The Story of Mojang succeeds because it tells a human story that anyone with a creative outlet will be able to relate to.
As the self-descriptive title of this documentary suggests, the film deals with the developer behind one of the most popular games of the decade: Minecraft. Regardless of your familiarity (or lack thereof) with Minecraft, the independent game became such a cultural phenomenon that its success story is worth watching even if you don’t know a lot about it.
As you’d expect, this documentary features several interviews with people who worked on the game, including Marcus “Notch” Persson, but there are familiar faces that any fan of the game industry will immediately recognize, including Tim Schafer and Peter Molineux. Some of these interviews are fantastic not only because they provide insight on what working on the game was like, but also because it humanizes a game that a lot of people have no idea where it came from. So going back to early prototypes that led to the final version or listening to Notch explaining how he started programming has incredible value regardless of how you feel about the game itself. Ultimately, The Story of Mojang succeeds because this is a human story that anyone with a creative outlet will be able to relate to.
Also, I found fascinating how this indie game that came out of nowhere became something special to so many people in such a short time. The YouTube phenomenon, how Minecraft influenced dozens of other games, the visual mods available for the game, its ever evolving community and some of the insane creations that are possible is all captivating. This led to the creation of a game that quickly evolved into a platform. Several games have followed this model and they aren’t nearly as popular as Minecraft, but why? Well, Minecraft appears to be more than just a game. There’s something special about it and that’s what this documentary tries to explain in the form of different opinions from developers, creators, fans, teachers, students, livestreamers, journalists and so on.
It’s also great to see how Minecraft quickly evolved from a tiny experiment created by one person in his free time to get the attention and recognition of people from all over the world. At the time, no one from Mojang really knew what to expect, but it’s all interesting to see unfold from that perspective of the developers too.
So Minecraft: The Story of Mojang deals with the development of one of the most popular and unique games of the past few years, but it also provides insight in the current state of the video games industry and the people who made it what it is now. Trying to tell where it all leads is almost impossible, but if you want a glimpse of what just one person with a creative idea is capable of, this documentary won’t disappoint.
In conclusion, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang is a great documentary that focuses on one of the most popular games of the last decade or so and it’s worth watching regardless of what you know about it.