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FortressCraft dev calls police after suffering DDoS attack on Minecraft XBLA launch day

"F**k you and your 'community', @Notch."

FortressCraft developer Adam Sawkins has called the police after suffering a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on his game's website the day voxel rival Minecraft launched on Xbox Live Arcade.

FortressCraft.com was crippled yesterday after the XBLA port of Minecraft launched to critical and commercial acclaim. Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson tweeted to say the 360 version, developed by the Dundee-based 4J Studios, was profitable after just an hour on sale.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Sawkins refused to name check Minecraft fans, but, reading between the lines, it's clear who he believes is responsible. "F**k you and your 'community', @Notch," he tweeted.

"We know *who* it was, but sadly we didn't get a note in the post saying WHY," Sawkins told Eurogamer. "We've sailed over our cap for the month so far, and are going through the process of talking to the police about it.

"Under British law, yes [the police can act on the attack]. Hacking is a fairly serious crime over here, and it's not a personal site, it's a business site. Loss of earnings, all that crap. I personally wouldn't have bothered, but the guy who does my website is FLAMING over it!"

Sawkins' FortressCraft is the most successful Xbox Live Indie Game ever (Or is it? After this article was published Total Miner got in touch to claim 810k units sold). Earlier this year it notched up its 750,000th sale, and it's on track to hit one million sales in the next 10 months. But his success has been dogged by accusations that FortressCraft is merely a Minecraft clone - a claim he rejected in a recent interview with Eurogamer.

Perhaps predictably, Sawkins isn't in favour of Minecraft on Xbox 360, and over the past 24 hours has faced heated discussion on Twitter with those who have taken issue with his verdict. He expanded on those tweets with Eurogamer.

"The poor (relative) quality and alleged success of Minecraft 360 has confused me," he said. "4J had no budget restrictions, unfettered access to Microsoft, and a solid, world-class game as a template, and still managed to ship a game with a tiny world, no working skins, and no dedicated servers - and even that was a port of a 14 month old snapshot of the MC source base."

He continued: "[Minecraft has] a bunch less simultaneous players than FortressCraft has. And that's just muggins here doing that! I guess it's the old thing though, deliver minimally, promise a lot, and hope people forget; Kinect support went for a wander, and their track record for patching Android and iOS is.... uh... less than stellar."

Sawkins said the true impact of Minecraft's launch on FortressCraft won't be known for a few days, when data updates. But he expects sales will be "quieter".

"I haven't actually gotten any sales figures, but I can safely say that I've lost eight Twitter followers so far. I suspect sales will be quieter for a week, then people will get bored of the novelty of (a very old version of) Minecraft, and hopefully wander back.

"If nothing else, I've bumped 'finishing split screen' up my priority list."

In the meantime, FortressCraft.com remains offline.

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.