Why Minecraft and Steam Don't Mix... Yet

Much ado was made about one of the year's biggest games, Battlefield 3, skipping Valve's Steam platform. Publisher EA has its reasons. Minecraft creator Notch has a similar-sounding explanation for not releasing his game, which "officially" releases in November, on Steam.

Now, Notch (aka Marcus Persson) does write that he thinks Steam is "awesome" and "the best digital distribution platform I've ever seen." But it's not the best fit for him, Mojang and Minecraft.

"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."

In better sounding news, Notch offers a little hope that someday Minecraft may come to Steam.

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

On the Valve side, co-founder Gabe Newell recently told Kotaku that it recognizes the developer has work to do to convince companies to embrace Steam.

"I think with any developer, the onus is on us to show them we have value, that we're creating a set of services and capabilities and bringing an audience to them," he said.

Why no Steam, Notch? [The Word of Notch]


You can contact Michael McWhertor, the author of this post, at mike@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.