Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, is in the rare position to be able to do just about whatever he wants and say whatever he feels. So the man whose game is tearing up the charts on Xbox Live Arcade (more than three million copies sold)... the man who has said publicly that he "loves" working with Microsoft on the Xbox... is the same man who can say...
Got an email from microsoft, wanting to help "certify" minecraft for win 8. I told them to stop trying to ruin the pc as an open platform.— Markus Persson (@notch) September 27, 2012
I'd rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to win 8 that way..— Markus Persson (@notch) September 27, 2012
...and what's Microsoft going to do about it?
I've asked Notch to elaborate on his concerns about Windows 8, but the gist of his complaint, as seen in these tweets, is that Windows 8 makes Microsoft's PC operating system feel more closed and therefore less friendly to enterprising indie developers. These complaints pile on to Stardock CEO Brad Wardell's criticisms of the operating system's usability, leveled here on Kotaku in March and Valve chief Gabe Newell's remark that the new operating system could be "a catastrophe" for PC gaming. Diablo studio Blizzard isn't afraid of Windows 8. (One of our PC-minded reporters had a poor experience with the "professional" version of the operating system on it; our sister site, Gizmodo, however does think the OS is good for gaming.)
If a game is certified for Windows 8, it's able to be listed in the operating system's "Metro" interface. If it's not, it won't appear in the OS' Windows game store, but, as far as I can tell, it will still be playable on Windows 8. This doesn't seem to be a case of Notch being able to pull Minecraft from Windows 8 so much as it's a case of him not wanting to push his game into their listings and shop. It's not clear if Minecraft could be blocked from running on Windows 8, but that seems unlikely, given the OS' support for legacy applications.
Microsoft has been stubbornly silent about the heat Windows 8 is taking. They've repeatedly declined our requests for comment about Newell's remarks and other Windows 8 critiques. An external rep replied to my request for comment today, but only to walk me through the functionality of Windows 8. Any comment from Microsoft about Notch's and others' complaints is, at best, forthcoming. Should Microsoft decide to finally defend their new operating system and share their view of how it benefits PC gaming, we'll let you know.