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Minecraft Creator Notch Says EA is Destroying Gaming

By - Source: Gamasutra | B 92 comments
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Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson blasted EA on Twitter, saying the company is destroying gaming.

Mojang is the perfect definition of "indie." The studio came out of nowhere and produced a PC game that's become so popular, that it's help reinvigorate the stagnant platform. Minecraft is not only innovative, but it's extremely "lite" and can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages. Even more, it's a pure independent title, meaning there's no publisher involved to steer the game towards a more lucrative route.

That said, it's understandable why Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson gets a little annoyed when big publishers use the "indie" term. Notch, along with many other developers, is currently lashing out at "publicly-held mega-publisher" Electronic Arts for launching a bundle of games called the "EA Indie Bundle" on Valve's Steam platform.

"EA releases an 'indie bundle'? That's not how that works, EA," Notch complained via Twitter. "Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards. Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it. The games in the bundle are good, I'm not questioning them. I'm questioning EA."

Other developers claim that EA is trying to cash in on a grassroots term given how independent games have turned the PC gaming industry around. However the bundle itself does contain titles from independent studios whose games have been published by the company including DeathSpank and DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue from Hothead Games, Gatling Gears from Vanguard Games, Shank and Shank 2 from Klei Entertainment and Warp from Trapdoor Inc.

So then what's the big deal? With huge publishers like EA using the "indie" label, it lowers the meaning behind the term -- at least, that's what developers seemingly think. "We're simply going to have to come up with a NEW word for 'indie.' One that's clearly-defined and THE MAN can't take away from us," mused Size Five's Dan Marshall. "Let's gather some indies together for a quick 'AAA Bundle,' then we're square."

Still, many developers don't see a problem with the EA "indie" bundle. They point out that the titles are developed by independent studios, but just published by the EA Partners label. But given that Mojang saw success without the help of a publisher, their view of "indie" may be a bit more down to earth than EA, hence the hostility.

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Top Comments
  • 68 Hide
    clindman , May 6, 2012 1:18 AM
    I also refuse to spend money on EA games. That company is terrible.
  • 61 Hide
    The Greater Good , May 6, 2012 1:18 AM
    clindmanI also refuse to spend money on EA games. That company is terrible.


    I wish I had more up votes to give you.
  • 61 Hide
    tului , May 6, 2012 1:06 AM
    I hate EA and won't buy anything from them. The only way I can vote is with my wallet.
Other Comments
    Display all 92 comments.
  • 12 Hide
    Marco925 , May 6, 2012 1:04 AM
    Quote:
    So then what's the big deal? With huge publishers like EA using the "indie" label, it lowers the meaning behind the term -- at least, that's what developers seemingly think. "We're simply going to have to come up with a NEW word for 'indie.' One that's clearly-defined and THE MAN can't take away from us," mused Size Five's Dan Marshall. "Let's gather some indies together for a quick 'AAA Bundle,' then we're square."


    Call it IndoGame-o! Then Trademark it!
  • 61 Hide
    tului , May 6, 2012 1:06 AM
    I hate EA and won't buy anything from them. The only way I can vote is with my wallet.
  • 68 Hide
    clindman , May 6, 2012 1:18 AM
    I also refuse to spend money on EA games. That company is terrible.
  • 61 Hide
    The Greater Good , May 6, 2012 1:18 AM
    clindmanI also refuse to spend money on EA games. That company is terrible.


    I wish I had more up votes to give you.
  • 33 Hide
    pharoahhalfdead , May 6, 2012 1:19 AM
    Over the years I've spent more time playing MahJong, Geometry Wars, and Chicken Invaders than I have Bad Company 2, or Battlefield 3. I can't speak for anybody else but sometimes the simplistic games captivate me the most.
  • 25 Hide
    Marfig , May 6, 2012 1:23 AM
    Notch should probably dig deeper than EA. The "indie" term has been misused consistently throughout the later years as the platform become a success. The press, players and developers alike have been labeling as "indie" games like Bastion or some Paradox titles, for instance. EA, as bad as it may be, is just riding the wave it didn't create.

    All it takes is establishing a loyalty feeling towards certain publishers and developers for us to start distorting the reality and shaping it to our liking. It's not a disservice to games like Bastion or Magicka to to not call them indie. They aren't. And we aren't damaging their image in any way. We are instead making sure we keep every monkey in their branch and don't garble so much a term that it eventually loses meaning.

    "EA indie bundle" isn't going to damage the word. Neither "Activision Indie Week", or "Ubisoft Barrel of Indies". What can truly remove any meaning from it, is the act of slowly chipping away at the true meaning of this word until instead of a rectangle you end up with a circle.

    And EA is not the one doing that. Like or not the company, let's be perfectly clear about that.
  • 13 Hide
    dr_wack , May 6, 2012 1:24 AM
    wow EA just sunk a whole lvl deeper
  • 14 Hide
    jurassic512 , May 6, 2012 1:57 AM
    Isn't the point of being an indie developer, is to eventually get to AAA status? I mean, who enjoys the bottom? EA is evil, but in this case I think Notch has been sipping some tainted kool-aid.
  • 13 Hide
    blazorthon , May 6, 2012 2:06 AM
    airborne11bIndie pc games might be great for casual gamers with dated pcs, light laptop/tablet/smartphone games, and stuff like that, but big companies like ea make the serious games hardcore gamers and pro gamers like myself want to play. Hell, i own Plants vs Zombies on 3 different platforms, and games lile osmos and trine are fun, but indie is never going to make games like BF3, crysis 3, Tera, Aliens:CM, etc. This stupid minecraft dev thinks he's so special, im still waiting for him to make a serious pc game. Then he'll earn real respect.


    You bring up a decent point, but I think that you are under-exaggerating the capabilities of some developers and I'm also pretty sure that the MC devs already have respect from a lot of people. Indies are less likely to produce a multi-million dollar game, but that doesn't mean that they are incapable of it. Besides, it's not as if the big media development companies screw up every now and then, so they aren't perfect.
  • -1 Hide
    dpmcbrde , May 6, 2012 2:27 AM
    blazorthonYou bring up a decent point, but I think that you are under-exaggerating the capabilities of some developers and I'm also pretty sure that the MC devs already have respect from a lot of people. Indies are less likely to produce a multi-million dollar game, but that doesn't mean that they are incapable of it. Besides, it's not as if the big media development companies screw up every now and then, so they aren't perfect.


    I find it hilarious that this link was showing up just a few inches under your post.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/mojang-notch-minecraft-markus-persson-Lego,15119.html
  • 7 Hide
    Fuyukazehime , May 6, 2012 2:32 AM
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indie_game
    nuff said
  • 28 Hide
    proxy711 , May 6, 2012 2:35 AM
    airborne11bThis stupid minecraft dev thinks he's so special, im still waiting for him to make a serious pc game. Then he'll earn real respect.

    I think you misunderstand what an indie game is. One man or small team can't make a game from scratch and have the graphics of BF3 or the production standards of blizzard. They have a limited budget and not enough people to make what you would call a "serious" game.

    I don't know what you want from one man, he created a game himself that has sold over 5 million copies.
  • 22 Hide
    Marfig , May 6, 2012 2:36 AM
    airborne11bThis stupid minecraft dev thinks he's so special, im still waiting for him to make a serious pc game. Then he'll earn real respect.


    He already has earned a lot of respect from vast sectors of the gaming community (players and industry alike). So you are way off the mark. I also respect the developer and achiever in him.

    That said he's a controversial figure... or apparently aiming to become one. I didn't see him crying wolf when many of the press and the players were calling these EA published games as indies. Try any of the bundled games titles followed by "indie" on google and you'll get the idea. Heck, Shank is even listed on Wikipedia List Of Indie Games!

    By calling EA on it, he is just travelling the easy road knowing perfectly well he'll get the backup of a large portion of the gaming community who despises big publishers in general and EA in particular. Had he called the Press and the gaming community on it when he should have, and he would have to face the fact he'd probably get a whole lot of flak. He's being a demagog and I personally despise that attitude.

    I often think that if you want to fight the good fight, at the very least make an effort to look good. Otherwise you just end up smelling worse than the bad guys.
  • 24 Hide
    proxy711 , May 6, 2012 2:41 AM
    Couldn't they call recent COD games indie games?

    I mean how many people does it take to copy and paste code from the last COD and then add a few textures.
  • 11 Hide
    triplej , May 6, 2012 3:19 AM
    EA should just stick to their yearly sport game renewals and leave the rest of the gaming world alone
  • 15 Hide
    Mathos , May 6, 2012 3:29 AM
    I have to agree on the fact EA is killing gaming. In fact anyone who was around about the time EA acquired Westwood Studios will know about that. The CEO and people running the company openly hold a hatred towards gaming, and gamers. This was blatantly stated back in....02 or 03 when they started shutting down all the MMO games that were created under Westwood (earth and beyond), and other developers.

    The only reason EA makes games is because it's profitable. Which is why 99% of the games they come out with are regurgitated crap. Hate to say it, but how many times does Battlefield need to be remade? I'd say other than the games Bioware develops most everything else is crap, and even bioware has been iffy since they joined EA. How far they've fallen since they were an Indie studio working along side Interplay and Black Isle back in the day. So far the only games recently be EA that I've found worth buying were the Mass Effect games.

  • 8 Hide
    metro510 , May 6, 2012 3:35 AM
    MathosI have to agree on the fact EA is killing gaming. In fact anyone who was around about the time EA acquired Westwood Studios will know about that. The CEO and people running the company openly hold a hatred towards gaming, and gamers. This was blatantly stated back in....02 or 03 when they started shutting down all the MMO games that were created under Westwood (earth and beyond), and other developers. The only reason EA makes games is because it's profitable. Which is why 99% of the games they come out with are regurgitated crap. Hate to say it, but how many times does Battlefield need to be remade? I'd say other than the games Bioware develops most everything else is crap, and even bioware has been iffy since they joined EA. How far they've fallen since they were an Indie studio working along side Interplay and Black Isle back in the day. So far the only games recently be EA that I've found worth buying were the Mass Effect games.


    If you do not support (insert company name here)'s products, then do not buy them!

    This is the only thing you have to do, the company does not magically make money when no one buys their games, so stop complaining about EA if you have bought one of their games recently, its like the people who sit there and talk about how fast food is destroying peoples health and then proceed to buy bigmacs for lunch


    TL;DR: Practice what you preach, period.
  • -3 Hide
    dreadlokz , May 6, 2012 4:07 AM
    I blame consoles, not EA!
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