Minecraft XBLA ruffles developer feathers

Fez and FortressCraft devs speak out over free updates and DDoS attack

The XBLA version of Mojang's Minecraft may have been profitable after just an hour on sale, but its release and success have provoked reactions from both Fez developer Polytron and FortressCraft's Adam Sawkins. was hit by DDoS attack, rendering it useless, the same day as Minecraft XBLA launched.

"Aaaand, the FortressCraft website's being DDOSd. F*** you and your 'community,'" Sawkins tweeted at Markus 'Notch' Persson. He later explained the situation to Eurogamer.

"We know who it was, but sadly we didn't get a note in the post saying why. We've sailed over our cap for the month so far, and are going through the process of talking to the police about it."

Polytron also took to Twitter to express its displeasure at apparent "preferential treatment" given to Minecraft over other XBLA games in the form of free updates and sales stats.

On discovering the sales information had come from leader boards, Polytron backed down a little, and tweeted "Minecraft did not get preferential treatment regarding sale stats. Just for the free updates!"

It contacted Persson directly about the free updates "which is something every other developer on the platform is told is simply not an option."

"We had to fight for that, and we got a limited number of them. Not sure why they don't like it," responded Persson.

The Polytron Twitter account recently added a caveat about the dispute.

"Attention journalists: THIS IS NOT A SCANDAL."

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Latest comments (5)

Greg Knight Freelance Developer 5 years ago
Like Blur vs Oasis. Brilliant!
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
To quote the other story about Minecraft's XBLA launch which is currently sitting a little further down the home page:

"Saw the official sales numbers for the first 24 hours of Minecraft Xbox 360, and it's very good," tweeted Persson. "Profitable in an hour."

This sounds quite conclusively like Persson had access to or was informed of the actual sales figures, and didn't just browse the leaderboards for an idea on sales. I don't necessarily think that there's anything wrong with that - after all, Minecraft is one of the most successful indie games of the modern era so they're going to be able to negotiate good terms and get special treatment from MS, but it's pretty bad form if, as Polytron later Tweeted, they still haven't been told how many copies Fez has sold after weeks on sale.

It seems to me that it's not so much that Mojang are getting special treatment, but they're simply getting what should be standard for all XBLA devs.

EDIT - and one other thought; if FortressCraft's website really was broken via a DDoS attack then it's bloody pathetic by whoever did it. I may not like his personality or his aggression toward Minecraft/Notch (the guy has got involved in comments threads on EG quite often - I think his username is DJArcas?), but there's no need for that. On the other hand, it could be a clever way of getting his game some publicity on the day its biggest 'rival' launches, so it could be a very astute marketing move.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 11th May 2012 4:05pm

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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
The FortressCraft people have always been particularly ungrateful towards Notch, especially considering there game would not exists without Minecraft. It's not like any DDoS is something that Notch orchestrated of had any control over.

The larger issue of this - why are other developers giving flack to Mojang? Not getting more frequent sales reports and free updates is Microsoft's fault, not Mojang's. Just because Mojang negotiated a better deal than most developers does not make them the bad guy.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany5 years ago
Are we talking about personalities from the Games Industry or youtube comenters here?.

Such stupidity is sad...
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
I really want this 15 minutes to be over for Minecraft. Fine game and all, and I do LOVE that it punches the whole "next-gen" graphics argument in the neck, but enough with the dick-swinging, already.
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