Notch reiterates why Minecraft isn’t available through Steam

Wednesday, 25th July 2012 20:12 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Mojang’s Markus Persson has said the team is a bit “wary to submit Minecraft to Steam,” as the developer is still unsure what it would do with the game on the service.

Speaking with PC Gamer, Persson said another reason is due to the sales percentage Valve takes on games sold through the service. So, in other words, Mojang wants to keep every penny and can do so because the firm self-publishes.

“As much as I love Steam, I do somewhat worry about the PC as a gaming platform becoming owned by a single entity that takes 30% of all PC games sold,” he said. “I’m hoping for a future where more games can self-publish and use social media and friends to market their games. Perhaps there’s something we could do to help out there? I don’t know. If nothing else, we might work as an inspiration for people to self-publish.

“It’s probably obvious from this reply, but we’re trying to figure out what we want to do long term with the position we have now. We only recently decided to stay as independent as possible and cancelled an unannounced project that we were doing in collaboration with someone else. It’s going to be an interesting future.”

There may be something to this self-publishing thing, if a company can afford to do it: in the last 24 hours, Minecraft sold 11,660 copies at $27.95 each, which is $314,237 a day in revenue – or close to $1 million every three days.

Wow. I need to start working on my own indie game. I’ll call it: “Too Many Cats.” The goal is to figure out how many felines you can cram into my house before I go batshit crazy. Maybe I should form a Kickstarter.



  1. Phoenixblight


    “Wow. I need to start working on my own indie game. I’ll call it: “Too Many Cats.” The goal is to figure out how many felines you can cram into my house before I go batshit crazy. Maybe I should form a Kickstarter.”

    Do it!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Sorvin

    I would still like to have Minecraft on Steam though.
    Achievements would be easier, cloud saves would be AMAZING to have and just in general I prefer having my games on Steam.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. ManuOtaku

    #2 “Achievements would be easier”
    Belive me the achievements on XBLA were a piece of cake, a walk in the park, a shoot to the floor, well you got the point by now that it was a easy thing on XBLA, it couldnt get easier.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Yoshi

    @3 The achievements in the game he’s talking about… not sure if it’s the same achievements on the XBLA version, most likely though. They’re more a tutorial than achievements really.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    Games don’t need an arbitrary, ego-stroking medal system to be enjoyable, and the guy certainly shouldn’t have to take a 30% cut of the profits for something so utterly meaningless as a bunch of badges on a page.

    It was his idea, his creation, and he deserves every single penny earned from it.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. _LarZen_

    Just adjust the price up so those who realy wants Minecraft on Steam have a option to do so.

    Personaly I think Steam is the big bad wolf that so many adore and love.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight


    At this point when he has made as much money as him through different versions of the game. He could care less about taking a 30% hit especially since it would grow his consumer base.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. absolutezero

    Plus he had no fucking problem splashing out for the 360 and various phone versions.

    I sure do adore this backlash against Steam for the simple fact that its so much better than anything and everything else available that people simply do not want to use anything else.

    bbooooo Its a monopoly. booo hiss boo

    This is the PC, make something better and it will attract its own audience. Make something better than Steam and people will use it. Just stop fucking crying about it and using the word “scary” endlessly.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DSB

    Yeah, it does make Notch look pretty silly.

    Advocating ultimate freedom on one platform while happily selling his game on another that is basically created to be the exact antithesis of that.

    So basically if Steam owned 100% of the platform, he would happily deal with them. Doesn’t make any sense.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Old MacDonald

    The difference is that selling on Steam would likely cannibalize their own sales, while selling on XBLA probably does not. At least not to the same extent.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Ireland Michael

    @8 Your argument is redundant since I don’t have a problem with Steam.

    The game is clearly flourishing just fine without it. Anyone who wants it will get it.

    The guy is sorted for life with the money he’s made already. He doesn’t need more, and he clearly doesn’t care about monolopising his profits. Not everyone is motivated by pure greed.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. absolutezero

    Notch distinctly is though.

    I have no problem with that, Minecraft is perfectly fine without being on Steam. Also I was’nt trying to claim you personally have a problem with Steam, theres just been a slight ground swell of people wringing hands over how huge Steam is in comparison to everything else available.

    I just find it odd that on the same day that Johnathon Blow made a statement pointing out how horrible console certification, Notch has more or less stated hes fine with it but hes not happy with Steam taking a cut of his profits.

    I still like Notch.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    @10 Which would be a perfectly reasonable thing to say. Minecraft can easily sustain itself without the help of something like Steam.

    But that’s just not the argument he’s using.

    He’s saying that Steam has too great a marketshare, and critisizing the fact that they take 20-30% of every purchase.

    Which to me is just kind of silly, since something like a brick and mortar store would take more than double that percentage.

    Quite arguably Steam has made it cheaper to sell your games than ever before, and like absolutezero points out, the only reason why they have the marketshare they have is because it’s peoples preferred client.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    @13 “Which to me is just kind of silly, since something like a brick and mortar store would take more than double that percentage.”

    Wait… what? No they don’t. They get maybe a sixth at most.

    And that’s ignoring the fact that they need to pay for the stock in the fist place, which might not always sell.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Well, I guess I should’ve specified. It’s not just the store taking that margin, it’s also the process of distribution.

    This article says 70% gross margins for publishers on Steam, compared to 30% gross margins at retail.

    Others put the figure at just below 50% after you figure in the costs of physical distribution.

    Either way, that’s still a huge amount you’re saving.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Ireland Michael

    @15 You’re seriously over-simplifying the process and you know it.

    Anyway, 100% is still more than 70%, and I don’t believe for a second that putting it on Steam would sell more copies. Anyone who knows about Minecraft is likely to know what Steam is already, and visa versa. Minecraft is the sort of game people buy because they want to. It doesn’t *need* to be advertised.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. absolutezero

    It would get thousands of people that already own it buying it again to add it to their steam collection. Im not even joking, plus theres the opportunity to integrate Steam Workshop and make the modding of Minecraft a hell of alot easier than it is right now.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. DSB

    @16 How am I? I’m just going on the facts as they appear.

    I never said putting it on Steam would sell more, I believe I just said the opposite in a previous post.

    I’m just saying that Notch isn’t using business as an argument, but the fact that Steam is big and that 30% is somehow a lot to pay for distribution.

    Which it quite obviously isn’t. Distribution has never been cheaper in the history of the medium.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DuckOfDestiny

    “and cancelled an unannounced project that we were doing in collaboration with someone else.”

    Confirmed, Psychonauts 2 cancelled ;)

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Telepathic.Geometry

    From a businessman’s point of view, 70% of anything is better than 100% of nothing. So assuming that sales cannibalisation weren’t too big a factor, it wouldn’t make sense NOT to go there.

    But I think Notch comes at it from a personal point of view, saying that Steam could stand to give a more reasonable split for distribution on their service, and as he doesn’t need the cash, he’s entitled to that way of thinking. Maybe he’s even right to make that stand…

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Hybridpsycho

    so much steam fanboy.

    I do enjoy steam as well, the sales they have are amazing and it’s nice to get your games at one place.

    However the software is terribly coded, it’s complete and utter shit and fails far too much. I’m sad to say it used to work better, but over the years more and more of my friends are having issues with it, even I…

    One example, steam wouldn’t allow me to play Skyrim for weeks after release on my PC for no apparent reason. No matter how much information I fed to Steam support and any third-party support I could get my hands on, I was offered no proper help/compensation.

    Mind you, I’m not your average-joe when it comes to computers and software. I’ve built hundreds of them and fixed thousands while working at a PC-store.

    Oh yeah, and there’s the fact that steam draws sooooo much unnecessary peformance from your PC. Sure if you’re ONLY gonna play that game you enjoy it’s all fine. But I can no longer have Steam running in the background while I’m gaming on one screen, watching a stream on the other and streaming my own game (Running half a monster PC).

    Steam fanboys oversell steam far too much. Let the man keep Minecraft of it if he feels like doing so. The majority of you probably have no insight what it’s like to run a company in the Game-dev market.

    #21 2 years ago

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