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Minecraft creator "constantly debating" Steam

Minecraft creator "constantly debating" Steam

Wed 05 Sep 2012 9:07pm GMT / 5:07pm EDT / 2:07pm PDT
Online

Markus Persson dislikes the lack of user control on the platform

Unlike a number of independent PC titles, Minecraft sits alone, preferring instead to self-distribute the game through its own website. In an interview with Penny Arcade Report's Ben Kuchera, Minecraft creator Markus Persson said that he's "constantly debating" whether Minecraft should go up on Steam.

"I'm constantly debating whether or not we should put it up on Steam anyway. Because the people could even get a Steam code if they buy the game, I don't know what they would really do. Or if we should just not do Steam at all and try to come up with our own thing, or whatever. Right now we don't know what we're going to do. We're just focused on the games still. It's an interesting opportunity, so we try not to waste it," said Persson.

Persson explained that while he likes Valve's service, there are some consumer issues and a lack of user control for developers.

"I think Steam is a very good service for the customers. The only thing I don't like is that they reserve the right to remove all your games and account, which is bullshit. I understand the legal reasons, and they have to do it for their partners, and I don't think they're going to do anything, they're not going to remove it," Persson said.

"But having that constant threat is not cool. I want to buy a game and be able to play it in 20 years. I still play Doom, I don't want it to be Valve closes down and I can't access my games, and then I have to do it through piracy. That's the only thing I don't like towards the players."

"But with us we have so many registered users, and with Steam we can't really control those users. So for us it can't really go on Steam. But for many other developers it makes a lot of sense."

The full, extensive interview covering a ton of topics is available over at the Penny Arcade Report.

7 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
"But having that constant threat is not cool. I want to buy a game and be able to play it in 20 years. I still play Doom, I don't want it to be Valve closes down and I can't access my games, and then I have to do it through piracy. That's the only thing I don't like towards the players."
As a consumer, it's a trade-off. Likelihood of Valve going bust and losing all my games in the future, vs a truly worthwhile service now. It may be the consumer will get burnt in the future, but to contrast with other home media, it's just like when video-tape went the way of all things. How many people copied or rebought all their VHS tapes? People still buy into BluRay and DVD, even knowing that what happened with video may happen again.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 5th September 2012 10:56pm

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

340 292 0.9
Valve have always said that in the event of them going bust, they have the metaphorical big red button to disable all the DRM on Steam games, so as long as you manage to keep a local copy of your games you'll be fine, I'm sure that if it wasn't some sudden catastrophic failure they'd give a decent amount of time to download your games before the servers go offline anyway. They do plan for such things.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Luke McCarthy Indie Game Developer

35 0 0.0
Citation please, Thomas. As far as I can tell that is merely a rumour.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,584 1,438 0.9
@ Luke

This stems from a post Gabe Newell made on SPUF. Unfortunately, the post itself was removed in one of the many clear-ups of SPUF. Here's a Google search link

https://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=Tp3&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&biw=1680&bih=961&q=%22unless+there+was+some+situation+I+don%27t+understand%22+valve&oq=%22unless+there+was+some+situation+I+don%27t+understand%22+valve&gs_l=serp.3...7074.8325.0.8411.6.6.0.0.0.0.87.457.6.6.0...0.0...1c.1.3K0qIQzLakc

It may indeed have been a rumour, but the fact that it was in the Steam Wiki for a certain amount of time (until the lack of a reference forced it out) says that it was most likely true.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 6th September 2012 8:42pm

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,020 1,467 1.4
I don't really see this as a tradeoff at all. What's my guarantee that Notch will still let me redownload Minecraft in 10 or 15 years? I have much more confidence that in said amount of time I'll still have access to my Steam games than anything I buy anywhere else, and the convenience of reinstalling when I build a new machine in 2-3 years on Steam versus ANYWHERE else is absolutely unparalleled. I like Minecraft a lot, but I would rebuy it on Steam in an instant to have it in a location that, for me anyway, inspires much more confidence.

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Anthony Gowland Lead Designer, Outplay Entertainment

198 660 3.3
I don't see what the benefit to Mojang would be at this stage, to be honest. There might be some benefit for their futures games, but I don't think Minecraft would benefit proportionally from whatever extra exposure Steam would be able to give it.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Sergio Rosa "Somewhat-Creative Director", Domaginarium

64 37 0.6
"But having that constant threat is not cool. I want to buy a game and be able to play it in 20 years. I still play Doom, I don't want it to be Valve closes down and I can't access my games, and then I have to do it through piracy. That's the only thing I don't like towards the players."

As others have said,this could happen if Valve goes out of business but that could also happen if Mojang goes out of business. I don't know if Minecraft is DRM-free because I don't play it, so I don't know if it would work if that happens, though, but I don't see a big difference between both scenarios.

Although not the case here because he doesn't seem to have jumped the "steam is bad" bandwagon, this reminded me of all this talk from renowned indies about how Steam is bad for indies, how you "don't need" Steam, how self-publishing is the way to go or how we should use alternatives (Desura, Indievania) instead. Well it's good to be in a position where "if you build it, they will come." For example, when Mojang releases Scrolls or that game with the weird name, people will go to their website and get it, but if the dude next door to my house decided to go indie and self-published, story would be a lot different.

I agree we could use a real Steam alternative but just have a bunch of famous indies talking about it doesn't make anything happens. Now when one of them actually does something, things are different. For example, my latest game is selling so so but the only time I've seen a peak in sales was during the Because We May sale.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

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