Markus 'Notch' Persson has been asked frequently by fans of both Minecraft and Steam why you can't get the former on the latter. Persson's explanation – that while he loves Steam, he's doubtful that his goals for Minecraft are in line with Valve's policies and the reasoning behind them – is certainly a lot more civil than many recent digital-distribution conversations have been. Why, he's so polite in his refusal to adopt Valve's platform in the immediate future, Notch almost sounds like he'd rather make people happy than sell games. Crazy.
Above: Persson says accoutrements like capes would be harder to sell through Steam
“Steam is the best digital distribution platform I’ve ever seen,” says Persson, who presumably has seen a few in his road to king of the indie-gaming castle. “I’ve spent incredible amounts of money on it, and I own a crazy amount of games on it.” However, he says, “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 has his doubts that the kind of content and distribution models he has in store for the game would sit easily with Valve, resulting in a split between Steam and non-Steam customers “where only some of the players can access all of the weird content we want to add to the game.” (Which, really, is just a more polite variation on what EA said recently).
In a further display of gentlemanly deference, Notch says he's in talks with Valve about what the two can do together, and that he understands why Steam works the way it does, citing “a certain inherent incompatibility between what we want to do and what they want to do.”
For readers worried Persson's continued refusal to indulge in competitive bitching may keep him from gaming's high-vitriol big-leagues, the wily Swede closes with a barbed final compliment, calling Steam, “Much more awesome than certain other digital distribution platforms that we would NOT want to release Minecraft on.” The kid might just make multinational CEO yet.
Aug 31, 2011