Minecraft creator explains why the game isn't on Steam

By on August 30, 2011, 2:30 PM

Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson was asked at PAX last weekend why his game wasn’t available on Steam in order to reach a wider audience. Upon returning home from the event, he re-answered the question in detail publicly on his personal blog, The Word of Notch.

Any game developer would love to have their title available to a wider audience, and that is exactly what Steam provides. Notch explains that Valve has produced the best digital distribution platform and goes on to quote several features that he is very fond of. But there is one major roadblock involved in bringing Minecraft to Steam, and it’s a big one.

“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,” Notch writes on his blog. “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.”

Available in beta format on Minecraft.net since 2009, the immensely popular PC sandbox game was supposed to leave beta status on November 11, 2011 but that date has been pushed back. The game will also be coming to Xbox 360 this winter. The new version of the game, which doesn’t have a name yet, will feature (but not require) Kinect support and be exclusive to the 360.

For those unfamiliar with the game, it consists of exploration, construction and survival. The world is made of different blocks, each of which is destructible, collectible and reusable in your own creations. Valuable materials are buried deep under the surface. Zombies and monsters spawn at night, introducing a combat element to the game.




User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

You buy Dirt 3 DLC in game from the Microsoft store, so I don't see how the creators see Steam as a roadblock in that regard. Even Global Agenda and many other free to play games have purchasing systems in place where items are purchased from the dev website. This proves anyone can create a DLC based game using Steam where purchases are possible outside of Steam.

SkyFall said:

So why not something like Desura instead?

Or perhaps Notch just likes it the way it is right now.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I agree with Notch. I didn't like the idea of Minecraft on Steam either.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Guest said:

You buy Dirt 3 DLC in game from the Microsoft store, so I don't see how the creators see Steam as a roadblock in that regard. Even Global Agenda and many other free to play games have purchasing systems in place where items are purchased from the dev website. This proves anyone can create a DLC based game using Steam where purchases are possible outside of Steam.

That's true the DLCs that came with Dragon Age had to be activated on the website IIRC.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Same with Mass effect, I had to go online to the EA website to activate the DLC. I really don't see the problem with this...

Guest said:

Bullshit. There are MMOs on Steam that are also sold through other channels. They use Steam to distribute a copy of the client, nothing more. Any in game item sales use their normal methods.

He may have a reason for not wanting to use Steam, but this explanation falls on its face.

treetops treetops said:

steam=home owners association

ramonsterns said:

Translation: I want to nickle and dime the userbase.

Eddo22 said:

Minecraft has enough issues with and without mods. Surely Steam would only cause more.

Speaking of mods and Minecraft.. there is a sweet new realistic water shader mod out - [link]

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok let me put it this way... Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam.

Go google it and the issues it has had on steam.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Although Notch, you could easily sell a serial key to activate the account on the site, pretty much as eve online does and not needing to have the game on steam to play it.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

steam=home owners association

I like this! There is a lot of truth to what you speak. Steam is not the end all-be all as some Steamaholics want you to believe.

Guest said:

Notch has his reasons and I'll follow him blindly.

lipe123 said:

Same reason BF3 isnt on steam.

ramonsterns said:

lipe123 said:

Same reason BF3 isnt on steam.

ramonsterns said:

Translation: I want to nickle and dime the userbase.

You mean this reason?

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