The first working name for Minecraft was a strange one


Shawn Farner

Writer and Storywriter


It may be hard to believe, but Minecraft is well over a decade old at this point. If you’re pretty new to the franchise, you may not be all that familiar with its history — how it came to be in the first place. You may be surprised to learn that Minecraft was a pretty big deal even before Microsoft purchased it and developer Mojang in 2014. And you may not know that the first working name for Minecraft was actually something totally different. The game everyone knows today was called something else before it really took off.

The first working name for Minecraft was a strange one

Minecraft creator Notch has been the source of much controversy since he sold his game and his company many years ago. Back when he wasn’t stirring up so much trouble, though, he wrote on his blog about the early development of Minecraft and, more notably, how the project morphed from an “old prototype” into something more solid.

The first working name for Minecraft

His original concept was called RubyDung, and according to Notch, it “was supposed to be a base building game inspired by Dwarf Fortress.” After playing another game called Infiniminer, though, he realized he wanted RubyDung to be more like that.

The first working name for Minecraft

He used a lot of his work from that project to start something new with a first-person perspective and the blocky, pixelated graphics that Minecraft is now known for. And the rest, you could say, is history.

Notch released his early takes on Minecraft and found that “the response was very positive.” The game only got bigger from there — so much so that Microsoft forked over $2.5 billion for it.

Now you know the first working name for Minecraft

Games are weird, right? This title that has since exploded in popularity, is available on just about every platform, and is the gold standard for imaginative software almost never came to be. In some alternate universe, maybe Minecraft doesn’t exist at all and that old Notch project never reaches the same heights.

At any rate, now when you’re talking about Minecraft with a friend, you have a neat bit of trivia you can bring up. The first working name for Minecraft actually wasn’t Minecraft: it was RubyDung.

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