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Minecraft not on Steam due to restrictive ToS

Tuesday, 30th August 2011 00:43 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson has added his voice to critique of Steam’s vendor terms of service.

Writing on his blog, Notch said Valve’s conditions don’t allow for the kind of service Minecraft provides.

“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.”

Steam’s anti-competitive content control has come under criticism recently after a number of EA titles were removed from the service. Notch echoed EA in this regard by professing ongoing negotiations.

“We are talking to Valve about this, but I definitely understand their reasons for wanting to control their platform. There’s a certain inherent incompatibility between what we want to do and what they want to do,” he wrote.

“So there’s no big argument, we just don’t want to limit what we can do with Minecraft.”

Having said that, Notch also had planty of praise for the platform.

“Steam is awesome. Steam is the best digital distribution platform I’ve ever seen. It runs great, offers great services like that shift+tab stuff, and it remembers my credit card details so there’s no barrier for me when I want to buy a game.”

Thanks, Gamespy.

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9 Comments

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  1. DSB

    I can see how it would hold back an actual community like Minecraft, but unless there are micro-transactions in Battlefield 3, then I don’t really see the comparison.

    It’s gonna be interesting to see what he intends for Minecraft in terms of making money off of the users he already has, and it’s gonna be even more interesting to see what happens in the battle for content.

    I don’t think it’s gonna be fun for anyone if every publisher and developer retracts into their turtle shells and simply demands that everybody come to them. And I certainly don’t see what it would do for competition.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. narya1

    Like that shift+tab stuff, bahahaha. Love you Notch

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Henry

    hoho, who is the fat guy who keep saying Xbox Live is too restrictive and asking M$ to open it?

    Minecraft will be on XBLA.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    @4 Don’t expect Minecraft on Xbox Live to be half the game it is on the PC. It’ll end up being far more restricted, and far less updated.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Fin

    [Insert the exact same argument people used about EA being a dick for pulling its games from Steam - them "looking for an excuse" to do it and such]

    Oh, what’s that? This is different because it’s Notch and not EA? Hm.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Yoshi

    @5 SHHHHHHHhhhh… this is still exactly the same as EA’s problem with Steam. If you’re going to use Steam to get awareness and profit with the game then you could at least add the extras that you want to sell to Steam as well. Warhammer has had a fuck ton of add ons which give players weapons etc, they’ve got no problem with Steam and how this works because it works WELL. You buy the game and it’ll prompt or rather make you aware there there is also add ons etc. If any developer complains about Steam because that developer wants to have their own little market place for add ons so they get all the profit then that’s just pathetic. Steam is no.1 is digital distribution, if you’re going to use Steam to sell the game, use Steam to also sell add ons, that way it’s being fair to all parties.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. DSB

    @5 You don’t see a difference between micro content and DLC? Really? Quite arguably, if you’re selling some tiny item that costs around 1 dollar, then I have a hard time seeing how it would ever be profitable for you, or for Steam.

    I have no idea how Zombie Cow or Arrowhead Games are able to make money off of their games and DLC through Steam.

    Standard AAA DLC, at least so far, tends to be at a size and a pricerange where there’d be no problem in leaving the product open to competition, or cooperating with retailers to sell it.

    That isn’t to say that Valve doesn’t have a problem. Missing out on a great product like Minecraft certainly does qualify as a problem.

    @6 You can’t force people to sell something on a specific service. Coercion is exactly what we’d like to get away from. But I do think it’s a good thing to encourage everyone to compete and use the independent market to do what it does best.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Yoshi

    @7, No one is forcing developers to use Steam but if they are going to use Steam, they could at least include the add ons to Steam as it was Steam that got them purchases in the first place.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    @8 Ultimately I agree with that, but Valve also need to make damn sure they can accomodate all the different new business models that are arising.

    If they demand a cut from Mojang for selling something like a little article of clothing, or for letting their users sell their seeds (map codes) among one another, then they’re behind the times.

    I absolutely disagree with what’s said in the article here. Steam clearly isn’t being anti-competitive in wanting to sell DLC, they’re trying to convince EA and others to compete freely. Even if Valve in other cases stomps competition themselves.

    I think we’d all be better off if those publishers were willing to compete, but we have to realize that publishers simply aren’t stopping in their stampede towards trying to get more, without doing more.

    #9 3 years ago