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?
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Source: PC Gamer