says that Sweden’s Transport Agency, which regulates civil aviation in the country, has confirmed that the company does not own any registered aircraft as yet.
In Markus Persson’s case, this apparent move into aviation might be part of realising a dream. Swedish media reports that Persson has a well known love for flying in private jets. During his time at Mojang, he was a frequent user of private jets and paid for private jet journeys for Mojang employees, friends and other gaming developers.
The pair has remained tight-lipped on how they envisage Notch Air AB to operate, with Persson not responding to Swedish newspaper enquiries and Porser simply stating that he has no wish to comment. Some Swedish commentators have speculated the whole thing may simply be an elaborate joke.
(James Gardner contributed to this story and provided translation support)