Minecraft Creator Calls Electronic Arts A 'Bunch Of Cynical Bastards'

The hip, small-time boutique publishing label Electronic Arts revealed its "Indie Bundle" yesterday — curiously for sale over Steam and not Origin, and there was a passionate response from many observers of the video game artistic community. Including Markus "Notch" Persson, better known as the creator of uber-indie hit Minecraft.

"EA releases an 'indie bundle'? That's not how that works, EA," he tweeted yesterday. "Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards."

Not only that, Persson says he doesn't consider his operation to be "indie" anymore, meaning he focuses more on the spirit of the term and not its literal meaning, which is good. Minecraft is about to release on Xbox 360, published by that art-house Microsoft.

"Fwiw, I don't even call Mojang inde any more," he said. "Vlambeer is indie. Polytron is indie. Stephen, Ed, Terry, Derek, Tommy and Chris are indie.

"Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it," Notch concluded. That settles it!


    We all said the exact same thing yesterday.

      It's strange that the Indie Gaming site that was linked in the first article actually stated that, technically, all the developers published in the EA Indie Pack were...indie. And the games were indie. So, as far as they were concerned, technically it *was* an indie pack.

      So if other indies consider it indie....what then?

    So EA games puts a sale on what it considers 'indie' and some sack of lard makes an offensive comment about it not being politically correct. Where's the harm to warrant such a comment?

    Notch is never getting my money.

      1) He didn't ask for your money.
      2) "Sack of lard"? Where's the harm the warrant such an offensive comment?
      3) The definition of indie is...you know..."independent". EA being the publisher behind these games makes these games and their developers dependent. Indie games are popular due to their gameplay, but also because you are supporting a developer that has thrown off the shackles of a publisher and has given themselves creative freedom to create new and exciting games. These developers NEED as much support as they can, and people will often give it to them.

      So, as you can imagine, when a gigantic corporation like EA tries to claim its games as "indie", people will be pissed off.

        Where's the harm to warrant such a comment?

        He just expressed his opinion and preached it to all his followers on twitter on a statement that is completely unfounded and completely untrue. Hell he even claims to no longer indie, so where's the credibility to critisise another.

        1. No one does, it's a salesmans job to market a product and convince you. Unless you're not one of his loyal brain dead hipsters who has to game on a tangent because 'indie' is the cool place to be at, buying anything he dishes
        2.. above
        3. 'indie' is independent, but the true essence of 'indie' is SELF funded, you've basically denied every single 'indie' group the title 'indie' simply by taking money from external investors be it private or even from kickstarter. Just becuase something is under EA can simply mean they have contracted them to help ditribute, market and fund part of their project. Oh but Notch says otherwise, must be truth..... just like we would call Witcher 2 a Namco Bandai game, clearly NB had a lot to say about the direction of Witcher 2 it shows deoesn it.

        No I can't imagine that, but I can imagine that you have individuals who are hypocritical about technicalities getting all sensitive when it might creep into their territory but when on to others they go all 'chill pill' (see Notch's 'Scrolls' quake challenge)

          I think your right in that the term Indie is being diluted way to much with all the kickstarter projects.

          What makes these guys independant is that whilst they have EA publish those particular games, they may not be signed on exclusive EA developers. Thus making them no different to people who shop their games on kickstarter.

          There are a stack of small developers of iOS games that actually develop for numerous publishers that you can identify independant as they dont lock themselves to one publisher.

          Indie doesn't mean strictly self funded.
          It means published or funded outside of mainstream means. In other words, not using the traditional route of a publisher.

          Of course it's a salesmans job to market a product and convince people. Nobody questions that.
          But, is he a salesman? Is every public message from him intended to convince people to buy Minecraft?

          I was so sure that he was the creator of Minecraft. And that whoever does the marketing for Mojang would be the salesman.

          Also, your logic of "you must be x to dicuss or criticise anything related to x" is, quite frankly, retarded. Should I not criticise a builder if my house falls apart 20 minutes after he built it, just because I'm not a builder?

            Actually, it does mean self funded. Some people, sure, want it to also mean "not published the traditional route of the publisher", and sure, the two might happen a lot - but it's not required.

      notch doesnt need your money

        Of course not, he has millions of yous to pay him instead for what ever he dishes.


            Glad we agreed.

      Omg Bobby Kotick just commented on Kotaku!

        Don't be stupid, Bobby Kotick doesn't put his games on sale, until he can sell you the same game next year :P

    EA could probably sue notch for this under "defamation of character"

      Somebody expressing their opinion is not defamation of character. If Notch lied and made false derogatory claims about EA and explicitly stated or implied that it was true, then it'd be different.

      But calling them cynical bastards is not false, because it is a personal opinion.

        Not to mention if they did, it'd be proving him right, meaning it's no longer slander

    I liked Ben Kuchera's tweets on this:

    Don't get mad at EA for launching an indie bundle. The games involved are fun, the teams are talented, and I want to see good work rewarded.

    EA published some great games by people who deserve to make money off their work, and it's being promoted. This is what we want!

    If your definition of "indie" means you don't have a publisher, I have bad news about a ton of your favorite games on XBLA.

    I think being precious of the word "indie" is counter-productive. EA is supporting good games in this case, by teams that do good work.

    I'd rather celebrate that instead of making semantic points about a word that is all but meaningless these days.

    A publisher is working with good teams (great!) promoting them on Steam (great!) with lower prices (great!) and the games are good (great!)

    But because it's EA suddenly all those things are bad? Ugh.

    People yell at EA for not being on Steam and publishing only "AAA" games, so why yell when they publish small games and push them on Steam?

    Rant over. Back to work. I apologize for spamming your feed. *drops mic*

      Look up the definition of "indie".

        I'm aware of that, as is Ben, who said by this definition Unreal Tournament is indie but Bastion isn't.

          It's like the definition of Indie music. It's a thing unto itself.

            Pretty much, it's been turned into a genre.

            That genre tends to mean (harsh, yes): "Low production value, sometimes fun, sometimes quirky, sometimes crappy games that aren't developed by a huge publisher"

        Independent development studios that do not require funding for development. Publishing, however, is different.

        That definition fits here.

        And, as McG said below - if you want to go for "no big corps ever, anywhere", then the "Indie game of the Year: BASTION!" isn't independent - it was published by Warner, I believe.

          "Independent development studios that do not require funding for development."

          I like that definition. I suppose it doesn't matter who publishes a game, the question is can the publisher control the development of the game.

            That's what I always thought it meant.

            Random guys fund and make a game. However, they're terrible at publishing/selling - so they outsource the publishing.

            However, the publisher had no input into the development, and never influenced it.

            BLAM! Independent.

      Kuchera's the man. I definitely agree about the word "indie" being a pretty meaningless word. It almost seems more like a pretentious badge some like to wear because they think it gives them dignity or credibility.

      Notch comes off sounding entirely self-righteous.

    Doesnt the EA indie bundle defeat the "indie" title? i always thought that indie stood for independent studios not owned or weighted down by publishers.

      Tell that to Indie music... I don't know why everyone is surprised.

    I bought Warp on it's own for 50% off. The developer was on the Steam forums saying that EA didn't disrupt the development process and just published it. A lot of angry nerds called him out stating that he has "sold his soul to the devil". While I prefer supporting guys like MinMax Games - who were $400 away from being homeless with a newborn - there are a lot more deserving targets to "Hulk-out" on. Angry nerds will always be angry.

    Guess its going the way of "indie" music huh, just a genre these days...

    used to mean independent.

    As a side note, I get all the glib references in the article need to be made to appear cool, but a little investigation and thinking would have been nice.

    The reason these are all being sold on Steam is that Steam is a store-front. They have, obviously, the largest slice of PC gamers, so the audience is largest possible.

    Makes sense so far - so if it's just that simple, why would they release on Steam? There's your clue, it's not.

    This package - which is able to be sold on Steam as a store-front - is simply for a set of game unlock codes that...wait for it.....*MUST BE ENTERED INTO ORIGIN IN ORDER TO UNLOCK AND PLAY*.

    Wow! Now who would want to entire a boatload of PC players over to their service? EA? WOW AGAIN!

    So it's like they're making sure they get a larger user base and potentially valuable information and footholds in the online distribution channel war.

      Do they seriously require Origin? Surely that's the bigger story here, not "OMG EA SO ISN'T INDIE", but rather this poaching of Steam users? I had a quick look and Gatling Gears at least has "EA access" listed as a DRM item. Deathspank has got Steam achievements and doesn't have the EA access listed, so I expect it applies to some of the items but not all?

        Yeah, I saw it crop up on a few of those games in the pack - has to be downloaded through EA, or at the very least, you need to log into Origin accounts after launching it through Steam for everything to work.

        It's a really, really clever business move. Force people to use your system, hope they find it's not as bad as they thought.

        Also, that's a fantastic price point for both DeathSpanks and both Shanks.

          Not really any different then Downloading Batman and requiring GFWL.

          I wonder how it goes for these indie devs tied to EA's DRM - at least three of those games I would have bought some time ago, possibly multiple times for gifts, but because of EA's shenanigans I'm buying them all zero times instead!

            I believe the bundle was in the top 5 of all games sales yesterday on Steam. Something ridiculously high like that again today, I guess.

      Sometimes the comments make Kotaku worth wild.


    Like a boss, oh snap!

    Notch is getting out of hand. Such a rude personal attack is distasteful amd lacks maturity. Christ Notch, it's one thing to be on your high horse, but have some grace and poise while you gallop.

      Personal attack? EA's a corporation. Are you an American?

    EA still less evil than Ubisoft and Activation .

    Hardly surprising, Notch is not the first person to achieve sudden success and then indulge a little too deeply in his own self importance.

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