In a recent entry on his blog, Markus “notch” Persson explained why Minecraft has yet to appear on Valve’s Steam platform, citing an “ inherent incompatibility” between his company Mojang’s goals and Valve’s.

“Being on Steam limits a lot of what we’re allowed to do with the game, and how we’re allowed to talk to our users,” Persson said.  “We (probably?) wouldn’t be able to, say, sell capes or have a map market place on that works with Steam customers in a way that keeps Valve happy.”

Minecraft’s thrived in part due to the direct access players have to Persson’s development whims, such as the creation of the creepy-looking Endermen (seen above) scheduled for the next update. Putting a barrier like Steam, no matter how “awesome” Persson thinks it is, disrupts that process and could potentially split the userbase.

Persson isn’t ruling Steam out entirely, however. “We are talking to Valve about this,” he said. The sheer enormity of Steam makes this optimism practical business sense. It’s the same reason EA won’t swear off Steam entirely, even after all of the fighting over Battlefield 3. When people enter a store every time they launch a game, it behooves you to have your product in that store.

Source: Notch

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • prophet001 - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    Very smart to not cave to the machine
  • Zanegray - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    Minecraft is just unique in that it isnt developed by a big business like EA. I believe notch designed this game as a fun off to the side project until it became popular. For this reason, minecraft would loose some of that cool indie aspect that I remember when I had time to mess around with the game almost a year ago.
  • Zingam - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    It is impossible for a big business like EA to develop a game like Minecraft. Big businesses are ruled by old accountants that only care about profits. Profits = good business? Innovation = What's that?

    That's why games are so stagnant these days and almost all are rip-offs of older games. There is almost 0 innovation. Modern games are unimaginative, unoriginal, linear, boring, repetitive and they chew the same old bubble gum over and over again: orcs, elves, goblins, zombies and the single US marine saving the universe.

    I really cannot stand games with orcs, elves and zombies any longer. I've almost quit gaming because of that. I have also always been interested in developing games but I don't care about it any longer. I'd rather spend the rest of my life managing SQL databases because of all that.

    Minecraft is one rare gem in a mountain of recycled garbage.
  • Hrel - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    Thanks for naming some of the reasons i refuse to use Steam. I haven'e ever bought a game on there and had it just work, with no effort. I always, ALWAYS have to edit registry entries and recheck game files and data. Often time I have to un-install and reinstall not just the game, but DX and my GPU drivers.

    I HATE HATE HATE Steam with a fiery passion that consumes my soul. I will never buy anything from them EVER again.
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    then your system is just screwed up and you probably have no clue what you're doing.
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Naw, I have top of the line system with 590GTX graphics..., Steam sucks. You sheep continue to feed the machine, its what you do best.
  • johnsonx - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    a "top of the line system with 590GTX graphics" doesn't mean it isn't completely screwed up, nor that the user has even the most remote clue what they're doing.

    I don't even use steam or play games... I just know for a fact that users who claim they have horrible problems with every game and they to re-install this and that every week are idiots. PEBCAK
  • johnsonx - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    damn... Typo'd PEBKAC. Doh!
  • TheSev - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Steam didn't gain the admiration and respect of millions upon millions of gamers because of registry issues and data inconsistencies. I won't deny that some games have issues being played on steam (Battlefield 2 is rough), but you sound like a person who's had one bad experience and are writing off a great system due to inexperience and predisposition.

    Valve is one of the few big companies I have a lot of respect for. Their huge, huge support for indie developers trumps the idea that all they look for is profit and stagnate game concepts, giving small dev groups with sweet new ideas a shot (looking at you, Zingam). What the majority of end users don't understand is that a platform like Steam -needs- to have rules and set way of how things are done in order for it to all come together, and judging by how much Steam as a platform has improved over the past couple years, I highly doubt they won't make changes down the road to take better care of their customers.

    I can certainly see Minecraft coming to steam sometime down the road. It's still in beta, so that leaves a lot of questions for what direction the game will go in. Once it's all nailed down, Mojang and the Steam team will probably talk again.
  • darunium - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    To be honest, I've been using steam since shortly after its public release, using exclusively as a CS platform, but over the last year I've become increasingly displeased with the service. After bad experiences with Dragon Age:Origins, Portal, Titan Quest, and a couple other games, I've become more frustrated with them than happy at its convenience. These days any game can have an effective matchmaking and hosting system, and while steam is nice in theory, its requirement that you need to be online to play (it takes a long wait to get it to run in offline mode), the bugs in steam cloud (deleted hours of progress for my gf's torchlight character), the purchasing restrictions (can't buy games from outside the country, even when I was living in Japan for 6 months, I couldn't purchase new games off of steam, even after calling them and asking for a release on my account for Japan), etc. etc. These aren't problems that I've faced with microsoft games online, and frankly every chance I get I buy a hard copy of the game off of amazon for a lower price anyway. There's other annoyances, like inability to reinstall a game or fix an installation without downloading it all over again (unless you 'back up' the game, a feature which they've never highlighted or made clear post download). To top it all off, it could stand to be more lightweight, and less of a bandwidth hog with constant mandatory updates - it's almost as bad as an apple product.

    All told, steam is no longer the great service it once was for me as an end user, and it seems that on the developer side it's not sitting so well either. Hopefully there will be a new kid in town some day, but I've got no particular love left for steam at this point. It was a big step forward for finding CS servers though.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now