GDC 2012 – Notch: Piracy Is Used As An Excuse To “Ruin The Internet”
Continuing his 2012 goodwill tour – by which we mean, ‘continuing to be awesome’ – Mojang founder and Minecraft creator Notch is at GDC this week, and yesterday he took part in a so-called ‘fireside chat’ with Chris Hecker. During their conversation, Notch opined on the issue of Piracy and revealed himself yet again to be a very atypical gaming honcho. “If someone copies your game a trillion times,” he said, “you won’t have a single lost sale. Some people are using that to ruin the internet.”
Notch continued, saying “I still think piracy is wrong, but [it's on] the level of wrong me calling my friend an idiot. It’s wrong, but it’s such a minor thing. It’s ridiculously small.” Naturally, we endorse, as this is an incredibly important conversation for the gaming world to be having. The gaming industry’s official mouthpiece, the Entertainment Software Association, has been on the opposite side of the debate, and the willingness of developers to speak out against the efforts to combat piracy by crippling the Internet has the potential to change the terms of debate for the better.
It’s true that Notch’s unique position allows him some freedom to buck the establishment, but when even Gabe Newell is dismissing the threat, it’s evidence of a sea change. Even the ESA, who famously advocated for SOPA and PIPA, eventually withdrew their support just in time for both bills to fail.