For most teenagers Minecraft remains just a hobby, but one Ukrainian schoolboy’s love for the game has meant he can now afford to buy his homeless mother a house.
Lomond School pupil Maksym Gavrylenko has made a “substantial” sum after selling the server he ran from his bedroom, which allows gamers from all over the world to connect to and play together on, with friends.
The 17-year-old boarding school pupil said: “I am very proud that I was able to turn my passion into a profitable business and I plan on treating my mother.
“As a result of the war, she was forced to flee her home, leaving her homeless, so to buy her a property will make all the hours spent on this project worthwhile.”
She is currently staying with friends in Portugal, but intends to settle close to her son.
Other family members of Maksym’s remain in his war-torn homeland.
His grandparents would not leave Kyiv, having lived there their whole lives, and his sister stayed in the country as her partner had to sign up to defend Ukraine.
Making enough money from selling the gaming company he set up to buy his mother a house was something he never expected, the teenager said, with he and his friends embarking upon the project for fun.
“We never imagined it would develop into a viable business opportunity, but with guidance from my brother who works in tech, and the school, I was encouraged to explore the possibilities to turn it into something bigger,” Maksym said.
His success comes after he moved from Ukraine to Scotland in 2021 and bought a little-used Minecraft server for £1,000, and in the years that followed he and two friends made changes which resulted in a huge rise in players.
Along with this, advertisers were attracted to the server, and its value increased.
And because of the influx, Lomond School said a lucrative offer was made by a tech firm, which was accepted in May this year.
Now with one business success under his belt, Maksym wants to expand on his knowledge by going to university and has applied to a mixture of UK and overseas universities.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve always had an interest in business having worked as a part-time translator and a writer in Ukraine,” said the student, who studies at the school in Helensburgh, in Argyll and Bute.
“As well as having a passion for gaming, I really enjoyed the entrepreneurial side of our project, and I have applied to universities around the world to study business management.”
His preferred choice for university is south of the border in England.
Johanna Urquhart, Lomond School principal, said what Maksym had achieved was “absolutely incredible”.
“I have no doubt that this won’t be the last we hear about one of Maksym’s business ventures,” she said.