EA Reckons ‘Minecraft’ Needs Publisher Support, Notch Thinks Otherwise

Minecraft
Minecraft

Rich Hilleman of EA says that Minecraft could do with some help that only a publisher can give – the game’s creator, “Notch”, is happy to stay indie.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Chief Creative Director of Electronic Arts, Rich Hilleman, talked about the future of EA and how he thinks the publisher could offer a game as successful as Mojang’s Minecraft some valuable help. Hilleman thinks Minecraft is a great game and it is certainly one that is popular with his children. However, he thinks that Minecraft needs to evolve beyond what Mojang are doing with it – not just making it a great game but basically milking it as a franchise. The focus is clearly the business side of the game’s existence and how EA could somehow make more out of the game – it’s worth noting at this point that Minecraft has made $80 million so far.

“I think ultimately in the long term that the money that will get made in Minecraft will not be about Minecraft, but will be about the services and products that get introduced into it”, Hilleman said. “And so that’s what’s most interesting to me about Minecraft, is that the ecosystem, it’s almost an American history lesson.”

Later in the same interview, Minecraft is brought up again and Hilleman, though acknowledging that Notch probably isn’t interested, revealed the plans that he had for Minecraft if EA had some control over it – perhaps even putting it on their digital distribution service, Origin. Hilleman thinks the value in Minecraft to be had is in making its mods and installations more customer friendly. He came up with that idea after having to reinstall Windows on his son’s computer after a Minecraft-modding mishap.

“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”, Hilleman claimed.

Hilleman’s ideas about evolving Minecraft into what he thought would be a better long-term business didn’t take long to reach Notch himself. The Minecraft creator, as is usually the case, responded to Hilleman via Twitter with a tweet that said:

“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”

So as you see, Notch lived up to expectation as an indie developer by being happy to subvert the practices of what a publisher would attempt to do with his creation. Of course, EA can drool and dream as much as they want about grabbing hold of Minecraft, but we’re pretty sure that any wise indie developer would look at EA’s history of veering developers towards a downhill slope and stay away. Who can forget what EA have done with Westwood, Bullfrog, Criterion Games, Mythic Entertainment and most recently BioWare?

More information on Minecraft can be found over on the game’s official website.




There are 44 comments

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  1. Wraith

    A modding mishap caused an ‘Oh god, reinstall Windows’ moment?  How bad with computers do you have to be to pull that off?

  2. Andras

    His kid is probably either really stupid, or rather ignorant of computers; he probably asked for help on the internet somewhere, probably not a good place either, and someone probably told him to delete System32. And then he did. AND THEN NOT A SINGLE PROCESS WAS GIVEN THAT DAY.

  3. Jason Guest

    EA KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MOJANG! They are doing FINE by themselves. They are happy with where the game is headed and the money that is being made WITHOUT ANY ADVERTISING WHATSOEVER. They don’t need EA to come in and start charging for mods and updates and having to have an EA account to go online and stuff.

  4. 9pairsocks

    Good for Notch, I don’t want anymore games that require me to subscribe to some shitty server and have to type in serials

  5. Mateus Kzr Reis

    What (Modern) EA would do to Minecraft:

    1: Make it moronic easy
    2: Nerf everything in online gameplay, breaking the original balance of the game
    3: Make it last through repetition of boring gameplay sections
    4: Add monthly subscriptions, DRM, and items for sale in-game.

    I used to respect EA a lot more in the 90′s. now they’re just another money hog pursuing gamers that cannot discern meaningful games from money loopholes.

    They still manage to pull out a few great games once in a while, Kudos given.

    OR, and it is a big, uncertain “or”, but they may have wanted to put Minecraft in the Play4Free platform currently supporting a few games.

  6. wedhro

    Dear EA, please move your lazy bottom and do your own sandbox voxel-based procedurally generated adventure/creative game and let’s see who wins.

  7. Girlpower

    if EA steals minecraft, in the near future you would probably need to pay for a online pass for some bull shit that probably wont work anymore

  8. Guest

    He won’t get there himself because Jeb is the one who has done many of the new ideas since he joined Mojang. And now the the Bukkit team have joined, modding is going to be easier.

  9. Syrinty

    I wish EA would just burn to the ground. Every thing they touch goes to crap, look at Command and Conquer. which was own by WestWood Studios before EA resided to grab it. ever since then they just drove the game into the grave. If they get there hands on Minecraft, some backwards slug who thinks he’s a game marketing genius will reside wouldn’t it be a much better game if all we had to do is just watch and let them control what happens. 

  10. Meowington

    EA why don’t you start a company yourself and create a successful game, minecraft has built it’s brand from the bottom up with no help other than the community. “Offer Mojang some serious help” What exactly do they need help with? Making useless endorsements and mugs/toys/back scratchers etc. They would destroy everything I love about minecraft, and that is that it is first and foremost a GAME. No loopholes or bullshit and it’s open source! <3

  11. Meowington

    EA why don’t you start a company yourself and create a successful game, minecraft has built it’s brand from the bottom up with no help other than the community. “Offer Mojang some serious help” What exactly do they need help with? Making useless endorsements and mugs/toys/back scratchers etc. They would destroy everything I love about minecraft, and that is that it is first and foremost a GAME. No loopholes or bullshit and it’s open source! <3

  12. Dj

    If ot wasn’t for maxis, EA would’ve filed for bankrupcy long ago… @EA: Please keep your dirty fingers off existing companies, the products suck when you buy them out.

  13. Jonathan Ogilvie

    Yeah, that’s the last thing we need. Within weeks of the onset of EA involvement, new block types would cost 4.99 a pop, customer service would be non-existent, and they’d quickly begin development of Minecraft2 = a cross platform “sequel” that has Steve in FPS mode.

    EA would be the salt to the slug that is Minecraft, no offense – only metaphor I could think of.

  14. Freewayrickrollross

    I used to respect EA when they were making Comedore 64 games. It seems they started on a downward path of self destruction and chaos since the days of the NES.

  15. SkidRowTrash

    EA Probably wants to implement things like Activisions Elite system.

    Minecraft Elite subscription
    Follow this with paid user made mods,
    paid dlc,
    constant internet connection required (even for offline 4 player split screen),
    3 Online passes – one comes free with the game, one must be purchased if you did not pre-order the game, and one must purchased if you wish to play the game more than 1 time.

  16. Sean

    It’s amusing how it’s EA that came out and said that.

    Probably the worst publisher going at the moment.

  17. TrevorAGreen

    I’m not a moron and I have wasted a ton of time trying to please my 9 year with broken mods to minecraft. I’m all for being able to do whatever you want, but minecraft needs a disciplined and structured api and not a pile of useless broken hacks. I’ve download an installed versions of modloader that do nothing but crash minecraft without any mods on top of it. 

    Bottom line, minecraft is a great idea that is currently suffering from really poor execution. If they don’t want EA that’s fine. But i’m sick of the experience with no end in site, because my son just keeps wanting help and wanting to use old mods, broken mods, crashing mods, mods that are updated so I have to search for old jars. As soon as I get one working he wants a different one that is not compatible.

    There are tons of ways to solve this problem with just a better launcher. 

    At this point I really want someone to just make a better version of the same thing that is more stable and extensible and has some rails for addon developers so you can at least add items and not have the mods need updates for every point release.

    Notch, just fix your stuff so that kids can play without all the headaches.

  18. ChaosEternal

    Someone who manages to break Windows while trying to install Minecraft mods really shouldn’t be using computers. And to think this person is 
    Chief Creative Director of Electronic Arts. They must not do much of the actual work themselves. I’d imagine Origin wouldn’t help that guy. He’d probably brick his motherboard while trying to install it.

  19. ChaosEternal

    Someone who manages to break Windows while trying to install Minecraft mods really shouldn’t be using computers. And to think this person is 
    Chief Creative Director of Electronic Arts. They must not do much of the actual work themselves. I’d imagine Origin wouldn’t help that guy. He’d probably brick his motherboard while trying to install it.

  20. Jeco0357

    Personally i don’t trust EA they make good games and all but they don’t trust the user to a point they actually scan your computer in some games.

  21. JonhyBee

    Try Tekkit AKA Technic pack loader, is works great and offers 4 or 5 awesome, easy to use, balanced and complete mods.

  22. Anthony Lutz

    Let’s get our grease-stained fingers on some HOT IP, eh, EA? You’re really starting to look like the crotchety, lecherous politician of the video game industry.


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