Gamasutra recently quizzed EA chief creative director Rich Hilleman on the history of the publisher and how its approach to the game-making business has affected the industry. Interestingly, the topic of Minecraft appears a number of times, with Hilleman suggesting the indie powerhouse could be doing better financially with the likes of EA on its side.
Not that Notch really needs more money, but I'm sure certain less passionate types would be swayed by dollar signs over creative integrity. Anyway, let's take a look at what Hilleman said. From Gamasutra:
As somebody who has had to reinstall Windows on my son's computer after he attempted to install Mod Manager on that machine, there's a lot of value to be provided for the customer in making Minecraft and its mods and installations something that's a more commercial and predictable product.
And those are the kinds of things that Notch needs help with, and that without the help of a publisher or other support, he's probably not going to get there completely by himself. Now maybe his community will, and I'd love to see that happen. It's a great experiment; I'm really anxious to see what happens.
Hilleman also admits he'd like to "learn" from Notch, but I'm not really buying it. Fortunately, neither is Notch, who replied via Twitter to Hilleman's appraisal of his business approach:
I'm sure EA is very successful at monetizing games, but the more we don't do what they would do, the happier I am. #nooffense
A classy retort if I ever saw one. Notch one to, um, Notch.
EA reckons 'Minecraft' needs publisher support, Notch thinks otherwise [Indie Game Magazine]