Notch Explains Why ‘Minecraft’ Isn’t on Steam

Published 2 years ago by

Notch explains Minecraft and Steam

While notch isn’t directly involved with the development of Minecraft these days, he has remained a key player in regards to the long-term goals and plans for both the series and, obviously, Mojang itself. With updates coming for both PC and Xbox 360 editions of Minecraft, Notch has been busy doing the usual – which includes getting lawsuits and racking up sales. Despite this, he took the time to make a very in-depth statement to a question which many gamers have asked over the last year: Why isn’t Minecraft on Steam?

The answer, as it so often does, comes in several layers. Notch is on the fence about joining up with Steam because he fears it will hurt other self-published games who look to Minecraft as an inspiration, whilst at the same time being certain exactly what Mojang want to do for the future of the game. Notch says it best himself here:

“Yeah, it seems like pretty much all the things we wanted to do are possible on Steam now, which is brilliant! Since I made that blog post, Minecraft has kept growing very fast (and it selling faster than ever), which combined with us not being on Steam leads to some potentially interesting strategic positions. I’m not quite sure what those are, but we’re a bit wary 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% of all PC games sold. 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.”

Notch has always been a large supporter of self-published indie titles, and has even made several large charitable contributions to the Humble Indie Bundle in the past. Minecraft certainly does all right by itself, acheving around 11,000 sales in the last 24 hours – netting the company a formidable profit.

It seems like Mojang need to sort out what they want for the future of Minecraft before making any key decisions regarding their distribution. Though adding it to Steam would undoubtedly bring them to an even larger audience (and make gamers realize exactly how many hours they pour into the game itself), it looks like Valve’s platform simply isn’t the answer for the game – at least, for now.

“It’s probably obvious from this reply, but 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 cancelled an unannounced project that we were doing in collaboration with someone else. It’s going to be an interesting future.”

It’s interesting to note that the decision to remain independent came ‘only recently,’ meaning that Mojang may have been close to entering talks with Steam about distribution (Notch already confirmed he was in talks with Valve over a year ago). As for the aforementioned  cancelled project, it was revealed to be titled Rex Kwon Do, though nothing else was ever revealed about it from Notch or Mojang.

Do you think Notch has a point about Steam monopolizing the PC games industry? Would you want to see Minecraft on the distribution platform?

Follow me on Twitter @Makelevi.

Source: PC Gamer

TAGS: Mac, Minecraft, Mojang, PC, Steam

  • RoguePaladin

    I have to say that I find it interesting that he wants to stay self-published… yet Minecraft is being published on Xbox? How does that work? I’m not sure I see Xbox Life as much different from Steam in that respect, to be honest.

    • Rob Keyes

      EXCLUSIVE on Xbox no less.

  • Dmdragon

    Notch has gotten way to full of himself. I don’t personally see the love for minecraft and feel he got lucky with people liking it. He thinks he’s this big time developer now and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I wish he would just go away already.

  • Red

    “…30% of all games sold.”

    Does he mean Valve get’s a 30% cut of the money for games sold on Steam? If so, I can see why he’s reluctant to put his game on steam. $3 of every $10 of games sold goes to a company who is simply adding a drm/social framework to games that took other companies millions upon millions of dollars to make is a ripoff. Steam is nice and all, but not %30 of the profits nice. I can see Valve getting 30% if they are printing discs and boxes and shipping to stores, but all they are doing is hosting files on a server and uploading to buyers. Bandwidth and servers are cheaper than boxxing and delivary to storefronts. 10-15% would be more reasonable.

    • Caspica

      I think he meant that Steam stands for 30% of every game sold on the PC market.

  • Tyler

    Honestly….mojang should stick with their magic sauce….and thats open world time-sinks… would be impossible to match that formula especially if they go through with their “scrolls” game wich doesn’t look too exciting

  • Derpy

    Steam itself is not very reliable. Have you ever tried playing a steam game without internet connection without going to offline mode?

    • Bartz Clauser

      So Steam is “unreliable” just because you have trouble playing certain games in Offline mode?

      • Areo62

        No, what Derpy means is that if you don’t have internet access, you can’t play anything from Steam.

        I had a power outage a couple months ago, so all the wifi/internet modems were down for a day, and I couldn’t play any of my Steam-purchased games. ‘Cause Steam wasn’t able to “verify” my account. So even though I bought the hard copies of Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 (from the local Best Buy), I couldn’t play either of them ’cause I had no internet connection.

        • Matty

          Wait, so you had power back but modem/router were “resting” before they could return to normal function?


          • Andrew

            In many places power is restored a day or a few days before cable so if you have cable internet, which is often the fastest in those same areas of the country, you have power for a day or so without internet.

  • Karyyk

    I like Notch, but he’s coming across as a bit of a douche here. Steam isn’t Origin and I’d be willing to wager that most indie developers (and indie game-playing gamers) see Steam as nothing but a friend and help to indie gaming, which it is. I think what Notch really meant to say is that when it comes to the PC, he doesn’t need Steam.

  • John Mathheu

    Hi , SKIDROW finally released stable version of CS:GO AimBot , but the editors here don’t like it when I try and post spam so I’m gonna talk about puppies now. PUPPIES ARE COOL.

  • James

    Wow I would really like to put this on my server!
    Always I run a 24/7 cracked server so if you want to play join up!

  • ademnus

    A sale now and then wouldn’t kill ya.

  • Dano

    I am a Steam user, and because Minecraft isn’t available on Steam I haven’t bought it. I have been checking regularly to see if it is on Steam too. It doesn’t matter if it is on sale or not, I would buy it now if I could get it through Steam. I just prefer having reliable access to and control of all of my games from a trusted service like Steam.

    If the Minecraft developers are worried about loosing money to Steam, well, they will continue to loose money to Steam. Because, I am now going to use the money I would have used buying Minecraft, buying other games that are available on Steam.

    Something to think about.

    • Zathri

      I have to say I am in a similar spot as Dano. I only use Steam for my downloadable games on the PC. I cant stand dealing with multiple services and friends lists, its just annoying and inconvenient.

      I used to buy some things through gamefly and direct2drive and tried origin but decided they all mostly sucked it was just much nicer to have everything in one place. I have pretty much repurchased anything I had from another service on Steam from the sales and now only buy games from Steam or on a disk.

      I have also looked for minecraft several times on Steam but since it isn’t there I have purchased some other games that are probably similar instead. I would get it if it was available, but its not, so I wont.

      • Mike

        I am on the same ship as you… There are several games I am not buying because they are not on Steam.
        Prices on Steam are very acceptable and I can proudly admit, that all games I own, they are 100% legal thanks to Steam.

        • Spades

          I have Minecraft on 360 and PC, and I’d buy it a 3rd time if they’d come to their senses and get on such a large untapped market like Steam.

  • SSS Rated

    What Notch REALLY means is that Minecraft doesn’t need to be on Steam for now since it has been progressing very well independently. (Meaning that publishing it to a larger crowd is not necessary YET!) Plus relying on ONE publisher is quite the hassle since one must download steam, then update it (which goes up to 100mb in size, big for places with slow internet connections), then search it, then download it. Just to get the game you have to get another app! Unlike today, just search in google then get the 2mb launcher then launch it! Once it downloads, it can be played anytime! Plus it is self updating. And frankly, we can use “Magic” launcher to play because of their independence.

    The point is, rather than mocking his decision. He should be admired in any level (even low level) because he DOESN’T think of the money, instead he wants to let minecraft grow to a larger best type of game. Like a parent caring for his child without getting a maid to do the parenting for them. He prepares it first to max level before letting it out on a bigger scale.

    • SSS Rated

      The game was made NOT because he was thinking of being rich, it is because he wanted to create a world (a game) perfect for people of all ages to play. I should know! I’m an Information Technology specializing in Animation and Game Design (BSITAGD) student!

  • Dave Mittner

    If Notch wishes to support Indie development I think he’d do well to put his games on Steam, thereby validating it as a distribution model. Steam has always been friendly to Indie projects and a lot of upstart developers might be more willing to accept its help with Notch’s blessing.