Notch to MS: Stop trying to ruin PC

Minecraft creator fine with game not running on Windows 8 if it keeps people from switching to new OS

Notch has helped gamers build entire worlds with his indie blockbuster Minecraft, but he won't help Microsoft get the game running on Windows 8. The head of Mojang posted on Twitter today that he received an email from Microsoft offering to help him get Minecraft certified for Windows 8.

"I told them to stop trying to ruin the PC as an open platform," Notch said, adding in a subsequent tweet, "I'd rather have Minecraft not run on Win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to Win 8 that way."

Notch is one of a number of developers who have taken a stance against Microsoft's next operating system. One of the biggest concerns with Windows 8 is that it will be a significantly more closed system, with Microsoft's built-in Windows Store including its own certification requirements and content restrictions that PC developers historically haven't had to deal with.

Gabe Newell of Valve, which runs the Steam online storefront, called it "kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space" - a sentiment backed by Blizzard's Rob Pardo, who said the new OS is "not awesome for Blizzard either."

Windows 8 is scheduled to launch on October 26.

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Latest comments (21)

Khash Firestorm Senior Programmer, MuHa Games5 years ago
"Games for Windows"? Do you realise how big crap it was? Did you tried to develop anything for it?
Closing PC platform with new shiny Windows 8 is something what I dislike as much as I like win 7 so for now I will save money

Following console approach with PC is not about ruining market itself, but idea of freedom behind open platform concept. Maybe Windows never was great example of one, but it wasn't limiting much either, while 8 is going dark and painful path of consoling PC what many don't like

Edit: I'm not saying windows 8 is closing platform completely, it just pushes this not-so-good idea furhter

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Khash Firestorm on 28th September 2012 9:05am

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Pier Castonguay Programmer 5 years ago
Windows 8 is only closed for Metro apps. Otherwise, it still works like 7. Notch is just over-reacting. Nobody will use Metro anyway.
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Mats Holm Technical Writer, Electronic Arts5 years ago
Could they possibly have meant for his Xbox Arcade game to be Win 8 certified? I'm sitting on Win8 now, and the game section connects directly with your Xbox account, so would not be the least bit surprised if they wanted to tie that stuff better together. (Also, Win8 hate is overblown, there are some improvements in here that blow Win7 out of the water.)
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Show all comments (21)
Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
@Mats. That could make sense, seeing as I don't see why the original wouldn't work on the desktop anyway.
As for the improvements, it just seems to run so fast. On my laptop startup is instant with Win 8.
MS have a dream where every new PC program is a Metro app, or at least according to one of their product evangelists, and this would clearly suck. However, as long as Win 8 has the open desktop, I'm ok with it. That's not to say they won't make a massive error with Win 9, but I guess we'll see that in a couple of years.
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Ben Board Developer Account Manager, Microsoft5 years ago
Every single title that runs on Windows 7, including Minecraft, runs on Windows 8 right now, today, in Desktop mode. That channel is not going away during the life of Windows 8.

The Windows Store is an additional, new channel, and the deal is this: we build a store that takes care of ingestion, merchandising, billing and digital delivery, and we sell it to (we hope) hundreds of millions of people who are then one click away from buying those games; and in return for being one of those games we ask you to use the Windows 8 UI, observe a few house rules and give MS a small cut. If that's not appealing, ignore it. Totally optional. Continue as you were, selling your content through your favourite channel.

Hard for me to sound objective about our own software but really, I think this is flipping awesome for game developers.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters5 years ago
@Ben Board - Sounds pretty much exactly like Steam. Which no one complains about.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
Not entirely convinced of the argument. What if Microsoft launches a store?

If Microsoft would allow third party stores to integrate with the the built in store of the win8 platform, it could even be a killer product. One interface to manage all your purchases...
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Keith Andrew Freelance Journalist, Keith Andrew Media5 years ago

Everyone will use Metro because it's the Start screen. Impossible not to use it. The Windows Store will also be huge as a result - one of the first things every user will see when they start up their PC.

However, otherwise you're right, and - unless I'm wrong - this story is slightly inaccurate as Minecraft will run on Windows 8 whether or not Notch agrees to the certification, it just won't be sold on the Windows Store.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keith Andrew on 28th September 2012 10:35am

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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
+1 for the sentiment that this is a good thing for both developers and customers.
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Ben Board Developer Account Manager, Microsoft5 years ago
@ Tom and anyone else interested - you CAN list your Desktop-bound, non-Modern UI apps in the Windows Store. You can't one-click buy them - it's really just a link out to a website where you do billing and fulfilment - but you would get it listed. So if you had a store of your own with a web marketplace and a URL for each game, you could list those games in the Windows Store. (There's a lightweight client-side test suite you have to run on each one first, but nothing onerous.)
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Metro is only optional until MS start pushing WinRT "budget" PCs and tablets. Then its Metro... or nothing.

Win8 is a stop-gap implementation anyway - the next Windows will just be Win8, without the Win7 bits. And 360 users had better get used to it as well - because its almost certain that the NextBox will run Win8 (probably RT).
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
The goal for Microsoft is to eventually close windows up, much like Apple has everything tightly fitted to there OS. It allows them more control and profit more from it. The eventually want toeliminate windows as an open platform anybody can make anything on. They cant profit off of that.

So I think programmers should start moving over to Linux...
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Khash Firestorm Senior Programmer, MuHa Games5 years ago
@ Ben
Hi, I believe what you say, because its to early to have all or nothing, to big step for platform, but I don't believe its last step and you don't have plans to advance it and close platform to console state, and this is what we all are feared about. We really want to have our open platform without supervision on everything we do or install on them. Maybe many non developers don't care what limitations are before software gets to the platform but we do, and if Windows will keep this course I hope some open standard like Linux will provide strong enough system to be our global choice for PC.
Many, like me used Windows instead of free Linux because its not a problem to pay for one if it offers similar freedom and more tools/compatibility, but at some point when there will not be any choice we will take what is available and you will have your platform we will develop for (in similar manner as we do at the moment in windows for Xbox360). If you(MS) aim to have another console then its your system, and our choices. If you really wanted to stop at offering your store (advancing Games for Windows) and not going further with closing other options then who knows, maybe we will really like it. Just please be careful, I don't like thinking about losing best OS till day for stupid design decisions.

Edit: changed "two consoles" to "another console", as MS have at the moment more than one :D

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Khash Firestorm on 28th September 2012 2:14pm

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Steve Nicholls Programmer 5 years ago
Mojang need to keep this guy away from Twitter. He let's the company down with misinformed comments like this.
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Fasih Sayin Game Designer, Crytek5 years ago
II don't think Gabe Newell's, Rob Pardo's and Notch's opinions are "opinions". I think of them as attempts of manipulation. It's not hard to understand why Newell reacts so strongly against Windows 8 for instance. With his steam service he has de facto monopoly on digital sale of windows games. With Windows 8, Microsoft is introducing their own store. It's a bit like ICQ vs Windows Messenger of the old days. While I admit that the fact the OS comes with an MS branded store is a huge advantage for MS, acting as if MS is going to actively block other stores or other games is kind of childish. Steam already runs on Windows 8 perfectly. People can still download it and play their games. In fact MS Store might have the advantage of being pre-installed but Steam has the advantage of having a massive user base.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd5 years ago
If that's not appealing, ignore it. Totally optional. Continue as you were, selling your content through your favourite channel.
Sounds worryingly similar to how OEMs had the 'option' of installing browsers other than IE.

It's baffling to watch MS jeopardise their greatest asset to chase a bandwagon that rode off over the horizon with Apple and Google on board three years ago.

I don't necessarily buy in to the idea that MS will kill the desktop (nobody is ever going to 'just accept' Metro in any work or enthusiast gaming situation) but any obstacle, even just an extra click, that they put in the way of letting developers self-distribute their work (whether that takes the form of an unsigned Windows .exe, a Flash .swf, a mod of a pre-existing game, etc. etc.) is detrimental to the health and diversity of the ecosystem.

The innovative and risky ideas at the kernel of successful new PC/console/mobile franchises don't just pop out of thin air.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
@Robin, that is valid, but at the same time, it seems to use less background resources. It would be interesting to see a benchmark, but if more of your CPU and Memory resource is available to your game, that more than makes up for an extra click.
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Patrick Williams Medicine and Research 5 years ago
The Mac app store doesn't prevent Steam from existing on Macs. The problem that MS needs to address is that Steam is by far preferable to gamers because of the diversity and lower cost the products available. The problem Steam has on Mac though is that it doesn't offer all Mac ready products for reasons that no one at Valve will explain. Example: why are Borderlands 1 and Deus Ex HR on the mac store but not Steam? Very frustrating as a Mac user when I want to take advantage of discounts on holidays and I see that games that have dual compatibility are not interchangeable like Valve's products.

What worries me is if we start seeing these kinds of tactics or similar things as the Origin vs Steam issue (and soon SE and Ubisoft are launching their own things too...). Thank god we aren't seeing ATVI try to integrate into

Ultimately, this will turn out like the Mac app store where there will likely be a diversity of products offered by MS to consumers, in addition to games and it will fail as a gaming platform because of both Steam's success and the different publishers' rush to develop their own set ups. MS will need to address how XBLA is petering out if it wants to create an XBL-like marketplace on PC. As things stand, the love story between devs and MS over XBLA appears to have cooled substantialy and it doesn't sound like this will be any more successful on PC.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Patrick Williams on 29th September 2012 4:47am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
Example: why are Borderlands 1 and Deus Ex HR on the mac store but not Steam? Very frustrating as a Mac user when I want to take advantage of discounts on holidays and I see that games that have dual compatibility are not interchangeable like Valve's products.
Slightly Off-Topic to the article, but I believe this is because BL1 and DE:HR on Mac are actually published by Feral Interactive, who are apparently not happy with the "same price for both versions of a game" structure of Steam:
""feral interactive will not put games on steam; it's not an issue of valve refusing them. I sent them an email awhile ago concerning their mac ports availability on Steam. This is what I got in response:

"We are very keen to work with Valve. Unfortunately, the business model makes it difficult for us to distribute using Steam. As soon as we have a game, which will work with the business model, we will be delighted to have it delivered by Steam. We can't disclose any details, because our discussions are covered under an NDA - but there are issues around the commercial terms that are problematic.""


Hope this illuminates the situation a bit. :)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 30th September 2012 4:42pm

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Mats Holm Technical Writer, Electronic Arts5 years ago
@Barrie: Contact MS, they actually do this now, I got mine moved over two days ago, without much hassle at all, from Xbox Chat Support.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
I don't see anything wrong with Windows 8.

Outside modern UI and that optional approach to applications, its pretty much the same as the previous OS.
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