Notch in No Hurry to Bring Minecraft to Steam

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Notch in No Hurry to Bring Minecraft to Steam

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Markus "Notch" Persson says Minecraft still isn't on Steam because he's not entirely comfortable with Valve's digital distribution dominance.

The biggest indie PC game of all time, the most popular PC digital distribution platform on the planet - it's a natural fit, right? And yet if you go poking around on Steam, you'll eventually notice that Minecraft isn't there. Why not?

A year ago, Notch explained on his blog that while he's a big fan of Steam as a gamer, the platform limits a lot of what he can do as a developer, particularly with regard to user interactions and DLC sales. Those limitations have since been pretty much eliminated and yet Notch remains wary, saying that Mojang is still reluctant to submit Minecraft to Steam "without knowing more about what we want to do."

"As much as I love Steam, I do somewhat worry about the PC as a gaming platform becoming owned by a single entity that takes 30 percent of all PC games sold," he told PC Gamer. "I'm hoping for a future where more games can self-publish and use social media and friends to market their games. Perhaps there's something we could do to help out there? I don't know. If nothing else, we might work as an inspiration for people to self-publish."

"We're trying to figure out what we want to do long term with the position we have now. We only recently decided to stay as independent as possible and canceled an unannounced project that we were doing in collaboration with someone else," he added. "It's going to be an interesting future."

That canceled project is presumed to be "Rex Kwon Do," something I'd never heard of but which Mojang killed last week "to focus on Minecraft, Scrolls and eventually 0x10c that we own 100 percent ourselves instead."

Strategic positioning is nice. So too is money, and even though it's coming up on two years since the Minecraft beta went live, it's still selling like gangbusters. Minecraft.net says that 10,709 people bought the game within the past 24 hours, which totals $288,607 and change in sales - and, at 30 percent, a cut of over $86,500 for Valve. That's $2.6 million per month, folks, or $31.2 million per year. That's an awful lot of money just to rent a spot for an already wildly-successful game on Steam, don't you think?

Source: PC Gamer

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Hmmmm that's odd. I'd heard that Steam is much easy on the developer than XBLA.

Cool, don't see any issue here. Minecraft really doesn't need the visibility Steam might provide.

Eric the Orange:
Hmmmm that's odd. I'd heard that Steam is much easy on the developer than XBLA.

He needs to be on XBLA to reach out to XBox gamers, but on the PC he can self publish without a third party since it was popular enough to go madly viral.

Real answer: All the PC gamers already have it so what would be the point?

Eric the Orange:
Hmmmm that's odd. I'd heard that Steam is much easy on the developer than XBLA.

Yeah, but that's because of how terrible Microsoft is, not how awesome Valve is.

Cool, a pc dev who's willing to take a hit on sales to make a point. Pretty neat.
Although as DVS BSTrD said, everyone already has it so putting it on steam wouldn't help much.

Notch is still an asshole though >.>

Andy Chalk:

That canceled project is presumed to be "Rex Kwon Do," something I'd never heard of but which Mojang killed last week "to focus on Minecraft, Scrolls and eventually 0x10c that we own 100 percent ourselves instead."

So has Mojang completely given up on Cobalt, or is the gaming media just not talking about anything that happens to it?

If he put it on Steam, it might be a lot easier to give people access to Mods, which is where the bulk of the fun of Minecraft is.

The Plunk:
So has Mojang completely given up on Cobalt, or is the gaming media just not talking about anything that happens to it?

Cobalt is being developed by Oxeye Game Studio - and it's still being updated frequently - http://www.oxeyegames.com/

Hmmm. internet messiah Notch vs. internet messiah Valve.

I wonder how many people will just melt down dealing with the conflict.

Eric the Orange:
Hmmmm that's odd. I'd heard that Steam is much easy on the developer than XBLA.

Notch (and others) have said that he got a much superior deal. Valve probably doesn't want to give them a similar break.

GeneralTwinkle:
Cool, a pc dev who's willing to take a hit on sales to make a point. Pretty neat.
Although as DVS BSTrD said, everyone already has it so putting it on steam wouldn't help much.

Notch is still an asshole though >.>

It also means he's not really taking a hit in sales.

Buretsu:
If he put it on Steam, it might be a lot easier to give people access to Mods, which is where the bulk of the fun of Minecraft is.

It also means spending extra money and adding layer of DRM to his game, when mods seem to be fairly prevalent already.

I'd like to hear Valve's side of this, it seems to be a lot of Notch complaining. If anything he could throw Desura a bone for crying out loud.

Perhaps there's something we could do to help out there? I don't know. If nothing else, we might work as an inspiration for people to self-publish

Balls, balls, balls. Notch doesn't want to share some of his profit with Steam, because he does not need to, he has no need for further exposure, the Minecraft fanboys did that for free for many years so he could fill bathtubs with their money and swim in them while delivering possibly the most horribly incomplete videogame of the last 20 years. Fuck. Right. Off.

AzrealMaximillion:
I'd like to hear Valve's side of this, it seems to be a lot of Notch complaining. If anything he could throw Desura a bone for crying out loud.

Valve's side to what? Are they going to claim "No, we're not the biggest PC distributor"? All this is is Notch explaining why he isn't likely to bring Minecraft to Steam; I doubt that Valve is going to tank their sales on purpose just to get one game to sign-up.

Ooh, this should be interesting. Notch fanboys versus Valve fanboys.

Anyways, Minecraft couldn't really get much more popular than it already is, so I have my doubts putting it on Steam would turn out to be beneficial in the long run. Just my hunch though.

I find it odd that he hopes to be an 'inspiration for others to self-publish'. Honestly, I love the convenience of Steam and the stability it provides as a platform for indie games. It not only provides as easy way of finding new indie games, but it also provides forums for finding information about the game as well as support. (There's been more than one game where I made my purchasing decision based on an 'Is it worth it?' thread)

Certainly Notch/Mojang and others have proven that self-publishing can work, but speaking as a gamer I am far more comfortable with only giving my credit card details to one company with an established history rather than some guy with a game I've never heard of.

Steam could use some serious competition, especially since the only competitor with the resources to really threaten Valve's dominance (EA) seems content to keep unloading bullets into its own foot, but digital distribution services are overall a good thing for indie developers I think.

Perhaps Notch could put Minecraft on GOG.com instead if he wants to provide competition for Valve? GOG does some things better than Steam (ZERO DRM), so if they could get a few high profile exclusives they could start working as serious competition for Valve.

Zachary Amaranth:

GeneralTwinkle:
Cool, a pc dev who's willing to take a hit on sales to make a point. Pretty neat.
Although as DVS BSTrD said, everyone already has it so putting it on steam wouldn't help much.

Notch is still an asshole though >.>

It also means he's not really taking a hit in sales.

Well, yes and no. It's true that Minecraft doesn't really need any outside help to get sales, but do you really think that companies like Activision or EA (pre-Origin) needed Steam to get sales? No, probably not; but going with Steam is a boost in sales, so they took it anyway. So even though Minecraft is selling just fine without Steam, Notch is still passing on what would be an easy cash grab if he put his games on Steam.

Whether or not he's missing out on cash is questionable. It's only a benefit if the number of sales he gains is greater than the percentage of money lost because of paying Steam. If he only gets 5% more sales and starts losing 30% of the profit, he's not coming out ahead there.

AzrealMaximillion:
I'd like to hear Valve's side of this, it seems to be a lot of Notch complaining. If anything he could throw Desura a bone for crying out loud.

I'm not sure how it matters that one is complaining when one's complaints are valid. Valve does control more of the digital games distribution market than anyone other than Valve should be comfortable with. Things are fine right now, but in the long run, market dominance is bad for the consumer.

Besides, XBLA brings platform access. Steam brings nothing to the table that Minecraft needs. If I were to make a game today, I would put it on Steam. If I were to make a game today, and it had as much hype behind it as Minecraft did, I'd be going it on my own instead.

Buretsu:
If he put it on Steam, it might be a lot easier to give people access to Mods, which is where the bulk of the fun of Minecraft is.

It also means spending extra money and adding layer of DRM to his game, when mods seem to be fairly prevalent already.

The extra money can be deferred by the increase in revenue. Plus, Steam Sales would also help break the barrier for people who don't want to spend $30 to try and make their own fun. And the Steam community makes it easier for multi-player.

How ironic it is that Notch is thriving like a king in XBLA and he still doesn't want to release his game in Steam, while certain other indie developers still complain about how shitty Microsoft treats them.

Eric the Orange:
Hmmmm that's odd. I'd heard that Steam is much easy on the developer than XBLA.

Yea its really easy for develepers but they also take a really large cut out of every sale. You dont actually gain any additional potential customers by going with steam. You are already available to every pc gamer out there.

If you go on XBLA on the other had you are going into a whole new market with a whole new potential customer base.

I'm just glad that the overlay works. It takes a bit of extra effort if you're using 64-bit Java, but it's doable. Really, that was the main reason I would've wanted Minecraft on Steam anyway.

P.S. Thanks

Sounds fair enough to me. Minecraft has done amazingly without Steam, so why bother dealing with it? It's not like it needs the publicity.

DVS BSTrD:
Real answer: All the PC gamers already have it so what would be the point?

Those (like me) who want to play Minecraft on the PC but cant because their credit card wont work on the Minecraft site (still cant figure out why.)

As much as I enjoy Minecraft on the 360, it is a neutered game in comparison to the PC version. Plus, I doubt Tekkit will be arriving on the 360 anytime soon. So I would love to play Minecraft on PC. But as I said, My only barrior is some kind of malfunction with buying the game through the MC site. And as there is no other (legitimate) way to get it, Im stuck. Unless someone wishes to either gift me a code or something...

I have to agree with Notch. Steam is great, but I'm also kind of worried about it's near monopoly status on the PC and that it's a single point of failure. If anything should happen with Steam/Valve, 80% of my games will be affected.

When EA did this they where greedy as hell. When Notch does he's praised.

Seems a little bias to me.

But I'm ok if he want to earn more money from it.

Steam is hardly a monopoly. Hell, steam is the UNDERDOG because it completes with retail. Saying they're the champion in digital distribution is meaningless because people can get the same game physically, and the advantage of a physical disc, if anything, neccesitates even more innovation then if they competed with another DD platform. Not only that, they are on the smallest platform competing with consoles, competing with social games AND the android/IOS market. Besides that, Valve has a very sustainabl, consumer friendly buisness model. I think Notch's fears are reasonable but misplaced.

...that being said, as awesome as MC on Steam would be, not porting it makes buisness sense. They are big enough to have a distribution model and all the visibility they could ever need, and the game is small enough that having it on Steam isn't a huge boon. They are better off not on steam because they are in an unprecedented situation. I cant name another game that would benifit financially from avoiding Steam. But in this case they are doing the smart thing. Maybe in a few years when sales drop, they can do a Steam edition.

Carnagath:

Perhaps there's something we could do to help out there? I don't know. If nothing else, we might work as an inspiration for people to self-publish

Balls, balls, balls. Notch doesn't want to share some of his profit with Steam, because he does not need to, he has no need for further exposure, the Minecraft fanboys did that for free for many years so he could fill bathtubs with their money and swim in them while delivering possibly the most horribly incomplete videogame of the last 20 years. Fuck. Right. Off.

Why should he share profit with steam he doesn't need it and he has been successful without it.

Bullshit. I can't think of anything else to say. I mean, Notch put MC on XBLA but he won't touch Steam? I just think he's trying to maintain some kind of edge over Valve but even that doesn't make much sense.

In short, Notch is a fucking liar and a bad one at that. Maybe we don't know his angle yet but I bet it'll be shitty as hell. You know what would be awful though? Notch went exclusive with EA's shit-fest Ori-motherfucking-gin. That would just about end any faith I had in the man.

Zefar:
When EA did this they where greedy as hell. When Notch does he's praised.

Seems a little bias to me.

But I'm ok if he want to earn more money from it.

To me it is not biased at all. EA pulled there games form a competing digital distribution service to create their own competing service to increase profits. The reason they were badmouthed was for how they went about creating there service, and how they forced users to use there service. If they just left existing games on Steam, provided a better service, and were upfront with why they were creating Origin, I think people would have been less irritated. I understand that they aren't trying to be the "nice guys" but if they could have probably wooed many people over without all of the lies and drama that they created.

Notch is just distributing his game as he always did.

On a side note, I wouldn't be surprised that Minecraft will come to Steam in the future. When sales dwindle, and Notch is looking for an infusion of cash, he could release it on Steam, and many people would probably buy it again.

I think one reason why it doesn't make a lot of sense for him to distribute VIA steam, while others do is because of file size. Minecraft is freaking tiny compared to a 2 gig indie game like Endless Space. I would imagine 21418GB is a lot of bandwidth for a small company, while 963-1606GB is not that much when you make 288k off of it.

Zefar:
When EA did this they where greedy as hell. When Notch does he's praised.

Seems a little bias to me.

But I'm ok if he want to earn more money from it.

I agree with this. People have no problem calling EA on being greedy but if notch is greedy its justified. Essentially it just comes down to notch wanting more money and doesn't want anyone to get a cut out of it.

Now before anyone gets up in arms I am one of the few PC players who didn't buy minecraft and probably wont until its on steam (which it probably wont).

Zefar:
When EA did this they where greedy as hell. When Notch does he's praised.

Seems a little bias to me.

But I'm ok if he want to earn more money from it.

I don't see a lot of praise directed at Notch, just a lot of nods and "Yeah, that's probably the smarter move for him." EA earned the ire of gamers because they decided to start offering games only on their service, and their service is terrible. Notch just isn't adding another way to buy the game. The game still costs what it did before and didn't gain any sort of DRM or buggy launch platform. EA removed a way to buy games, and then changed to force all purchases to use a piece of software that very few consumers actually like using.

So EA used their position as the publisher of a popular game to push people into using software they otherwise wouldn't have. Sure, that's perfectly within their rights as a company to do what they want with the software, but that doesn't mean we as consumers are obligated to like what they're doing.

If EA had pulled Mass Effect 3 from Steam and then allowed people to play it without using Origin, I don't think people would have been as annoyed. Certainly I wouldn't have minded.

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