There’s a cold wind blowing through Södermalm in Stockholm.
The entry phone that has apparently never worked is still playing up and I eventually dash in the next time it opens, climb a flight of stairs and knock on the door.
In the run down, four room apartment on Åsögatan that usually resembles a youth club, there are today three illustrators working quietly at their desks.
“It was really warm when we moved in, and they probably hadn’t aired the place that much,” says Mikael S Eriksson, who runs Rithuset, a company located at the same address that one of Sweden’s most talked about Internet companies took its very first steps towards an unlikely gaming empire in the 21st century.
There is a small piece of the chunky Minecraft imagery wallpaper that’s been salvaged and framed, along with a coffee cup with the word ‘Mojang’ on it.
“At first, tourists would show up here wanting to see the place. For example, an American family knocked on the door one day,” continues Mikael S Eriksson. “There’s something almost religious about Minecraft’s and Mojang’s successes. Hope it’s contagious.”
“But it must have been crowded for them towards the end, more than 20 people and just one bathroom,” adds colleague Stefan Hörberg, and points. “He sat there.”
When Microsoft bought Mojang in September for almost SEK 18 billion, Minecraft didn’t just become the biggest Swedish gaming success in history, the legend of the man in the hat, the unknown hobby programmer who became a superstar and multimillionaire, entered a new chapter.
But tell me one story that is a success from start to finish.
“All the kids know what Minecraft is and that Markus spent his first few years of school here.”
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