Minecraft, one of the most popular PC games of recent years, has yet to launch on Steam due to a conflict of interests over DLC terms, the game’s creator has said.
Markus Persson has been unremitting in his admiration of Valve’s digital channel, but said current platform restrictions would negatively impact on Minecraft if it was released on Steam.
“Steam is the best digital distribution platform I’ve ever seen,” Persson said on his personal blog.
“I’ve spent incredible amounts of money on it, and I own a crazy amount of games on it. It runs great, offers great services and it remembers my credit card details so there’s no barrier for me when I want to buy a game.”
Yet he explained that launching Minecraft on Steam “limits a lot of what we’re allowed to do with the game, and how we’re allowed to talk to our users”.
“We (probably?) wouldn’t be able to, say, sell capes or have a map marketplace on minecraft.net that works with Steam customers in a way that keeps Valve happy,” he said.
“It would effectively split the Minecraft community into two parts, where only some of the players can access all of the weird content we want to add to the game.”
Persson said he was still in negotiation with Valve, “but I definitely understand their reasons for wanting to control their platform”.
“There’s a certain inherent incompatibility between what we want to do and what they want to do,” he said.
Conflicts of interest over Steam game DLC are not new to Valve. EA has attempted to directly sell add-ons to its own games sold through the platform, resulting in those games being removed from the Steam Store.
Persson has assured his correspondence with Valve has been far more mannerly.
“There’s no big argument, we just don’t want to limit what we can do with Minecraft,” he said.
“Also, Steam is awesome. Much more awesome than certain other digital distribution platforms that we would NOT want to release Minecraft on,” he said.
EA’s rival digital platform, Origin, is gaining prominence in the PC games space. In what may be a foretoken of things to come, EA will host its own holiday blockbuster Battlefield 3 on Origin but not Steam.
Valve company president Gabe Newell has told Develop that it “needs to convince EA” to host its games on Steam.