Minecraft remains one of the most popular PC games there is. Released in an alpha form in 2009, the final version didn't go live until a year ago. Even now, the game sells an average of between 10,000 and 12,000 digital copies a day on its official website, at $27.95 each. Total PC sales are now close to 7 million units.
However, all of those sales have come without Minecraft being put on sale on any of the major PC game download sites, particularly Valve's service Steam, which has millions of users online every day downloading and playing games. PCGamer.com reports that when asked, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson states:
As much as I love Steam, I do somewhat worry about the PC as a gaming platform becoming owned by a single entity that takes 30% of all PC games sold. I’m hoping for a future where more games can self-publish and use social media and friends to market their games. Perhaps there’s something we could do to help out there? I don’t know. If nothing else, we might work as an inspiration for people to self-publish.
There's no denying that Minecraft certainly doesn't need Steam to be successful, but that game is a big exception rather than the rule. Valve recently announced plans to launch a new program, Steam Greenlight, that is designed to help small PC games get submitted and accepted on Steam via social networking and community features.