PayPal Freezes $750K in MineCraft Dev's Account

| 10 Sep 2010 15:37

The creator of MineCraft has run into a bit of a snag with PayPal, which has frozen his account with over $763,000 in it and refuses to let him touch it.

Because it's a struggle for me to scrape together 750 bucks, much less 750 thousand, I can't really imagine how much it would suck to have it but not be able to get at it. So I'll let MineCraft creator Markus Persson describe the situation in his own words.

"Paypal. On the 25th, they limited my account for unspecified reasons (a suspicious withdrawal or deposit! wow, thank you for that amazingly detailed information), and asked me for a bunch of vague documents. I did my best to give them what they asked for," he wrote on his blog. "My account is still limited. I've called them three times, they keep telling me it's being reviewed. Most recently they told me it'd take up to two more weeks for it to get resolved, and that if they decide something bad's being going on, they're going to keep the money. There's over 600000 euro in there. Money I was planning on investing in the new company."

In response to people suggesting that it's somehow his own fault for letting all that money build up in a PayPal account, Persson noted that he actually clears out his account every week. "They limited my account just as sales started spiking, so this money has accumulated since they limited the account," he said.

One obvious question emerges from Persson's ongoing troubles with PayPal: How the hell does one guy rack up more than three quarters of a million dollars off a single indie game? My first thought was that it had to be a typo, but apparently MineCraft is just a really good game. As one commenter on Slashdot noted, "I bought the game a couple of months ago and every other game in my collection had been neglected... Single player is an amazing time waster, it's so easy to get completely sucked into a world made up of giant pixels. It's one of the best indie games I've ever tried and it's made by just one guy."

Persson said he's sure he'll get things sorted out, but described the situation as "kind of frustrating" in the meantime. Hopefully he'll have better luck than Something Awful did during its 2005 run-in with PayPal: After raising over $30,000 in nine hours to aid Red Cross efforts following Hurricane Katrina, SA's PayPal account was frozen for suspicious activity, ultimately resulting in all donated funds, minus service fees, being returned to donators.

Comments on