Notch: "It's become hip to pay for indie games"

Owen Hill at

PC Gamer UK Minecraft server

Are Mojang still indie developers? Since Minecraft's inception years ago, Notch's block builder has sold a price-tag-defeating 4,733,940 copies and been awarded 96% in our Minecraft review. An Xbox 360 port is incoming, and the touchy-feely Android/iOS ports are already available. They're even making Minecraft LEGO.

"These days it's become hip to pay for indie games. That's partly down to people charging for it, like with the Humble Indie Bundle, and partly because of Steam doing awesome stuff," Notch told PC Gamer last week.

"I don't think [Mojang] are indie in the sense of how I used to work any more, because we have a payroll to worry about and we need to do stuff to ensure the company lasts," he continued.

"We have other stuff which influences what we do other than trying to focus on the games. We make sure me and Jacob are only focusing on game development so the founders are still developing. But as a company, I don't think we are indie in the sense that I used to mean it. But in the other sense of indie - as in we make games we want to play without having any external dependencies - then yeah, we're indie."

According to Notch, gamers' perceptions of independent developers has altered over time: "I think it's easier to be an indie game developer these days because back in the day it wasn't called being an "indie developer" but a "garage programmer." You weren't expected to charge for your game so you couldn't do it. People never charged. It was just a hobby.

"I think it's much easier these days, but there's still no guarantee you'll make a profit. If you're doing it out of passion and just want to get some money back it's definitely doable."

Minecraft was officially released in November last year. For the latest Mojang news visit their official site.

What's your definition of an indie developer?


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