Notch for many people is almost a mythical character, but hardly anyone knows his really strange stories.
Each Minecraft player has entered “Minecraft for free” in Google at least once. 10 years ago it was a complete norm, back then there was one very specific version of the game that was completely free.
Only older players will remember that – MinecraftForFree.com was a Minecraft that could be played in the browser. The only limitation was that you couldn’t access the multiplayer servers.
How is this possible? Mojang gave you the option to play in the browser, so someone just copied all the files and launched their version of the game.
The site was incredibly popular and a lot of people used it. Its official statistics have never been made available, but the best proof of its popularity is the fact that in the search engine, after typing “minecraft”, the website was displayed higher than the official website of the game.
Mojang found out and threatened the developers of the site that if they do not disable it, they can expect legal consequences. The site was then created by a group called “Avolition”, which came up with an unusual idea.
The site was of course disabled, but Notch was challenged in an unusual way. It was about playing Quake’s best of 3 series. The rules were simple, if Avolition wins, the development team will get special capes. If Mojang wins, then “Avolition” will create a special song in honor of Notch. Nobody expected Notch… to accept the challenge.
This is how one day two, 3-person teams gathered, and instead of having lawsuits, a Quake game was simply played. VOD from these matches is still available, and it was a good 10 years ago.
Under the agreement, “Avolition” hired people to create a special song for Notch. It’s been a while, but you can still find it:
After these events, Mojang removed the ability to play Minecraft via the browser, the site was removed, and everyone departured in good spirits.