If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Minecraft "incompatible" with Steam terms of service

Steam too restrictive for Mojang, but still the best digital service

Mojang's Markus Persson has revealed that Minecraft isn't sold through Valve's Steam service because of its restrictive terms of service.

In a post on his personal blog, Persson praised Steam as, "the best digital distribution platform I've ever seen." However, it doesn't offer the sort of freedom a game like Minecraft demands.

"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," he wrote.

"We (probably?) wouldn't be able to, say, sell capes or have a map market place on minecraft.net that works with steam customers in a way that keeps Valve happy."

"It would effectively split the Minecraft community into two parts, where only some of the players can access all of the weird content we want to add to the game."

Persson revealed that Mojang is talking to Valve to resolve the situation, and claimed that he understood the need to control the platform.

"There's a certain inherent incompatibility between what we want to do and what they want to do," he added.

Persson's explanation offers a new perspective on EA's decision to remove its games from Steam, including Crysis 2, Dragon Age II, and the forthcoming Battlefield 3.

"We take direct responsibility for providing patches, updates, additional content and other services to our players," wrote EA's senior vice president of global online David Demartini in a blog post in July.

"Unfortunately, if we're not allowed to manage this experience directly and establish a relationship with you, it disrupts our ability to provide the support you expect and deserve."

"At present, there is only one download service that will not allow this relationship. This is not our choice, and unfortunately it is their customer base that is most impacted by this decision."

Related topics
Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.