Notch: Digital distribution monopoly “a bit dangerous”

Friday, 16th March 2012 05:47 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Although Mojang’s founder really likes Steam, he’s wary of one platform dominating the PC market.

Speaking to Gamespy, Markus “Notch” Persson said he approves of the growing field of competition in the digital distribution space.

“I think it’s a bit dangerous to only have one digital distribution platform like Steam. I love Valve, but out of principle, I find the idea of one platform a bit scary,” he said.

“So I like that there are others competing – for example, Desura and Impulse, who recently got bought by GameStop. It’s a good thing that there are more.”

EA’s rival offering Origin is a pet hate for much of the same crowd which hero worships Perrson and other indie developers, but the Minecraft creator didn’t have anything too damning to say about it.

“Origin does a couple things badly compared to Steam – which is impressive since they had eight years to study Steam. They should definitely have a chance to do their thing, but they might want to move away from titles that make people use it and show people why they should use it,” he said.

“But I think, in principle, it’s a good thing.”




  1. Talkar

    Which is why i use Origin, gamersgate and GOG whenever i can to supplement Steam. One place to rule them all, and in the darkness bind us, will be a very bad thing indeed.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. TheBlackHole

    That’s kind of an odd statement, given that gamersgate sell steam keys. That’s just feeding the beast.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. viralshag

    I really have no problem using Origin even though I do think it’s still far from being anywhere near as good as Steam. I think not buying games because of Origin is a bit sad.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. silkvg247

    I think Valve at some point are going to have to give buyers some guarantees if they want to continue to be as popular as they are. e.g. Assurances that the game is “owned” and not just rented, and cannot be blocked by an account ban – as current, which imo is just wrong.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Froseidon

    Finally, something I can agree with Notch on.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    @4 That’s never going to happen.

    At some point people are going to have to grow some common sense, instead of jumping on every chicken little theory they see online.

    Obviously a service like Steam needs the power to lock accounts for several reasons, one of them being to counter abuse that could potentially harm other customers.

    The same thing applies to every e-mail address you’ve ever made. Yet nobody seems too worried about that.

    Software licensing isn’t Steams problem as a storefront. That’s the way the software business has worked for decades. You license games, you never own them, and the same thing applies whether it’s delivered digitally or via physical media.

    I think their biggest challenge is going to be convincing publishers that they don’t need to make their own clients. Already it’s not looking great.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    Yeah, but competition can also bring a lot of con artists into the fold.

    I think the way that EA has been treating their customers in regards to Origin is appalling. Valve would never have been responsible of half the shit that EA’s done, and if someone at Valve had even thought about it, they would have been fired before it could have gone past the thinking phase.

    But I suppose that’s what happens when you have a privately owned company (like Valve) versus a publically owned company (like EA).

    I admit, there are a lot of really great competitors out there, though. Gamer’s Gate is one. They’re good guys, and I recommend checking out their site and considering their deals. They’re just really nice people. And despite that PR stunt they pulled, I still love GoG, too. Green Man Gaming has a lot of interesting deals as well, there’s a lot of choice out there.

    But like I said, it can also bring con men into the fold, those looking to treat people like living wallets, to get as much money out of people as they can before the effort collapses. And right now that’s Origin.

    So competition isn’t always all sunshine and roses, but it can be healthy.

    #7 3 years ago

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