According to a Eurogamer report detailing how Triumph Studios came to be developing Age of Wonders 3, it was revealed that Mojang co-founder and Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson was very instrumental in making it all happen.
The whole thing started when Triumph kept seeing a blurb mentioning Age of Wonders in the Minecraft title screen. After sending Persson a demo of the game they all managed to work something out:
"We noticed Minecraft's random title-screen blurb mentioned Age of Wonders," Triumph managing director Lennart Sas told Eurogamer, "so I thought what the heck and I sent Notch an email. We had a demo for Age of Wonders 3 and talked to various parties including traditional publishers. There was certainly interest but the prospect of having Notch help fund was a dream come true, as he's a fan of the game and didn't insist on owning it like many of the publishers do these days when they fund development."
Sas added that the deal "certainly didn't happen overnight," and that Persson "kept a healthy business sense towards the project." He also added that Persson had no interest in taking ownership of the game.
So when Age of Wonders 3 comes out you'll know at least one person you can thank for it…