Minecraft developer speaks out against Windows 8 and the new Store

Many game and program developers for Windows have spoken out recently about Windows Store, the new certification process for apps and the ecosystem changes coming with the new OS. Most of these developers have been negative about it. As Onoura previously pointed out, this isn’t surprising.

One of the newest companies/developers to voice out against Windows Store and the new ecosystem is Markus Persson of “MineCraft” fame. The creator of the popular online-distributed game states he won’t be bringing the popular game to Windows 8 because he feels that Microsoft is locking down Windows 8 in ways that will ruin Windows in general.

According to Persson, Microsoft reached out to him about certifying Minecraft for Windows 8. He declined stating to them that they need “to stop trying to ruin the PC as an open platform.” Persson has been pretty open about his distaste for Windows 8 in the past and claims that it is bad news for Indie games.

What is ironic is that Minecraft has no problem making its way to the very locked down iOS. The reason why opinions differ here is that iOS has been locked down from day one, and change is scary. That being said, is Windows 8 locked down at all? No, not really. Sure, the modern UI is going to be somewhat locked down, but not the desktop.

Don’t want to go through the Windows Store ecosystem? Release your app for the desktop instead. It can still be touch-optimized by the developers and will work find in X86 PCs and tablets. The only area that is getting a bit locked down is the ARM tablet sector. It seems odd that a studio would criticize this model and yet seem so open to support the same model as long as it is Apple that is doing it.

Minecraft’s developer/creator joins a somewhat long list of developers complaining about the Microsoft shifts in their ecosystem. Another rather vocal name against Windows 8 Store is Valve. Both of these developers have one thing in common: They rely on online distribution (Valve with Steam).

With Windows Store you have to share a piece of the profit pie with Microsoft in order to be certified and appear in the Windows Store. Its not surprising that neither of these company’s want that kind of approach.

Is Microsoft doing the right thing with their new Ecosystem/Store approach?

Is Microsoft being greedy here? No, they are making things simpler for the end-user. If a power user wants to go outside of the Windows Store ecosystem, that’s fine. If you are a casual user and want an easy way to get a hold of great applications and programs, Windows 8 Store is there for you.

I suppose MS could have went the Android route and allowed several storefronts to take advantage of the Modern/Metro UI. Why didn’t they? I personally enjoy Android, but a good portion of the negative criticism received by the OS comes from bad software containing malware that came from a 3rd party store or location.

MS has enough past problems with viruses and security- locking down the new UI is just a way to protect their consumers and their reputation.

App developers go where the money is. Some will avoid Windows 8 – and the change it brings – as long as possible. Once the new Win8 ecosystem is in place and is clearly not going away, these developers will semi-reluctantly join the party.

Again, if you really want these apps, Minecraft and others will be available (uncertified) for x86 users by downloading them through the desktop.

What do you think? Do developers that complain about the change have a legitimate concern or not?

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  • Rex

    I think you hit the nose on the head. Primarily those who are complaining about the Windows store are those who have a vested intrest in distribution.

    The whole purpose for their criticism seems to me be aimed at ensuring the MS created dustribution system fails. I dont think they will succeed in this goal. I think it more likely that they end up having to eat crow and join the system or miss out on a lot of sales. Lets face it. Valve looses a lot of meaning when there is an alternate distribution system built-in. Indie gamers have a ready platform to quickly make themselves available to consumers. This is anything but a bad thing for indie game developers. The ones in trouble are those who are complaining about it. Their complaints are aimed at their best intrests, not game developers or consumers.

    • Andrew Grush

      I will say I understand the concerns of these companies that currently distribute their games/applications via the Internet without having to worry about sharing the wealth with MS and others…. but I also see that Windows Store is a logical move on Microsoft’s part, plain and simple.

      I agree about developers eventually eating crow and putting up with it. Like I said, developers will go where the money is. They will complain and avoid the Windows Store at first, but when they see the $$$ opportunity they are missing, they will likely give in. 🙂