news\ Nov 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Notch "Nervous" About Minecraft Review Scores


MineCon is happening next week, and with that comes the release of the full version of Minecraft, the smash-hit indie adventure game created by Markus "Notch" Person. No longer will it be referred to as Minecraft Beta.  Instead it will just be called Minecraft, and have a version number 1.0.

But despite the success of Minecraft, even before it's official release, Notch revealed that he is still nervous about the inevitable reviews that will start rolling in.  It's understandable.  Minecraft is his baby.  It has grown along with it's fanbase and now that it's "officially" going to be released, who knows what people will expect.

Today, Notch revealed on his blog that the pending reviews "makes me nervous".

Minecraft has already proven itself to fans, as determined by it's 16 million registered users and 4 million copies sold.  It has one countless awards and Notch revealed he has received "a lot of friendly and positive emails from players."  Still, aside from the sale numbers, the one number that sticks out the most is the score.  Though Notch admitted that it "means relatively little compared to the players and the awards, it's a distinct number people will use to compare the game to other games."

In a round-about way, Notch's fears of reviews are on par with other developers.  "Gaming scores have become so big and bloated, I can't help but feel like I would be disappointed witha score that wouldbe a great score for somethign like a movie or a music album."  This is, in a sense, what is wrong with the gaming review industry and something I pointed out weeks ago when Batman: Arkham City reviews started pouring in.  Almost every blockbuster game these days are so hyped leading up to release that many reviewers feel pressured to give them 9s or 10s.  When a "big-named" game doesn't get that high score, a developer wonders why (aka Cliffy B).  A 7 or 8 is by no means a "bad" score, at least in most other industries.  But in gaming, it might as well be the death of a game.

That is the point that Notch has tried to get across in his latest post, and it's a valid one.  I think when you have as much of a following as Minecraft does, then the score really shouldn't matter.  Don't worry about the scores Notch.  People will think what they think.  All that matters is you releasing a product that fans enjoy and you are proud of.

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