Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson says Electronic Arts is “methodically destroying” gaming.
Markus Persson, better known as Notch, isn’t indie. He was indie when he made Minecraft, but then Minecraft made a bazillion dollars and he decided that things like having a payroll and charging for games meant the “indie” moniker was no longer appropriate. And if it’s not appropriate for Mojang, is there any possible way it could be appropriate for, say, Electronic Arts?
You probably see where this is going but just in case you missed it, EA released its “Indie Bundle” on Steam yesterday, a collection including Shank and Shank 2, Gatling Gears, Warp, Deathspank and Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue. All were developed by indie studios, but the idea of EA laying any claim to “indie” cred didn’t sit well with Persson.
“EA releases an ‘indie bundle’? That’s not how that works, EA. Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards,” he wrote on Twitter. “Fwiw, I don’t even call Mojang inde any more. Vlambeer is indie. Polytron is indie. Stephen, Ed, Terry, Derek, Tommy and Chris are indie.”
“Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it,” he added.
I think that’s a bit harsh. Yes, indies are doing wonderful things, but I don’t see how major publishers like EA are doing anything more than bringing gaming to the masses. And while there’s a small but deeply-rooted part of me that thinks that’s precisely the problem, my more rational side has to admit that it’s not. You can play Madden and Medal of Honor until you’re blue in the face, and I’ll play Amnesia and Legend of Grimrock until I’m in the same state. Can’t we all just get along?
Shortly after his initial outburst, Persson clarified that he has no problem with the games, just with EA’s attempt to muscle in on the indie scene. “I got into trouble on the interwebs again!” he wrote. “The games in the bundle are good, I’m not questioning them. I’m questioning EA.”