Notch is back in the news again, and this time it is not to challenge Bethesda to a lawsuit-settling match of Quake 3. Markus “Notch” Persson let some personal thoughts fly on EA’s “indie bundle” via Twitter.
EA has recently released a game bundle on Steam that includes such games as Warp, Shank and Deathspank. Notch’s anger is not aimed toward the release or even the games in the bundle, but EA’s choice to label it as “indie bundle”.
“EA releases an “indie bundle? That’s not how it works, EA,” Notch said. “Stop attempting to ruin everything, you bunch of cynical bastards.”
He was also noted saying,
“Indies are saving gaming. EA is methodically destroying it.”
Notch founded Mojang along with two others in 2010. The main reason for this was to usher in the ultra popular Minecraft. By the end of February 2012, Minecraft had sold more than 5 million units across various platforms like PC, iOS and Android. The megahit is even moving toward its first console release next week as the final title in Microsoft’s Arcade NEXT promotion.
Persson went on to say that he did not feel like Mojang was even indie anymore, and he does not refer to his studio in that manner.
If we agree that indie games are created by a small team without a video game publisher’s financial support, I can see where some developers and members of the gaming community may not appreciate EA labeling their bundle with that moniker. Let’s take a look at one of the included games. Hothead Games is the team behind Deathspank and have been known to self publish games. Is that enough to give EA the justification of labeling the bundle as “indie,” though?
It all depends on if you believe Notch’s definition of indie is too stringent. The only way for small developers to get their games on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network is to have a publishing agreement. That doesn’t necessarily make the studios any less indie, but it also doesn’t automatically confer “indie cred” to EA.
Do you agree that EA is destroying culture, or is Notch’s criticism misplaced? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.