Future Talk: Notch On Steam, Windows 8, What’s Next

By Nathan Grayson on September 15th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Yesterday, we ran the first part of my chat with Minecraft creator and needer-of-no-introductions Notch, wherein we largely talked about life after Minecraft and what he’s been up to recently. But there’s more to this world than Minecraft (at least, until we discover our entire world is actually a block-by-block Minecraft reconstruction of the real world), so today, we’re forging ahead into the future. And also the present, but the other thing sounds cooler. So read on to see Notch discuss copycatting in games, his ideas for non-games ala Proteus, a virtual reality version of Minecraft, Steam, Windows 8, and heaps more.

RPS: Obviously Minecraft is huge and has pretty much caught on everywhere, and its influence is starting to show a lot – in many cases simply as an inspiration. There are a lot of games with blocks and constructing things. But it’s also, in some places, been cloned pretty heavily, like on Xbox Live and things like that. What’s it like watching your creation be split into so many things and applied in so many different ways?

Notch: I love people cloning stuff, because that’s how we get better games. Is it really fair to say it’s a Minecraft clone, or is it more of an Infiniminer clone they’re making, because Minecraft is very similar to Infiniminer? They probably got the idea from Minecraft. They were probably thinking they cloned Minecraft. But everything everyone makes is based on something else. There’s very, very few original ideas. Almost everything is somehow derivative. You improve on stuff you’ve played before. So I’m all for clones. If people are doing direct clones only to monetize, making iOS versions of something…

RPS: Ninja Fishing…

Notch: Yeah. Not going to name any names. I don’t think it’s nice to do that. But I feel like it’s extremely important that you’re allowed to do that, because otherwise we get into this really scary territory of owning IP and stopping innovation. I’d rather just go, “Ugh, these guys are being dicks.” But they should be able to do that, rather than trying to stop people through laws and stuff. I think copyright and trademark is fine. I don’t want people deceiving customers by saying, “This is Minecraft.” But if you take that idea and make your own game, that’s fine.

RPS: On that note, right now EA is suing Zynga on the grounds that their games are too similar. So do you think that’s dangerous territory? Do you think that could lead to someone just holding dominion over and idea or something like that, and suddenly nobody can iterate on it and make new things?

Notch: Yeah, I think it’s very dangerous territory. In the case of EA and Zynga, those games are deceivingly similar. It looks like they’re trying to almost trick the customer into thinking it’s the same game. That’s when I think you should be able to stop people. I don’t want them to be able to trick people into thinking it’s the same game. If it’s the same idea, fine, but if you’re trying to move into the concept space of what Minecraft is, for example… It’s hard to express the exact difference. But trademarks fine, patents bad. That’s kind of the short summary.

RPS: You said Minecraft is similar to Infiniminer. Is that weird for you, then, that so many people associate the idea with Minecraft, even though you were directly inspired by something else?

Notch: It depends, but yeah. Infiniminer didn’t have crafting. It didn’t have the blocky characters with the armor on. It didn’t have as many settings. It depends which part people are cloning. Terraria, they say they’re inspired by Minecraft, and it’s a great game. They’re more inspired by the things I added to the genre than the actual essence of the thing that’s similar to Infiniminer.

But the Xbox Live games you mentioned, they’re more inspired by being able move boxes around. Which is more like Infiniminer. People are like, “They cloned your game!” No, they had the same idea that I also had from some other game. Partly, anyway. I get slightly too much credit. I just assembled a bunch of ideas. They’re not original in any way.

The strength of Minecraft is the way everything is tied together. I think that’s where the magic is, in how the pieces are tied together. Not necessarily what the pieces themselves are. There’s nothing revolutionary about the concept of a diamond sword. But the way it works in Minecraft is pretty entertaining.

RPS: Do you have any ideas for games that are completely out of left field, though – that nobody’s ever done before? Or rather, for something really non-traditional? Like, if someone looked at this hypothetical game, they wouldn’t be able to say, “Oh, duh, that’s an action game, that’s an RPG…”

Notch: Oh, yeah. I’m kind of getting into this idea of making electronic toys. I played Proteus, and it had a profound effect on me. The level of awe I feel, like, “Wow, this is so beautiful” – even though it’s the most simple graphics possible. The sound design is obviously brilliant. And it’s not even really a game. When I’m playing it I kind of go through all of this… What am I doing? Why is this entertaining? I try to think through it as a game designer and everything. It’s very entertaining still. That’s kind of inspired me to maybe look into doing things that aren’t necessarily “games,” and aren’t necessarily “art” either. They’re just some experience, an interactive experience. Those would be very hard to classify. There’s no real name for them yet.

RPS: If you were to do something in that space, what would it be? Proteus already has the sort of “very cool island environment” locked down.Do you have any ideas in terms of where you’d go with that type of concept? That sort of interactive space?

Notch: The things I’ve thought about are very vague ideas. Like there’s a city populated by a bunch of autonomous agents that go to work and come back and have their thing going on. And there’s no real goal to it; it’s just that’s the space, and you can play around with that. That’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s hard to define exactly what it is. This simulation of a very lightweight city. I don’t know exactly what you’d do. The idea is that you’d play as a character who can go to work and come back and earn money to pay the rent, and that’s the game. The art style of the game… Remember School Days? It’s an old, old game. I was thinking of that as the art direction.

RPS: I’d love to see one of these types of “immersive experience” games with something like Oculus Rift.

Notch: Yeah. I got a demo yesterday. Holy moley, it’s good. VR has always been so bad it couldn’t catch on. This one, I feel, is just above the threshold of actually catching on. The immersion I got was superb, and I got very, very nauseous, but I tried moving my head back and forth. It doesn’t do position, it just does rotational tracking right now. So if you move your head, you kind of go up, down…

Then you feel sick. Which is a good sign. That’s not a pleasant experience, but it means it’s actually working. You’re really expecting it to move. I’ve talked to those guys, and I’m definitely going to look into having that for the space game. And I’ll try to convince the guys to do it with Minecraft.

The problem is it has to be 60 FPS, and that’s very hard to guarantee with Minecraft, because someone could make a very complex city and you can’t render that at 60 FPS. So we’ll see.

RPS: You’ve been fairly outspoken about Steam in the past – not in a bad way, but with an air of caution. Valve’s gigantic and completely ubiquitous, after all. If there’s not a Steam sale this winter, it will actually count as Gabe Newell canceling Christmas. That sort of thing. So, with Greenlight in the picture and Valve making more of a grab for small independent developers, are you worried at all about Steam’s lack of a viable competitor?

Notch: I think Steam is very ridiculously good, but it’s too big. I don’t want the PC to be a closed platform. And now we have one de facto store – which is probably not good. I’d rather have it be like the browser thing, where you can choose between Chrome or Firefox or, if you’re insane, Internet Explorer. Actually I kind of like Internet Explorer. It’s just fun to make fun of it.

RPS: I’ve been hearing that from a lot of people. That doesn’t make sense to my brain.

Notch: It’s actually not bad, it’s just fun to make fun of it. I recently switched from Firefox to Chrome, though.

RPS: You say a closed platform in relation to Valve, though, which is interesting because Windows 8 is about to launch. And… yeah. That could be trouble. Meanwhile, Valve’s trying to fight for openness on PC by embracing Linux and things like that.

Notch: Yeah. I understand why Microsoft are doing it. I just wish they didn’t do it, because it’s…yeah. It could ruin a lot of things for a lot of people.

I understand why Valve wants to do what it’s doing, too. But then they would be the de facto store again, and you’d still have the Windows 8 situation in practice anyway. Because everyone would be using Steam. Is that better than only using the Windows store? I don’t know. It’s more open, because you could use an alternative, but if nobody does… I hope that Valve chooses to work with others. Like, I wish they would have worked with Desura instead of making Greenlight.

RPS: Part of what Valve could stand to do is just bring a bigger audience to that kind of thing. Linux is a very open platform. The way that Gabe Newell puts it is that games have a way of making people try new platforms. So the stated plan, anyway, is to be a gateway drug. To draw people to Linux – onto a more open platform – and give it some more market share. Or at least, that’s my understanding, anyway. 

Notch: Yeah, maybe. I think that Steam is too large, though. I think it’s going to take over. If people would install Linux just to be able to play Steam games, then we would have a Steambox, essentially. That’s all it would be used for. I think Valve has their heart in the right place. It’s just that because there’s no competition, they’re automatically going to take over. Or there is competition, but Valve is so far ahead. I think that’s what’s going to happen.

Also, Windows 7 is awesome. It’s good, it’s very open. You can do anything you want with it. Windows 8 seems like they’re moving in a more closed direction basically because Apple is doing that.

RPS: Yeah. They want to have interoperability between PC and tablet and mobile and stuff like that. Which requires a more closed platform – at least with the way they’re doing the mobile stuff.

Notch: And they want to own the store. Which makes perfect sense. But it’s bad for consumers and bad for competition.

RPS: Yeah. I’ve also heard from people trying out Windows 8, saying it’s not user-friendly or nice or good…

Notch: I haven’t tried it myself, so I don’t know about those bits. Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me, because every other version of Windows has been horrible. And 7 is great.

RPS: How do you see the whole situation shaking out, though? Do you think people will just stick with Windows 7 until Microsoft realizes 8 is a terrible idea, or are you worried that we could be stuck in this for the long haul?

Notch: I think there are several threats against the PC being an open platform. I think Steam did a lot of good as far as introducing digital downloads in a very viable way. It basically killed PC retail. But I think that’s good. That way we don’t need publishers anymore. But now you kind of need a publisher anyway because you need to go on Steam. So now they’re taking the 30 percent instead of someone else. So where’s the benefit?

And then if Microsoft tries the same thing and they control their OS, that’s another threat against it. So I think both of those are dangers that we kind of have to live through. I do think there’s some demand or need for an open OS for computers, an open system for it. I don’t think Linux is it, because there are a few good distributions that actually are user-friendly, but at its core it’s made by nerds for nerds. For people who understand computers, it’s awesome, because you can control the entire computer. For corporations or families, it’s not really what they want. They just want to be able to use the computer in an easy way.

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243 Comments »

  1. Thomas says:

    So how does making Minecraft exclusive to his own storefront solve his supposed “closed platform” issue?

    Wouldn’t the solution be to make it available on all storefronts who want to sell the game?

    • paralipsis says:

      Minecraft doesn’t need other storefronts to be successful. Putting them on there so they take a cut of the profits doesn’t help Mojang at all. It’s not a “closed platform” when they do that, it’s just a simple business decision. What they do doesn’t affect anyone else’s ability to make or sell games, that’s the principle here. Not the idea that everyone is entitled to a piece of Minecraft’s success just because they own a storefront.

      • Memphis-Ahn says:

        “What they do doesn’t affect anyone else’s ability to make or sell games, that’s the principle here.”
        Neither does Windows 8 store, as long as you’re not using RT (which is a tablet/ARM OS anyways).

        • iniudan says:

          Mistake, has long has you don’t use metro (or whatever the name they changed it to) software (which are the only software on the RT version), has all metro software have to go through MS store, except if you happen to get enterprise version of windows 8 (require to order a minimum of 5k license, if I remember right), which let you load metro software without going through the MS store.

          But desktop software are indeed still fine for now.

          • cocome6515 says:

            If you say this: http://skyrim.nexusmods.com/mods/15094
            Whenever Notch is mentioned, there’s a set of pathetic little goblins who slither forth and spew unfocused hate and spittle all over the comments sections.

          • Renton81 says:

            A unique Gaming community site is giving out Minecraft Gift codes to all its users. They actually share their advertising revenue to purchase the codes from minecraft.net, so the more users they have visiting the more they can buy. You can also check their forums and see that there are thousands of other users, many posting screen shots of what they got in the “Look What I Got” section. Some of these posts go back 2 years so it’s a pretty prestigious site.

            Their main blog is here
            http://freeminecraftw.webs.com/

            It also highlights the complete process of how to get your Premium version of minecraft.

    • Deadly Habit says:

      A cookie for you good sir, but then Mojang might have to give up a little bit of that profit to those outlets!
      Also his idea that Steam is “too large” because it gets a large percentile of business compared to other digital game vendor is ridiculous as an argument. They have plenty of competition, just they offer the best and most convenient service the majority of the time and are a trusted brand (think how apple took the smartphone/tablet market by storm). If anything the other shops and options should be innovating or coming up with alternatives to be competitive to lure business away from Steam and to their shops.
      Consumers like low prices, convenience, and brand recognition. Steam has all of these in spades when compared to a lot of other digital download options.

      • Zeewolf says:

        “Consumers like low prices, convenience, and brand recognition. Steam has all of these in spades when compared to a lot of other digital download options.”

        Yeah, but see, what you’re doing is just explaining why Steam is large. That’s not a counter-argument to “Steam is too large”.

        • Deadly Habit says:

          Tell me how they are too large then, they have plenty of competition. Just because the competition doesn’t do nearly as well as them is more a reflection on the quality of service and other aspects, not having a monopoly.

          • darkrenown says:

            being too large creates a situation where one person has a monopoly, which is bad. here’s an example:

            there are several million people that have a steam account and games on steam. Gabe notices this. he then decides that, to use steam, you need to pay $10/month. from a business perspective, this is genius! millions of additional revenue coming in for the company. I know I’d have to pay for it, as I’ve got so many games there i would be obligated to.

            if there were similarly powerful competitors, this would destroy the store, but there are none so steam COULD do something like this (you’ve probably already agreed to it in the T & C’s).

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            Existing TOS would probably make this very illegal. You can’t just cut off a consumers access to a product like that. Any sort of enmasse change like that would result in a salvo of lawsuits.

          • darkrenown says:

            @TsunamiWombat

            You’d be surprised what they put in the T & C’s. besides, my example was a far extreme, they could do something less extreme and probably get away with it (the only other example i could really think of is for them to start charging a small fee to redownload your games, which i’d imagine they’d be well within their rights to do).

          • RvLeshrac says:

            You cannot retroactively alter the terms of the agreement.

            If, for instance, you wanted to sue Valve/Steam in a class-action for a game you purchased five years ago, you would be able to do that. You simply wouldn’t be able to do that for a game you purchased after agreeing to the new terms.

            In a similar fashion, they would not be able to restrict access to or charge a fee for re-downloading of games which were purchased prior to the use of those in the agreement.

            All of this was made illegal years ago in US consumer law.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Even thought Steam is a subscription service, and the updated terms of that subscription are offered to you to agree to (else terminate and say goodbye to your games) when they change?

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            jrodman says:

            And here phil gets at what “too large” means. The more competition, the more the less leeway channels feel to be jerks. (Nevermind that the whole drm/channel system is fundamentally an asymmetric one where you, the buyer, are the serf and have almost no power to reverse wrongs.)

            As for what terms apply to prior sales when there is a click-through agreement in order to purchase that changes after the sale.. this is a matter of case law with which I’m not that well versed. Likely given the relative newness of digital sales, not all of it yet exists.

          • The Random One says:

            OK, OK. Imagine this instead: you can play your games forever, but you need a $10 monthly fee to buy new ones. Ooo, or better: You need the $10 monthly fee to buy games on sale. You can buy whatever you want but if you don’t pay the fee you always pay full price. And you can only use it on sales that started after your current submission (so you can’t go Hey, Dude Wot Shoots Stuff IV is 50% off, so I’ll pay the $10 and still save $20 over its regular price).

          • diamondmx says:

            How about a real example or three:
            If Steam had more competition, it would have a customer service dept with a shorter than 3 days average response time (a resolution taking multiple responses in most cases)
            If Steam had more competition, their refund policy would not be “lol, no.”
            If Steam had more competition, it would not occasionally decide to lock access to certain games for no reason, as this bug would have been fixed (“the servers are too busy for your singleplayer game” bug – still exists, still stupid)

            This from a Valve/Steam fan. Steam has many positive sides, but they still have a bucketload of shit they need to clean up too.

            As for any claim they have competition:
            EA’s Origin is the closest at the moment, in terms of publicity, it’s still not close. It has nowhere near the catalog of Steam, and it has a bad reputation it’s having trouble losing, in significant part because many Origin customers would rather be Steam customers, but the games were Origin-only.
            Steam has no realistic competitors in the digital download space at the moment, and this is bad for us, as users/consumers.

          • Azrigar says:

            @RvLeshrac

            Steam is a service rather than a product distribution platform. As such, all of the games attached to your steam account are affected by the current TOS of Steam. When Valve alters the TOS, you are notified and are required to accept or cancel your account (which cuts off access to the games, since you don’t own them, you simply own a license to play them, which is revocable).

      • zeroskill says:

        “If anything the other shops and options should be innovating or coming up with alternatives to be competitive to lure business away from Steam and to their shops.”

        This here really. I’m not hearing this enough. I’d like to have a volume bar on this so I can put it louder.

        • Roshin says:

          It’s kind of funny when you’ve been with Steam from the beginning. Back then, everyone laughed at it. Now they’re falling all over themselves trying to copy it and complaining that Steam is too big. People like Steam because it’s good. If you want people to use another digital platform, then you need to do better. That’s competition.

      • Consumatopia says:

        Developers release for a platform because that’s where customers are.

        Customers use a platform because that’s where devs release.

        Neither of these imply anything about quality of service–it’s just network effects.

        • zeroskill says:

          Yeah, i’m pretty sure that is exactely what Valve thought when they started Steam 10 years ago…when Steam was nothing more than a launcher for Counter Strike.

          • Consumatopia says:

            I’m sorry, I don’t understand. I don’t see how anything about Valve’s original intentions in creating Steam are implied by my post.

        • Deadly Habit says:

          Then explain why you have people who won’t purchase games from other options besides Steam, or why devs/publishers release games on these other options. Devs also are a fan because Steam has one of the best methods for pushing out updates and hotfixes (consumers like this as well), which personally the closest I’ve seen being Desura. There is also the community aspect.
          Steam at this point is much more than just a retailer of digital goods which is one aspect the competition seems to neglect or emulates poorly.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Then explain why you have people who won’t purchase games from other options besides Steam,

            First of all, if someone says a platform is a monopoly, that represents one of two independent claims–that customers, for one reason or another, have little reasonable alternative but to purchase from it, or that developers, for one reason or another, have little reasonable alternative but to sell on it. So if there is a significant chunk of the customer market who won’t purchase games from other options besides Steam, that suggests that there is a monopoly (or monopsony depending on how you think of the developer/publisher/store front relationship) facing developers. This is true even if all those customers prefer Steam due to Steam having the best customer service.

            However, you should scroll down to Emeraude’s post below, which offers some explanations other than Steam having the best customer service for why Steam customers would resist non-Steam games. Simply put, you need to keep Steam around to run all your Steam games. If you use another service, now you have to keep two services around.

            or why devs/publishers release games on these other options.

            There could be several monopolies in parallel. These options can’t be perfectly substituted for each other. If dealing with Valve is the only way to get access to consumers who only use Steam, and dealing with Acme is the only way to way to get access to consumers who only use Acme Game Store, the developer can’t substitute one kind of access for another–they likely need access to both sets of customers to stay in business.

            I should say that I use Steam, I don’t have any particular problem with it as a customer. I don’t have enough experience with other services to know whether it is actually better (I’ve used Desura a little, it seemed okay). I’m only pointing out that it need not be true that the leader in a market with strong network effects is providing the best service.

            The “community” aspect only strengthens the network effects argument. I use Facebook because all my friends and family use Facebook, not because I particular like anything about Facebook as opposed to other networks.

            Ideally, I’d like the see the different aspects Steam is fulfilling made separate. I like that Steam makes it convenient to purchase and download titles. But Steam also functions as a filter (deciding which games are presented to the customer) and, apparently, as a place for customers to meet each other. These services need to be provided, but it’s unfortunate that they’re all integrated together. It means that one company’s filter and one company’s community are made dominant. One of the beautiful things about the web is that we can all find our own filters–for example, the two of us read RockPaperShotgun because we like their filter of gaming news.

            For the time being, it’s inevitable that any game store must include a filter, if only for the sake of security–a store that allowed developers to upload literally anything would be filled with virus or other system breaking software, intentionally or not. My hope is that things like Unity, Google Native Client, cloud gaming, or perhaps some kind of virtualization would make concerns about viruses or anything else messing up my system obsolete. Some service that accepted all games would become standard, blogs like RPS would give me links to developer websites that would point to the generic game download/streaming service and that would be that. Let us all choose our own filters and communities, and let them be independent of our choice of game store.

    • razorramone says:

      Minecraft isn’t a platform, dimwit…

      • Thomas says:

        If he isn’t already there, he’s slowly heading that way, possible plans of DLC, changing into to a “Mojang Account” and a new subscription service 0x10c.

        Sure he’s not competing with anyone (As the games won’t be on either Steam or other services) but as i see it, he’s still very much advocating what he is infact against.

        If he truely wants it to be like choosing what browser you want to use, then i should at the very least be able to decide what storefront i want to use for buying my game.

        • noodlecake says:

          Completely disagree! e is doing is publishing his own games through his own store. There is nothing hypocritical about selling your own products and encouraging other people to do the same. I don’t really understand what your point is. He isn’t trying to sell other people’s games through his store and monopolizing like Valve are with Steam.

          • Thomas says:

            He’s promoting choice in buying games, in this case with Minecraft is only being offered from the developer, and that is not choice.

            Whether or not he wants to do this is his own business, but it doesn’t suit him to advocate choice and then deny it to others through his games.

            I wasn’t going to be bring up namecalling, but since you bring it up, yeah it is essentially hypocritical of him.

          • Sammy123476 says:

            I still love how everyone is tossing around the word ‘monopolize so very liberally. Steam isn’t forcing devs to use them, nor are they forcing devs to allow their products to go on sale, nor did they force other online platforms to be non-competitive. Steam isn’t just a platform, it’s a community as well. One of the big reasons I refuse to use other platforms, like, say, Origin, is because they cut me off from the groups and the friends I’ve already made. As time goes on, more people join to play with their friends, they make new friends, they invite more friends, and thus Steam is so successful. Not through poor business tactics like forcing out the compitition, but by being so very good.

          • The Random One says:

            I pretty much hate Notch, but I have to agree: even if the Minecraft account becomes a Mojang account after ‘the space game’ launches, it will still be a common thing for a dev to do. Many companies that also sell their games on Steam and whatnot have their own logins which double as stores.

          • Thomas says:

            I think you misunderstand, i have no quarrels with him selling his game from minecraft.net/mojang.com, i just have an issue with him saying that he wants choice, but then doesn’t lead by example.

          • zbeeblebrox says:

            Thomas, what the hell exactly do you define “choice” as, if you consider an independent developer launching his own game independently as being an example of a *lack* of choice??? Seriously?! What the fuck man. Get your priorities straight.

            That’s like bitching about a farmer selling his own produce for locking big grocery stores out of the market!!

          • Consumatopia says:

            i just have an issue with him saying that he wants choice, but then doesn’t lead by example.

            Of course he’s leading by example–if every developer sold their own games on their own website, there would be perfect choice! Every developer is permitted to sell on the web. Not every developer can sell on Steam.

    • eks says:

      It’s buying direct from the developer, cutting out any other companies and giving all revenue back to the developers. In a perfect world that’s the single best situation to be in and should be the default situation for every single developer/development studio. Everyone buys direct from the developer for every game and there is no “platform” competition because there are no “platforms” at all. Competition is based solely on the merits of the actual games and not based on which platform it happens to get lucky and get on.

      This isn’t going to happen obviously for a number of reasons but that’s the most “open” solution and one that would be best for PC gaming in theory.

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        Crimsoneer says:

        Except that no game would ever go “on sale”. They’d be stuck at retail price forever.

        • FakeAssName says:

          your “forever” ends at the point that people realizes that no one is buying their games.

          look at spiderweb, funny how all of their titles are $20 or less but if you had look at their site a few years ago you would have found that every single title from them (regardless of age) was up for $39.99.

          in the Economic dictionary stubbornness is actually listed just before starvation.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Actually Arcen and many others with “on their webpage” stores (most actually have to use services like BTMicro or similiar, so have to go through middlemen regardless, they just might take smaller cuts for processing) have had anniversary or “time of year” sales.

          And you are just casually stepping past “pay what you want” models, too.

    • Text_Fish says:

      You buy Minecraft through Minecraft. It’s not a platform, it’s just the game. Whereas Steam, Desura, XBox etc. are platforms because you have to use them to gain access to multiple products and in some cases have to pay for the platform itself. Minecraft is just Minecraft.

    • Beanchilla says:

      Notch doesn’t make every video game though. If he’s doing fine on the website why move? A massive distributor that nearly everyone relies on is different than a developer using their own site.

    • hosndosn says:

      Using “openness” in this context is very cynical. It’s the big player who has to open up in a quasi-monopoly and, in this case, that’s Valve.

    • Emeraude says:

      The problem with people saying Steam needs competition – or is not in position of de facto monopoly really, technically Steam is as much a monopoly as Gamestop (if I understand the situation well), or Microsoft in its prime: ie not technically, but in all that matters it might just as well – is that, I think, they fail to account for one key difference between Steam and traditional retail: Steam is a subscription service.

      When I chose to change where I shop, I don’t have to worry about accessing my already bought games down the line. Or transferring account and save files. Or backing games. You can’t stop using Steam without losing access to your games down the line, or having to go through alot of hoops to do so. Meaning that even if you go shop elsewhere, you’re still more than likely to end up using Steam. And of course, being already in use of one centralized client for all the services Steam provides, you won’t want to use another – for convenience’s sake.

      The whole set up generates tremendous inertia. For Steam to lose market shares significantly, not only would a competitor have to do much better, Valve would have to fuck up pretty bad at the same time also.
      And the more invested in the platform a customer is, the less likely to leave he becomes. Add to that steamworks, that make use of the client mandatory for even retail game, we are in front of at te very least a very problematic situation.

      • Ragnar says:

        That’s exactly right. The reason I don’t want to buy games on Desura or Origin or GreenManGaming or GameFly or GamersGate or whatever is that I’m already committed to Steam, and the fewer clients and services I need to keep track of, the better.

        The obvious solution is to offer people keys. For example, if I buy your game off your website, you give me a Steam key and a Desura key. Now, I can go to whichever service I want. But I’m sure there’s an added cost to this, which the devs / publishers don’t want to pay.

    • DrBomb says:

      Minecraft is not a platform in first place and notch very deep just wants the devs to get the whole money from their games. He said that even if the publishers are over steam grabs 30% of the price for a game.
      Also, notch’s point was the whole time that Steam is too big, and he wants a bit of spreading of options when you want to buy a game

      • FakeAssName says:

        buying isn’t the problem, anyone can buy a steamworks title from just about anywhere, the problem is having to run steam regardless.

        sure, I could buy Dues-EX from target and walk out with a box, but if I did I’m still only renting the game instead of owning it.

      • Ragnar says:

        Though to put it into perspective:
        Steam’s Cut – 30%
        B&M retail’s cut (Best Buy, Gamestop, etc) – 50%

        So even for publishers and established devs, who can get their games onto shelves, Steam is attractive as they take a smaller cut than B&M, while serving a larger market.

  2. markcocjin says:

    Goddamit not that fucking asshole again. All he did was continue the game invented by that guy who made SpaceChem. Fucking asshole Notch. He won’t just die from ego overdose.

    • LionsPhil says:

      oh no

      a successful person

      the horror

      • Tidgyb says:

        With this formatting

        A haiku was expected

        Disappointment reigns

        • TCM says:

          Blocks stacked to the sky

          Fear the night, love the day

          Success breeds contempt

        • LionsPhil says:

          It seems I have failed

          Now I try to make amends

          Time to count to five?

        • InternetBatman says:

          A bearded viking
          Madness cries in the low sun
          I ask “U Mad Bro?”

          This just made me want to do haiku:
          one with zero one
          plus one plus another one
          take one then take one

        • Jenks says:

          Obese Swede with hat

          Hates Steam, hates Windows, loves clones

          Why is it we care?

          • Torgen says:

            Perhaps because he is a multi-millionaire self-publishing independent game developer, and notable influence in the industry?

          • FakeAssName says:

            Obese He May Be

            Gladly Fat We all will Become

            To Wear His Shoes

      • Premium User Badge

        Klatu says:

        Just spent five minutes trying and failing to haiku, anyway this is why this site ‘rawks’. Even flamers get put out in style.

    • TCM says:

      Pretty sure that a recluse who moves on from his biggest success to make something new isn’t exactly suffering from ‘ego overdose’.

      Frig, it’d probably be a more valid complaint to throw at Sid Meier, and it’d still be laughable.

    • Premium User Badge

      golem09 says:

      I don’t know where you got that ego thing from. It’s not like he is forcing himself into publicity, it’s the media that goes nuts everytime he says one word on the internet and invites him to dozens of interviews. So should he stop posting anything anywhere only to not be judge as Mr. Ego?
      I don’t like his games either, but seeing him like that doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • wu wei says:

      I thought Notch summed that up himself pretty well: if you compare Terraria to infiniminer you’d be hard pressed to find any similarity, so it’s somewhat ludicruous to claim that infiniminer spawned this “genre”.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Is it my imagination or have we got a few over-determined trolls on RPS the past few days? It’s a great way to keep site traffic up over the weekend though. :)

      • TCM says:

        The RPS comment threads have gotten much stupider and less civil ever since steam started doing direct links to news about games, with RPS being one of the sites.

        • JoeGuy says:

          I didn’t realize they started doing that.
          I like the low key comments section, very civil.

        • Miltrivd says:

          As the site grows larger, RPS is getting increasingly more attention. Not only from Steam, but RPS links getting high places on Reddit (for example). For one, is a good thing, for people like me who was tired of “normal” gaming media, was a fresh air and a daily read since I discovered it about a year ago.

          But trolls are fickle creatures, they’ll move on to the next popular thing, and we get a larger audience and more people that share common views. I say is a good thing in the long run.

        • zbeeblebrox says:

          Oh god no wonder. Welp, bring on the Eternal September! :\

      • Torgen says:

        Whenever Notch is mentioned, there’s a set of pathetic little goblins who slither forth and spew unfocused hate and spittle all over the comments sections.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Rinox says:

    2 posts, new record?

    (was meant as reply to markcocjin)

  4. JoeGuy says:

    I’m not exactly looking forward to Windows 8 but If you do choose a post Windows 7 OS, the legacy support and baby steps Microsoft are taking in terms of a locked format means Windows 8 is the lesser of future evils.

    It could possibly be the Windows XP of post Windows 7 OS’. Supports all our old hardware/software while still being viable years later with the Windows store etc. Everyone likes optimism :)

    • Contrafibularity says:

      That’s a *very* optimistic way of looking at things, to such a degree I can’t help but wonder if “Microsoft” appears on your pay-checks.

      I don’t get why you think Windows store is a prerequisite for future compatibility, though. Or do you not realise it’s just a download store? If you have a basic grasp of the internet, you will understand what you’re *not* missing.

      Obviously it’s the equivalent of Vista or WinME, this time designed entirely for tablets and touch-screens. Which would be fine if they weren’t pushing it on desktop users, too. Actually no it wouldn’t be fine, because they’re putting a software store right in your face. Not merely the Start Page in IE or something, it will be an integral part of your desktop, a STORE. Anyone who thinks it a good development that Microsoft will put their own store into the OS (like Apple did) clearly aren’t aware how history has proven that giving Microsoft or Apple such a monopoly on anything has never played out well for the users. No billion dollar fine by the EU or anyone will ever change Microsoft’s behaviour, but bad sales just might.

      But hey, if after WinME and Vista you’re still dumb enough willing to throw money at such a product anyway, feel free. It’s not like Microsoft will take Win8 sales as a cue on how to sell more crap software to more people, right? Right?

      No one can blame them for wanting a piece of the gadget-bubble, of course. It’s pure greed:
      1. Create an operating system which encourages you to shower Microsoft with your money.
      2. Exploit Electronic Sweatshops and 21st century slavery to make crappy gadgets which are obsolete before they’re even assembled.
      3. And which won’t work for more than 12-18 months, or even if it does you will buy a new one anyway because Teh Marketing can play your subconscious desires like a cheap fiddle.
      4. Rinse, repeat, profit.

      • Ragnar says:

        I think his view is that, in the future, general computing is going to be even more mobile than it is now. The average person won’t own a desktop or a laptop, but a phone and tablet instead. Desktops and laptops will be relegated to business use and gaming, and Windows will become primarily a mobile OS. Windows 9 may be mobile only. Thus Windows 8 will bridge the gap between the old desktop/laptop OS , Windows 7, and the new mobile only OS, Windows 9.

  5. CommanderZx2 says:

    I don’t understand the complaint that ‘steam is too large’. Valve has plenty of competition in the digital store front and even if it didn’t it wouldn’t really matter.

    • Javier-de-Ass says:

      steam obviously is too large when every other pc game and all big/medium publisher pc games are steamworks only. and you have to play them through steam. and every other storefront is just selling steam keys.

      • Deadly Habit says:

        No one forces devs to use Steamworks though so shouldn’t you be bitching at the devs and publishers using it as their choice rather than the service provider?

        • Gnarf says:

          It’s not really about bitching at those ones or those ones. “Steam is too large” is usually not an attack at Valve. It’s mostly just finding one or three things about the situation kind of unfortunate.

      • woodsey says:

        That’s not really true.

      • CommanderZx2 says:

        Steamworks is completely optional, if you look at your list of steam games most of them do not use steam achievements. Personally I don’t care about achivements therefore that point of it means nothing to me. Heck I don’t even mind GFWL, I just want the game to run without issues.

        • Kaira- says:

          Steamworks is not optional. Civ V for example must be registered to Steam. Same with Space Marine. Of course, the devs have chosen to implement Steamworks as DRM in their game, so the blame lies there.

          • iainl says:

            Steamworks is optional as a developer though, is the point.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            I wonder about your reading skills at times… ;)

            Steamworks is entirely optional to the DEVS. Proof of this is in any GFWL game on steam (uses GFWL not Steamworks) or a mod such as BlackMesa (uses in game lists only). Oh, just remembered, FTL used in game services/achievements only in the beta, no Steamworks.

            If Civ5 uses Steamworks it’s because the developers went “who should we use, Microsoft GFWL, Valves Steam or someone else?” and decided on Steam. In fact you can also have a game with or without Steam integration (see Crysis 2!).

            [edit]
            Oh, to add to the list AFAIK GTA4 also runs without Steam and most indie games released (especially those without DRM).

            PS, this applies to parts or all of Steamworks, I understand some of the above may use some parts, others though still don’t use any.

        • Javier-de-Ass says:

          steamworks is optional? what difference does that make when it makes steam not optional?

  6. markcocjin says:

    You hear that Valve? Notch feels a lot better if Steam weren’t as likable and successful.

    Hipster wants hipster store. Steam too mainstream.

    Hey Notch. Steam and Valve is only big because everyone else sucks. Egomaniac doesn’t realize that if Valve wanted to have a monopoly over their gaming business, they should have gone for a proprietary type of operating system instead of Linux.

    It’s Notch’s head that’s too big that worries me.

    • hello_mr.Trout says:

      angry internet person ignores words; misunderstands context. we’ll have more news at 5!

      • enobayram says:

        It’s good to hear opposing opinions, but some people are just… It’s like having to listen to that construction machine just because you have ears.

    • theleif says:

      Remove the evil villain filter and read again.
      His whole argument is: Steam great, monopoly bad. I find it strange that such an opinion can cause so much ire. But maybe it’s because I’m an egomaniac hipster as well.

      • zeroskill says:

        “A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity. Monopolies are thus characterized by a lack of economic competition to produce the good or service and a lack of viable substitute goods.”

        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, copypasta.

        Please, stop confusing a dominant position in the market with monopoly. Which Notch isn’t, just for the record, since he clearly states Steam is too big, in his opinion.

        • Consumatopia says:

          Note that “viable substitute good” would not, in this case, be simply another game download service, but (from the perspective of devs) a service with a similar customer base, or (for customers) a similar library of games. I don’t think I would call Steam a monopoly, but once you’re a middle man and gatekeeper between other parties trying to make transactions, the distinction between a dominant position and monopoly is essentially lost.

          • zeroskill says:

            If that was true, how is it possible that things like Gamer’s Gate or GoG exist?

          • Consumatopia says:

            I’m not sure what you mean. I’m not saying Steam is a monopoly, I’m just telling you what a viable substitute good would be. If GG and Gog offer devs a similar customer base and customers a similar library of games, then I guess Steam isn’t a monopoly.

          • zeroskill says:

            Please, can you go back and read the definition of monopoly again. The word has a definition for a reason.

          • Consumatopia says:

            I read the definition. My post focuses strictly on the meaning of “substitute good” from that definition. To repeat myself, the “substitute good” referred to at Wikipedia would not be just another download service, but (from the perspective of devs) a service with a similar customer base, or (for customers) a similar library of games.

            There is a tradition of confusion in this area–in the 90s, I remember folks trying to argue that Microsoft wasn’t a monopoly because you could get other operating systems for your computer, even for free. That argument makes superficial sense, but it suffers from an overly broad definition of substitute good. (No, I’m not comparing Steam to 1990s Microsoft).

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          Regardless of your defintion, monopoly power is recognized to exist when an entity has a sufficiently dominant market position, even if they do not have sole control of it.

          This is typically not measured in terms of percentages, but in terms of a variety of test as to whether they have to respond to external market pressures or not.

          Monopolies themselves (especially effective ones like this) aren’t *necessarily* harmful either, but typically become so by use of their power to affect competitors, or control other players downstream or upstream of themselves in market chains.

          Looking at the raw sales figures, it seems *likely* that Valve has effective monopoly power in the digitial entertainment distribution segment for PCs. But I certainly haven’t done all the digging to show that this is true.

      • theleif says:

        Oh, I know that perfectly well. I did not mean Steam is a monopoly I just wanted to state the argument as simple as possible. Try reading it as STEAM GOOD MONOPOLY BAD and you see my point.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      GOG is pretty good, it just has a small selection due to its “old” policy (which is recently removed) and it’s anti-DRM stance (which scares off some of the bigger publishers).

      If GOG had the same amount of games as Steam, I’d probably buy all of my game there (or at least, whichever of the two put that game on sale first)

      • sinister agent says:

        I much prefer gog to steam, for the simple reason that they let you download your game and then leave you the hell alone. No need for any installers or updates or logging in or anything.

        Gamersgate would be better if you didn’t have to copy-paste the installers to reuse them, but they’re okay too.

        • LionsPhil says:

          And if you do use their downloader, as of a while back, it finally grabs all the sundry extras in one click! At last, it has a reason to exist!

    • DarkFarmer says:

      Hipster man, hipster store. Hipster game, hipster war.
      Hipster ego, hipster rain, hipster developing a hipster space game.

      • sinister agent says:

        Hipster hipster, hipster hipster hipster hipster hipster. Hipster hipster? Hipster, hipster hipster, hipster.

        • pilouuuu says:

          Hip – hip -hip -hip- hipster face.

          War hipster face!

          • Premium User Badge

            Hanban says:

            I said a hip hop the hippie the hippie
            to the hip hip hop, a you dont stop
            the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie
            to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat !

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Should I be imagining a drumtrack backing you singing this? Because I totally am and it’s pretty awesome.

  7. TCM says:

    How to resent success in 2 easy steps, for the RPS comment section:

    If indie, accuse successful peer of being a sellout.

    If not indie, accuse successful indie of being a hipster.

  8. Solidstate89 says:

    “I recently switched from Firefox to Chrome, though.”

    I see Notch has gone over to the Dark Side.

    • tobecooper says:

      Darth Notch, keeping people in his Mine(craft), working, building things out of blocks. He doesn’t pay them, they pay him. He really is an evil bearded villain!!!

  9. Orazio Zorzotto says:

    GASP!!! Realizes? Bad Nathan, bad! We’d accepted you as one of us :’(

    • NathanH says:

      Realizes is perfectly respectable English English.

      • Orazio Zorzotto says:

        Really? I’m secretly….Australian…(shhhh)…So I wouldn’t know. Here American spellings are pretty frowned upon. If you care about such things. I assumed the Brits would be doubly patriotic.

        • sinister agent says:

          British patriotism is something of an oxymoron. Mumbling that Britain’s okay for the most part is fine; anything more than that tends to just embarass everyone.

          • Brigand says:

            I physically get ill anytime I see a “z” in place of an “s” in a word. For the glory of the empire!

          • sinister agent says:

            Oh, I have all those tics too, but I’m trying to train myself out of it. Like it or not, we’re simply outnumbered, and ultimately there’s little if any sense behind some spelling/grammar variants.

            An example – dates being day/month/year is clearly the better, sensible way, so I’ll maintain that one. But spelling “-ise” words with a ‘Z’ will probably win out, and actually makes more sense, to be honest, particularly if English isn’t your first language – what the hell else are you going to use Z for, anyway?

          • Brigand says:

            Yeah, I might’ve been exaggerating slightly being Irish and all but i do find words like realize to be less aesthetically pleasing than their counterpart, z is such an ugly letter.

          • cptgone says:

            lize!

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            My view on the spelling variations is that they present a palette of choices for you to express yourself. They’re all valid English, and none of us actually have a codified set of rules as to what is valid in the language and what isn’t. In this internet age, can’t we have texts that select among regional English spellings without societal collapse?

            I for one tend to just absorb whatever I’m first exposed to. Mostly. So it’s theatre for me, but also color. But I use connexion because it seems great. I don’t think anyone is harmed in the process. Much. I guess my spellchecker goes a bit batty.

          • Ragnar says:

            I assumed month/day/year came from the written / spoken practice of expressing dates as “September 18th, 2012″.

            For day/month/year, you’re effectively saying “The 18th of September, 2012″, which I rarely ever see.

            I would think that the most sensible approach would be year/month/day, so that if confronted with a series of dates you can quickly scan across the least specific value on the left, before further narrowing it down with more specific values on the right. With the above approaches, you have to go right to left for day/month/year, and right, left, middle for month/day/year.

    • LionsPhil says:

      <center><font color=”gray”>British English stopped mattering about twenty years ago.</font></center>

      Although I will fight against making idioms make even less sense (“Could care less”? Seriously?) until my dying breath.

      • TCM says:

        I could care less about your silly crusade against the natural evolution of language in nonsensical directions.

        (You were begging for it!)

        • LionsPhil says:

          I literally exploded with rage. Irregardless, I continue to maintain my stance. Going forward, we must avoid going backward.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            You are definitely trotting into unchartered waters here without porpoise.

      • cptgone says:

        “Although I will fight against making idioms make even less sense (“Could care less”? Seriously?) until my dying breath.”

        your dying breath? Seriously?

        breath is inanimate.
        ;)

        • kastanok says:

          ‘Dying breath’ is a perfectly standard and traditional idiom meaning ‘the breath you take at the moment of death’.

  10. mr.ioes says:

    Confirmed: Valve takes 30% of revenue.

    • zeroskill says:

      They take up to 30%, not from everybody though, as far as I am informed. But 30% is still a better deal compared to publishers. Publishers take way more than that.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Valve are publishers in this relationship.

        • zeroskill says:

          A distributer and a publisher is not the same thing.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Hmm. The distinction here is funding of the development, I assume?

            Valve do do a certain degree of promotion, consultancy, etc.; they are not purely a payment processing and hosting platform.

          • zeroskill says:

            Guys come on, wikipedia!

            Digital distribution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_distribution

            Video game publisher http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_publisher

            About Valve doing consulting/promotion, do they really? If they do, that would surely be limited to the Steam platform, no? I wouldn’t know about it otherwise. I don’t know if that qualifies as a publisher.

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            The distinction here is funding of the development, I assume?

            That’s always been my bright red line in defining what qualifies as “indie”, at least.

            The traditional developer/publisher relationship is that they fund the development and take most of the rights exclusively. Valve, through Steam, doesn’t do anything remotely like that.

          • Shuck says:

            Steam is the digital equivalent of the bricks-and-mortar retail storefront. They may prominently feature a large cardboard display for your game at the entrance to the store, but that’s as close as they get to marketing the game. They take their retailer cut for giving games (virtual) shelf-space and taking on distribution costs. Very much not a publisher.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            As others have said, but I feel compelled to rephrase:

            In the old system, the publisher got a cut for fronting money and marketing and putting your bytes into cardboard and so on. The retailer got a cut for renting space all over the world, taking a risk on stocking items which may drop in value, and so on. Both of these cuts were pretty large, but I don’t have exact numbers.

            In the Steam system, valve takes one cut, which I’m told is 30%. Is it the same as both of the above? Or only the retailer? I don’t know really. I don’t think they do any money-fronting, and I don’t think they get too involved in the creation cycle overall, so they *seem* more channel/retailer-like to me. But obviously some things are different. They aren’t actually running a brick and mortar store.

          • Ragnar says:

            Brick & Mortar retailer cut (as of ’08) is 50%.
            Steam’s cut as retailer is 30%.

            The publisher, if involved, takes a cut from what’s left after the retailer takes a cut.

    • TCM says:

      Which is actually a really, really freaking good deal for the devs, compared to going through other publishers.

      Mind you buying directly will still give the devs more money, but 30% is low as frig.

    • Ragnar says:

      Let’s say you’re selling a game, and were able to fund and publish it yourself so you get to keep all the profit from each sale.

      Steam takes 30%.
      Brick and mortar retailers take 50%.

      Where would you rather sell your game?

  11. kikito says:

    “If people would install Linux just to be able to play Steam games, then we would have a Steambox, essentially.”

    That’s _precisely_ why I have windows installed on my PC.

    • vandinz says:

      I’m a hardcore gamer with plenty of know-how on what is going on inside the PC. I’m not prepared to start dual booting Linux to get the same thing as I can now in Windows. Other, less savvy people aren’t even going to know what it’s about, never mind thinking about doing that. They’re pissing in the wind.

      • onetrueping says:

        If you ask me, the fact that everything Windows has is on Linux is EXACTLY why this is a good move. Ah, for the days when we can get access to all of our software, without worrying about things like paying several hundred dollars for a new installation DVD because we happened to accidentally lose ours.

        That said, as a hardcore gamer myself who ALSO likes to do other things (code, write, etc), I’ve found Linux to only be lacking in the games department, and even then only because Wine has to constantly play catch-up with Windows. And if the choice becomes one of Windows 8 versus some Ubuntu variant, I’d much more gladly go with Ubuntu.

        Ah, another point in favor of Linux: support for Windows 7 will be discontinued eventually, like that for XP was, which will lead to the end of patches for security holes. Linux updates continue to be backwards-compatible, for the most part, and they haven’t made the mistake of making a new version break access to old versions.

  12. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    that notch in space picture is nice.

  13. vandinz says:

    “RPS: Yeah. I’ve also heard from people trying out Windows 8, saying it’s not user-friendly or nice or good…” – Who’d they hear that from, the mentally challenged? It’s as user friendly as 7, faster and just as nice. The boot up speed on a below average system is astounding. “On, Bandwagon, The, Jumping”. Re-arrange those words to find the real reason for those comments.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      The Jumping Bandwagon On? I don’t get it.

      • LionsPhil says:

        It’s a typo; you’re supposed to be able to construct “The Bandwagon Of Jumping”, a magically-enchanted cart in Project Eternity which the party can use to fast-travel, and is also equipped with sick hydraulics for +1 CHA.

  14. veremor says:

    I wish him all the best for his future ambitions to ever produce something worthwhile.

    • noodlecake says:

      Really…?

      What have you ever produced that was worthwhile? Probably not anything as enjoyable as Minecraft, that’s for sure.

  15. Gasmask Hero says:

    I feel the same way about Notch as I do about Cliffy B. And DS.

    Oh, and that Angry Birds dude. They should all quit feeding the media and start developing. They make money through producing the goods, not through twitter feeds.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Except the guy making Angry Birds, he did make money through twitter feeds…

  16. Valvarexart says:

    I’m quite frankly getting a bit tired of the Windows 8 bashing. In my opinion it’s a step-up in almost every way. There are no massive changes, except for the removal of the start button WHICH IS SO TERRIBLE THEY RUINED EVERYTHING OH GOD WHY WOULD THEY RUIN EVERYTHING IT IS SO TERRIBLE no, not really. If you can’t stand the changed start-menu because of your baby duck-syndrome then there are plenty of third party solutions to that.
    The walled garden that people are screaming about as if their family just died is non-existent (at least as far as I’ve seen, but maybe others are using some modified version of Windows 8 which removes all their freedoms). There is indeed a store included in the install but such is the case with Ubuntu, too.
    Windows 8 has managed to give us a few really awesome upgrades like much improved bootup time, very much improved task/resource manager, improved explorer and generally a slicker experience. Personally I think the design looks fantastic (and it’s also not very demanding on your PC at all). There are a couple of added clicks here and there, but what the fuck – it’s not the end of the world and it does not outweigh the improvements at all.
    People just like to complain because they have heard others complain. Don’t misunderstand me, though; I think a move to GNU/Linux for PC gaming would be wonderful, because the closed nature of Windows is bad in the first place. But don’t fucking say that Windows 8 is worse than Windows 7 because objectively it’s not.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I completely agree, and it’s really putting me off RPS. It’s meant to be a more reasonable site, not about bandwagon jumping. And that’s exactly what this is.

    • GreatGreyBeast says:

      I mostly agree, but the walled garden accusations stand. Yes, other OSs bundle a storefront, and I have no issue with MS doing the same in theory, but this is different. There are TWO UXs in Win8. The desktop, which works just like normal. And Metro (sorry, “Modern UI” or whatever), which is a walled garden. You cannot release software for the Metro environment except through the Store. If the idea is to transition into Metro as the future of Windows, that really sucks.

    • nutterguy says:

      This.
      Again and again this.
      This is crappy journalism that RPS give out about and they are doing it themselves!

      Shame.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Don’t expect me to take you serious if you post about better windows bootup time in an age of SSDs and 2 second wakeup from hybrid Suspend to RAM/Disk.
      The people who use windows bootup as a yard stick instead of resource management, multitask performance and system stability make me sick.
      And Win7 does all of those well enough to not give a sane person a reason to move away from it again this soon. Given its hardware support and flexibility as a 64 bit platform, it could/should outlast even the XP lifecycle if MS only just let it.
      But then they wouldn’t make money, now would they?
      Oh, and what is even better?
      This BS debate is going on while I am still seeing Win7 ads by MS touting it as THE most superiorityiest epichyperturbost OS ever made and that if you love your children and your family, you _must_ use Win7.

  17. DrGonzo says:

    “I’ve also heard from people trying out Windows 8, saying it’s not user-friendly or nice or good…”

    So you haven’t had any first hand experience with it then.

    “Do you think people will just stick with Windows 7 until Microsoft realizes 8 is a terrible idea, or are you worried that we could be stuck in this for the long haul?”

    And now damning something you haven’t used! Shockingly bad journalism there RPS. Shockingly bad.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Does it really matter? This is a pretty casual interview, not a hard hitting investigative piece about Windows 8.

      I’m curious to hear what Notch thinks about Windows 8, because he seems like a pretty smart guy who knows PCs and gaming. There’s no reason to censor all opinions which aren’t 100% factual.

  18. Moonracer says:

    I thought that was a good interview. Some interesting thoughts on important subjects related to the future of gaming. I’m kind of confused at all this anger in the comments (half sound like the person hasn’t even read the article). It would be nice if there was instead, further discussion on the topics.

    I thought the Infiniminer clone/influence section was well stated. We need to chill out and let people copy ideas. Imagine if Infiniminer was the only block game allowed ever? If Terreria wasn’t allowed to exist? What if wolfenstien 3D and it’s sequels were the only FPS series allowed because they did it first (well not really, but you know). Imagine a world where no FPS can use a shotgun because DOOM did it first. Is that what people are arguing for?

  19. Beelzebud says:

    The reason Steam is the dominant online shop is because they do things right, treat their customers good, and don’t rip people off.

    EA Link (the predecessor to Origin) took $45.00 from me for Battlefield 2142 and proceeded to tell me my cd key was invalid two weeks later. Contacting their support got me nowhere. I’ve never had an experience like that with Steam.

    Impulse. Came with a lot of high talk and a ‘gamer’s bill of rights’, then they released a couple of unfinished messes they called games, and then proceeded to sell out to gamestop.

    Steam is successful because they seem to actually care about their customers.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      Origin has mad good customer support though

    • Shuck says:

      In Steam’s early days they had similar problems. A friend of mine made some substantial purchase on Steam when the service first started, only to be told by customer support that his inability to access the games must be because he was a pirate and he was denied service. For many years he refused to even consider using Steam again. It was only when games like Dawn of War made Steam integral that he (unhappily, at first) returned to the service.

  20. U-99 says:

    Oh, now I finally understand why Valve is opposing Microsoft. Really, since you’ve gone to Linux, Steam becomes one of a very few options. That’s when they grab your wallet.
    Never believed this “open platform” bullshit.

    • soldant says:

      Exactly. If Steam came to Linux and brought even a fraction of its games with it (hell, just Valve’s games) it’d be the most significant thing to happen to Linux gaming in a long time. They’d be the biggest fish in an exceptionally small pond in a similar sort of way to how they operate on Macs. Anyone going along with it is trying to drop a store in Windows 8 which you’ll never have to use and won’t affect you, to go to a new OS where everything is different to use a store that you will definitely have to use with little alternative, just so you can claim you’re on an ‘open’ platform. The only difference between what Microsoft and Valve are doing is in the name.

      • zeroskill says:

        Exactly. And Linux users make up 99% of the PC space. And most Linux users are gamers.

        Face>desk.

  21. sinister agent says:

    It is puzzling to me how someone as mild and amiable as Notch gets so much vitriol thrown at him.

    • zeroskill says:

      Notch doesn’t actually get much hate from people, he’s pretty liked overall. You can’t be liked by everyone on the planet, especially when you are successful. Even if you do right by most people, there will always be people or groups of people who will dislike you, if only for the fact that you are successful.

      Notch and Valve have much in common in that respect.

      Look at the poster above you for a fitting exemple.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Are you saying that poster is wrong? Because he’s not.

        • zeroskill says:

          Yes, i’m saying he’s wrong, because he is.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            No he isn’t. Valve’s move towards Linux is nothing but a cash grab, and they’re going to use their clout in the business to corner the market. If you can’t see that, then you’re not paying much attention.

            That’s how business works. Valve aren’t doing it out of the goodness in their hearts or their supposed “concern” for the community. They’re certainly not interested in the benefits of an open platform either, contrary to what they might be telling everyone.

          • zeroskill says:

            You are talking like you have actual facts, like you know what their intentions are. Do you work for them by any chance. I think not. You are assuming. Good job there Nostradamus.

            What we know as a fact is that Valve is porting Steam to Linux, and with it, a bunch of their games. What people have been asking for for years now. They are doing it becasue the community was asking for this. Beyond this, everything you say is speculation.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Yes, they are doing it because the community was asking for it. That doesn’t mean they give a shit about what the community wants — it means they see an opportunity to make some more money. You don’t need to be Nostradamus to realize that.

            Valve are a business, and that they care little for their community outside of how much profit they can make for the company. Valve getting bigger and bigger every year doesn’t make this any less true.

            Stop being so naive.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Yes, they are doing it because the community was asking for it. That doesn’t mean they give a shit about what the community wants

            Uh.

            Read this back to yourself, dude.

            Valve are a relatively straighforward business, who sell people a thing that they want. This is, in the grand scheme of things Quite Good, and the basis of honest capitalist society. It’s the shify social media types giving you a thing so they can sell you to advertisers and not caring for you because you are not their source of income that are Evil Horrible Corporations.

          • Eskatos says:

            It’s real interesting how people are trying to twist expanding onto more platforms into a negative. Really?

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Way to put words in my mouth there, LionsPhil. I never claimed that Valve are evil, although it could be argued that they’re just as guilty of manipulating their customer base for marketing purposes as Facebook is. Steam, after all, is a content provider.

            And that quote is accurate. Steam wouldn’t risk venturing into Linux territory if there was no demand for it. No demand = no profit. My point was that Valve only take consumer opinion into account when it suits their bottom line.

            I’m not claiming that Linux Steam is going to be the end of days. I just absolutely loathe the way people around here seem to think that Valve is just some do-gooder company that only has its customers’ best interests at heart. If I wanted to put up with blindly delusional fanboyism, I’d go back to the fucking Steam forums where that kind of ignorance is welcomed and encouraged.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Complaining about people misrepresenting your argument, followed by misrepresenting their arguments.

            Troll or idiot, then. Bye!

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Jesus, LP, you can’t formulate a valid counterpoint so you resort to dishonest insults. You’re not coming off as very intelligent.

          • zeroskill says:

            SkittleDiddler: You have to understand that Valve isn’t your everyday big company. They are privately owned. They are basically independent. They arn’t bound to shareholders. Therefore, they are perfectly free to do whatever they wish to. Of course, they have profits in mind. But most people at Valve, that are working there, are developers. I understand this is hard to accept, and doesn’t fit in your cupboard believes of how companies work, but they don’t actually have managment structures. They aren’t bound to make profits.

            This is why they are free to invest time as a company into projects that don’t necessarily bring back instant profit. They can do things like delivering free updates and DLC to all their games. They can port Steam and their games to Linux without caring for instant profit. They will probably give free Linux copies to all people that already own their games. They can do stuff like giving away free copies of Portal 2 to people who buy the game on PS3. They can just do it because they want to. Of course they care about making money, but at this point, they actaully don’t need to anymore, becuase they have enough money to sustain the company to the next millenia.

            I advise you to read this article on “develop magazine” if you like to have a better insight to how the company actaully works.

            http://www.develop-online.net/features/1184/The-Valve-manifesto

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Thanks for providing that link, zeroskill, but I’m already familiar with it. I’m ending my part in this conversation, so I’ll just leave you with this:

            Nothing about Valve’s business philosophy changes the fact that they are a profit-driven enterprise. Absolutely everything they do now is aimed towards the goal of making money; there are no exceptions. A lack of a board of directors doesn’t affect that.

            They’re not selling hats to make themselves feel warm and fuzzy, and they’re certainly not making their EULA more restrictive with each new update because they think it’s beneficial to the consumer.

          • Consumatopia says:

            It’s the shify social media types giving you a thing so they can sell you to advertisers and not caring for you because you are not their source of income that are Evil Horrible Corporations.

            As far as Steam is concerned, Valve essentially is a shifty social media type. Their strength is the number of eyeballs they can get into their store and the number of customers they can get reliant on Steam–that is the purpose of the Steam community.

            They might still do more good than evil–but, hey, Facebook probably does too.

          • Machinations says:

            So basically these people are complaining because they would rather that EA had the position Valve does.

            We should thank our lucky stars that Valve is the company in the position it is. Gabe has no intention of selling out, though they would probably offer about 3 billion at this point.

            Anyone arguing otherwise is likely sitting in a position where Valve is in the way – so either at EA or another major publisher.

            Hey EA, I have all the BF games EXCEPT BF3 because Origin is such a POS

  22. elefunk says:

    RPS, it would be nice if your hard-on for anti-Windows 8 bullshit wasn’t so obvious. Notch hasn’t even tried Windows 8, so why are you harping on him with such stupid, biased, leading questions?

    Even you guys – you’ve “heard” it’s not good?

    Seriously, what the fuck? Notch hasn’t tried Windows 8, you guys haven’t tried Windows 8, why do you keep insisting about talking about it pretending like you have an informed opinion?

    Free versions have been available for over a year now. Download it. Try it. Give it a shot, then talk about it. Though at this point, it’s obvious your opinion is so solid without even trying it that I can’t imagine you’d ever be able to look at it with a fair shake.

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      Don’t bother, negative comments are a no-no on RPS

      • kastanok says:

        In my experience, negative comments are fine. Aggressive or petulant comments however are certainly not.

    • sinister agent says:

      Nathan is one person. Between them, RPS have probably mucked about with Windows 8, sure, but they can’t all do everything.

      And what, exactly, is inaccurate about saying that you’ve heard it’s not good? If you’ve heard that something isn’t good, and you say that you’ve heard that something isn’t good… what’s the problem here?

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      You would have a point if either Notch or Nathan had represented themselves as having a bad experience with Windows 8, when that situation was not true.

      As it stands, both Nathan and Notch have openly expressed their lack of experience with Windows 8, while also expressing concerns about it. They are not misrepresenting their experiences, and they are not misleading their readers.

      This is an interview. In which two fairly unimportant questions about Windows were posed to a high profile Windows developer. That’s all. It’s not pretending to be a Windows 8 hands on.

    • Machinations says:

      I’m an enterprise architect for the second largest pharma conglomerate in the world, and we are skipping Windows 8.

      Just sayin’

      • Ragnar says:

        That’s not really surprising. Changing an OS for a corporation is significantly more time and labor intesive than changing an OS for a consumer. There are large companies that are still using XP. It’s not because XP is somehow better than Win 7, but because they either can’t upgrade, or don’t want to go through the hassle of software / hardware testing, creating new images, user training, etc.

        Hell, I worked on one project in 2010 where the software we needed to use only supported XP SP2 (released 2004) and Windows Updates released prior to 2005.

  23. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    Actually, I started using IE and lost weight as a side-effect, so I can see why Persson has issues with it.

    (He’s fat)

    • sinister agent says:

      Is it this kind of remark that’s got you whinging that “negative” comments aren’t allowed? Because if so, it’s not that your comments are negative. It’s that they’re abusive.

    • Brigand says:

      Does that make any sense at all? You might as well of just said “ha ha ha he’s fat” for all that comment of yours is worth. Then again, we wouldn’t get to see you fail so spectacularly at trying to be funny.

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      haha you were fat once.

    • Nick says:

      (You’re a dick)

  24. pilouuuu says:

    Well, the idea he thought about already exists. It’s called The Sims. But I’d love anyone making a competition for The Sims. Something maybe with more “sim” on it. Or something that is more focused on the psychological behaviour and reactions of the characters. The Sims has already ten years and no one dared to compete with it, except for Zinga’s sad rip-offs.

    I miss Open for Business by the way. It was the best expansion pack for The Sims 2 because it left you run your own stores, hotels and restaurants and you could choose your employees, with all their different skills and moods… We need something like that, Notch!

  25. Nabobalis says:

    How on earth is Windows 8 more closed than 7? You have a store now but nothing is stopping you from not using.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I’ve yet to hear a genuine specific reason why Windows 8 is such a “catastrophe.”

      Their biggest hurdle is going to be providing me with a compelling reason to ditch Windows 7. It’s nice and cozy and does everything I want it to.

    • GreatGreyBeast says:

      Actually something is. The problem with the Win8 store (as opposed to Mac/Ubuntu stores) is that it IS required for access to one half of the OS. You don’t have to sell through the store if you’re making desktop apps with the same old desktop interface — you know, the side of Windows that 8 tries very hard to hide in the attic — but to release stuff for the new interface you have to give MS their cut.

      They had a chance here to extend PC-style openness to the tablet market. Instead the mobile-style walled garden is leaking into the PC space. It’s not the end times, but it’s not moving in the right direction either. At best it just exacerbates the Frankenstein stitching together of mobile and desktop in one OS. I still believe that can work, but the two interfaces need to be treated as different interfaces only – not two different platforms, which is what MS seems to be doing.

      • soldant says:

        The WinStore model does not extend to x86 apps and never will – it’d be insane for Microsoft to do that because it’d wipe out a large amount of software and they know that. Anyone who thinks Microsoft would actually do that are being irrational. The Modern apps are designed for tablets and phones first and foremost and is no different to Google Play or the iOS App Store in that respect. Also, for whatever reason, when you install Chrome under Win8 it also installs a Modern app version of Chrome despite Chrome never appearing in the Windows Store. That clearly won’t fly for WinRT tablets but so what? Most of the market doesn’t care. If you want flexibility you use x86, and nothing’s changing here.

        • Premium User Badge

          drewski says:

          So…walled gardens are OK as long as there are other walled gardens.

          …huh?

          One of the biggest genuine problems with Apple as a company is their relentless promotion of the walled garden business model. They are not an open platform. Windows, traditionally, has been. Windows 8 is changing that for a significant portion of their business. That’s not “OK” because Apple are doing it or because EA did it or Google did it or Valve or whoever.

          Microsoft’s promotion of their walled garden is every bit as problematic as Apple’s App Store, the Android Marketplace or Steam – with the added problem that *they’re the biggest IT platform holder in the world*. Why should they get a criticism free ride where others don’t, when their platform is the most critical of all of them?

        • GreatGreyBeast says:

          I don’t think MS would do that, but that’s not quite my point. The general direction of the industry seems to be away from x86, at least for consumers. So what happens in a post-x86 world? Why doesn’t the new stuff get the same openness of the old? Yes, the Modern half is primarily for mobile stuff (so far), and mobile stuff has always been walled garden. But that’s my second point. If they treat the two sides by totally different rules, then what was the point in stitching them together into a single OS in the first place? They’re being treated as totally separate platforms, instead of a way to access a single platform through multiple form factors.

          Fwiw, I’m generally a Win8 supporter. I do like the under-the-hood improvements, and plan to take the cheap upgrade this fall. But I still think the Store implementation blurs the wrong lines, and it makes me uncomfortable.

      • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

        Just a small correction: On Mac OS X, at least the latest one, there are APIs you don’t get access to unless you are in the Mac App Store. iCloud is the most prominent one. So Microsoft is doing exactly what Apple is doing on their platform. (Though I agree with you on that it’s a bad move in theory, and Windows may lose a lot of its desktop grasp by incorporating Mac OS X’s approach.)

        By the way, for those unfamiliar with the OS X, in the latest version you cannot launch third party non-signed apps by default. So it’s either App Store or get-your-app-signed. The second option is not that impossible, so an indie developer must not sigh yet. However, I feel the move to “App Store only” could be as soon as one or two years away.

        • Premium User Badge

          Mo says:

          Small clarification to the minor correction: the APIs that Apple limits are all related to their online services (iCloud, push notifications, etc) in order to protect themselves from exploitation.

          • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

            I don’t think the “security” reason is true, mate. Plenty of other big name applications (Dropbox) have offered APIs for their network services. I don’t even think that explanation was ever suggested from official sources.

  26. pilouuuu says:

    I’m pretty sure that if Microsoft were able to achieve what they want with Windows 8, that would be the doom of PC gaming. Just see what XBox 360 and Games for Windows did for PC gaming.

    Windows 7 is good. There’s no need for a new OS which will give more power to Microsoft, so they can destroy PC gaming in favour of consoles.

  27. Nameless1 says:

    LoL, the difference is that publishers take A LOT more than that 30%, and that steam is not telling you how to make your game.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Valve may not be telling you how to make your game, but that doesn’t stop them from denying inclusion of your game into their library using their weird-ass Valve Logic.

      Want to skip the approval process entirely? Make a game using the Source engine; that always seems to work.

  28. Enko says:

    That was … painful to read.

  29. Slinkyboy says:

    Damn, great read from the Win8 section down. I love this Notch guy, I might just check out his game.

  30. Inzimus says:

    the name of the game is “Skool Daze”, not “School days” and was a hugely successful game on the Spectrum and Commodore 64 (I’m guessing there’s a misinterpretation in the transcription here)

  31. Stevostin says:

    “So now they’re taking the 30 percent instead of someone else.”

    Notch is cute. He obviously never sold a box. The cut is rather you take 20, your publisher 30, distributor 20, resaler 30. So Steam instead of that let ou 70. You nearly make 4 times more per copy, and your copy is always on the shelves. Yes, Steam is a big deal.

    Also, here’s a secret. Having many languages is charming and important to produce a variety of thinking but ultimately there’s a need for common languages and that’s how a good deal of african speaks the language of the empire they despise : so they can talk to each other. Same goes with OS. I prefer a world where everyone has the same average Joe OS than a world where everyon has one in four OS that are all better than Joe but that collectively makes things complicated and cost an awful lot of ressources that would else be spend on making a better software. What if every indie company should make their game on at least 3 different platform to survive ? We’ll have less good indie games and they wouldn’t be as good.

    Oh and ultimately, same goes for online shop. When it comes to buy license depending on the survival of the shop company, you feel more comfortable if that company has become an institution. It’s also good to have one and only one contact list, get a central hub for clans, and now workshop etc. So I am really happy Microsoft won some years ago for OS, and I am really all in for Steam just taking on the whole PC shop area. And I publish my apps. But license centralisation at a place that’s here to last ? It’s too important.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Oh dear, the old “cross-platform development is hard” argument.

      It’s only hard if you develop your entire game for one platform and then have to port it over later. Or if you develop for platform-specific tech like DirectX, or choose unportable third-party tech.

      The new Broken Sword and Starbound have something in common.: They both feature a development team where some of the coders are using Windows and some of them are developing on Linux. The same code base, different platforms. This is possible due to the choices they made upfront.

      • Stevostin says:

        Let me tell you something. I develop apps cross platform for 12 years now. I know what it costs every bloody year. You don’t. I know exactly what use of the blocked ressources we have to put in it would be made else. You don’t.

        Sorry to be harsh, but I bleed enough thanks to crossplatform to have a right to do so. You’re living the dream, good for you, but in the real world cross platform = less bangs for the bucks for user, less margin for the manufacturer. I am both and I pay a constant tribute to the fact the market hasn’t set its mind on one reference platform. Competition is good for OS like it is for everything else but fact is current OS doesn’t make apps substancially better that they were 10 years ago and that 99% of your computer time is spend with the apps and 1% with the bare OS. So yes, getting 10% better value for apps is many time worth the effort than doubling the services provided by your OS. Considering the time when new OS version were huge improvement over the previous one is gone for good, I feel pretty confident when I say I’d rather go with one OS to rule them all (and not evoluting, thank you I’ve got everything I need to deal with the real deal that are apps) than with blood XP/7/7 64/ OSX/ OSX 64/ Linux. Make it whatever you want in that list and proceed.

        THAT BEING SAID a closed marketplace would change entirely my take on this. In that regard, I support Steam as a standard as long as I can keep selling my apps on my website with my price and my cut. I am comfortable with Mojang selling its stuff because it makes Mojang healthier and improve the chances of long term support of what I buy better than anywhere else.

        What I don’t need are 2 steams. One is optimal.

      • jalf says:

        Oh dear, the old “cross-platform development is hard” argument.

        It’s only hard if you develop your entire game for one platform and then have to port it over later. Or if you develop for platform-specific tech like DirectX, or choose unportable third-party tech.

        And how many nontrivial cross-platform games have you shipped and supported?
        Right… I thought so.

        Cross-platform development is a pain in the ass. I do it every day, and it’s certainly not impossible, but it is much, much harder than targeting a single platform.

        You think it’s just a matter of using OpenGL instead of DirectX? Right. Different platforms support different versions of OpenGL, and the same OpenGL code can work differently on different platforms because they’re implemented by different drivers with different bugs running on top of different operating systems which *also* have different bugs.

        And even if that wasn’t the case, DirectX has vastly superior tool support which eases development quite a lot. Simply having to use OpenGL slows you down because you can’t use Microsoft’s excellent graphics debugging/profiling tools.

        And how do you cope with platforms where OpenGL isn’t available? Consoles come to mind as an obvious example. Or Windows RT devices. What about platforms with different performance characteristics? Some things that are virtually free on one platform can be extremely expensive on others. And you have to optimize your code to run well on all of them.

        Then there are the simple, boring stuff, like testing/supporting multiple platforms.

        If I make a change to a WIndows game, I have to test it on Windows to see if it works.
        If I make a change to a cross-platform game, I have to test it on multiple platforms. All the time.

        The new Broken Sword and Starbound have something in common.: They both feature a development team where some of the coders are using Windows and some of them are developing on Linux. The same code base, different platforms. This is possible due to the choices they made upfront.

        Moving the goalposts. No one said it was “impossible”. Just that it is hard (harder than not doing it)
        Telling us that some games are doing it is pretty useless. Some games have *always* been doing it. That doesn’t mean it’s as easy as targeting a single platform.

        The “cross-platform development is hard” argument exists because cross-platform development is hard. It’s not impossible, and it’s easier if you plan for it from day 1 than if you don’t, but it’s still hard. Always.

        • Consumatopia says:

          “Moving the goalposts. No one said it was “impossible”. Just that it is hard (harder than not doing it)”

          Actually, no, the two of you are moving the goal posts. The original claims was that it’s so hard that it’s not worth having allowing consumers to choose from multiple OSes.

          And given the diversity of devices, environments, and users, this claim is false–even if no games were created at all, developing new software systems would still be worth it. Imagine if iOS were never created, and we were all still using blackberries or symbian or whatever.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Having many languages is charming and important to produce a variety of thinking but ultimately there’s a need for common languages and that’s how a good deal of african speaks the language of the empire they despise : so they can talk to each other.

      It would be quite different if that language were literally remotely controlled by the British government, so that only people they approved of could speak it, and anyone they didn’t like could be forced to stop speaking it.

      But in any event, your thinking is obsolete. OSes are diverging. Windows 8. Windows 8 RT. MacOS. iOS. Android. Consoles. Linux (not saying that you should sell games for Linux, but I can assure that for the purposes I use Linux no other OS would be as convenient). The reality is that OSes are diverging because devices are diverging, and not even Microsoft wants to force the same OS on every device anymore. (Not to mention that on many of those devices, such as my Android phone, I spend much more time using the main programs that came with the OS (browser, maps, dialer, contacts, email) than I do on any third party app. Sorry, dude, whether you like it or not, the OS is important again. Your best bet is something like Unity to let you develop on a number of them at once.

      • Apolloin says:

        This comment is funny on the grounds that Windows 8 is basically a gelded, fisherprice, version of Windows 7 because the manufacturers now want the same bloody OS on your phone, tablet, laptop and desktop PC.

        God no. My Desktop PC is a completely different animal than my phone. An OS optimaxed for my phone is going to be CRAP on my Dekstop. I’ll be fighting to keep 7 for as long as possible.

  32. SuffixTreeMonkey says:

    Valve has built a very solid internet fanbase, mostly through their games and big sales. This is what happens when somebody voices a dissenting opinion — the fans defend “their brand” vigorously.

    To tell the truth, the DRM isn’t all that bad and the collecting information is much less dangerous than you make it. What irks me (and maybe Notch) more is the fear of “give us 30% or our rabid fans (which you’ve met already) will never buy it”. As an old-timer, I would always like to have an option to DL a game from a developer’s website, install it and play it, while >90% of my purchase goes to her/him. If people will buy only on Steam (or only on Winstore, or Macstore, or Xstore) there will be no such option and while the *stores cash in, the ecosystem may suffer.

    Oh and fans, please remember how little is Valve actually open to you (nobody knows what is in the agreement with the developer, what additional restrictions does Valve put on her/him selling the game through another channel, and how much money they actually take). It’s a great company, and their services deserve your money, but please don’t put them on a golden pedestal for all time.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      As an old timer, you must know how unusual and new the idea of having full DL games available directly from the developer is, at least since the demise of the shareware business model.

      • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

        Well, I’ve downloaded games from the developer’s website 10 years ago. Of course it may not happen so much with big name titles (though Minecraft is a big name now) but it certainly is an option that I like and would like to keep in the future. And that option is threatened both by a potential Steam monopoly on PC games and by Microsoft’s attempt to gain that monopoly for itself.

    • zeroskill says:

      Also, consider that Steam doesn’t force you to only sell on Steam. A lot of indies sell their games on their own webpage, while also being present on Steam. Good exemples are FTL and Legend of Grimrock. You can buy FTL on the developers webpage, and get a steam key with it. And Valve doesn’t get anything from that, but they still allow it. They don’t have to do that.

      They could easily force, especially smaller developers, into exclusivity and developers would still thank them, because of how Steam blows your sales figures through the roof. Valve still decide they rather not do that. For a more aggressive company, see Microsoft and how they handle XBLA.

      • SuffixTreeMonkey says:

        > And Valve doesn’t get anything from that, but they still allow it.

        Well, the truth is: you don’t know that. That’s pure conjecture on your side. Maybe they ask for more money with these benefits? I wouldn’t be surprised. I wouldn’t be surprised either if you were limited with what you can do with your game on other stores (unless you’re a major studio).

        Have you ever seen a developer say “I get 70% off Steam’s money, so you can have the game at 80% Steam’s price on my website, thus we both save money!” It makes sense, no? He’d get more money and the customer would pay less. Yet… nobody does it. I would not be surprised if the Steam Agreement for developers states that you can’t do such things, maybe can’t even offer lower prices then what Steam currently offers.

        I admit, there’s a lot of conjecture on my side as well. But the truth is: we don’t know. You have no proof, I have no proof. However, I would like some proof.

        Hey, is there a journalist in the house? I would really be amazed if he or she did some journalisming and found out. Even knowing that they let you sign an NDA *even before* they show you the contract would be something I’d like to know.

        • zeroskill says:

          “I would not be surprised if the Steam Agreement for developers states that you can’t do such things, maybe can’t even offer lower prices then what Steam currently offers.”

          Well I can tell you for a fact that they are allowing developers to sell their game for cheaper on their site. At least in this case I know it since I just bought FTL, and I bought it from the dev’s webpage, for 9.00$, which is 6.90€ whereas the price for me on Steam directly would have been 8,99€ (9.99€ actually, but it’s discounted 10%).

          And buying it from the dev’s directly gave me a Steam-free version aswell as a Steam key.

          I too would really love to have the exact details about Steams agreements with developers, but I don’t think they will let you just in on that. They would be crazy to release such information to the public.

        • malkav11 says:

          According to PC Gamer, Steam is the one offering the free Steam keys for games, not the developers negotiating for it. What do they get out of it? Simple: Steam users. The more people spending time in their ecosystem, the better their community features and sales pay off.

        • Premium User Badge

          RobF says:

          “Have you ever seen a developer say “I get 70% off Steam’s money, so you can have the game at 80% Steam’s price on my website, thus we both save money!” It makes sense, no?”

          Not really! If you’re in the business of making money, undercutting your other main channel isn’t really smart. It’s not smart for relations with that channel (they might not forbid it but it won’t exactly endear you to them either) and because you generally have less eyeballs coming to you direct, it makes more financial sense to have parity or charge -more- direct.

          And yeah, what Valve get out of the keys deal is more people inside Steam. They worked out long ago that’s good enough.

      • Consumatopia says:

        Valve has built a very solid internet fanbase, mostly through their games and big sales. This is what happens when somebody voices a dissenting opinion — the fans defend “their brand” vigorously.

        You should check out stevostin’s post below, it makes the underlying motivation of those fans a lot more explicit. “It’s also good to have one and only one contact list, get a central hub for clans, and now workshop etc. So I am really happy Microsoft won some years ago for OS, and I am really all in for Steam just taking on the whole PC shop area.” … “What I don’t need are 2 steams. One is optimal.”

        App stores and platforms have some characteristics of a natural monopoly–there are conveniences associated with only worrying about one of them. People get upset when you complain about any aspect of Steam because they find it convenient not to have to go outside Steam’s walled garden–and a world in which Steam faced more successful competition would likely require that more often.

  33. BrendanJB says:

    This comment section is appearing disturbingly similar to an IGN conversation thread. Fat jokes and hipster accusations? My word. I like that RPS is getting more popular, and I’m always done for some harmless malarkey, but on top of the increasingly elitist comments there has been a noticeable swell of insults and borderline retarded behaviour. It’s kinda sad.

    Perhaps RPS should invest in one of those very successful internet age-gates, or a giant button that says “I AM NOT A TOOL” on it that needs to be pressed before commenting.

    • JoeGuy says:

      Maybe one of those time delays, like you can’t comment for the first week after joining. Would prevent flamewars starting from newcomers who got linked to the article.

      • Premium User Badge

        Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        When you press the submit button a pot of steaming hot tea is dispatched by a team of ninja bicycle-riding postmen. They deliver it within 19 seconds, along with a mug (Slightly cracked, but clean, and with a humourous picture or slogan on the side) and a small selection of biscuits. Only when you have finished the mug of tea and at least two biscuits are you allowed to either confirm, modify, or retract your comment.

        • Sleepymatt says:

          Or, if you fail to quaff sufficient volumes of said tea, or choose suitable biscuits for dunking, the tweed-clad terminators will be released? Suddenly I can feel a conspiracy developing…..

  34. BurningPet says:

    Well i like notch and i can appreciate his contribution to all indies whoever and where ever but when he says something like “greenlight should have worked with desura” i can tell its BS. if he really wanted to support a competition to steam, he should had just sell minecraft on desura. they would have given him the best deal possible, heck, maybe even not taking a dime in return for his 40,000,000 registered users.

    Now, that could really be a boon to indie developers!

    So unless he wants to compete with steam himself, and he may very well wish to, not only that he doesnt make no sense, he actually seem quite manipulative in his remarks regarding steam.

    • grechzoo says:

      I disagree.

      Notch is a game developer, working with his company and on his games. He wants to see indie games succeed, but here he is commenting on the distribution of games through online stores, a field which he is not involved (on the top level anyway). He is therefore allowed to voice his opinions and concerns without having to invest money into every opinion he has.

      Just because he is successful and rich doesn’t mean everything he says is manipulative and he should just “go make it happen himself”. That would just be dumb.

      Let him make his games, and let him comment on valve all he wants.

      Oh, and I think greenlight is a very dumb idea, especially since its stopping proven developers and publisher accessing the platform directly now.

      It’s a poor attempt at following in the kickstarter trend.

  35. uh20 says:

    i would not know what an ego is but notch is pretty imformed
    some things that should be revised in his speech
    he should be full aware how much steam will help to leverage people off the windows 8 market, and
    perhaps windows 8 itself
    and linux is starting to not be just a nerds platform, most tasks are acomplished without a standard
    terminal, so the only thing thats making it harder than windows is hardware and software standardization, which sucks right now, because hardly any games run on the o.s.

  36. Renton81 says:

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    Their main blog is here
    [url="http://freeminecraftw.webs.com/"][url]http://freeminecraftw.webs.com/[/url][/url]

    It also highlights the complete process of how to get your Premium version of minecraft.