The war between Epic Games and Steam has escalated in a way that is shocking, yet unsurprising at the same time. Announced Monday, Metro: Exodus, the post-apocalyptic shooter from 4AGames and Deep Silver will be exclusive to the Epic Games store. Epic’s exclusives until this point, were brought into the light as exclusives for their store from the outset. However, in this case, they straight up bought the exclusivity rights two weeks before release.
Thankfully for any pre-purchasers, the official Metro: Exodus Twitter has stated that all pre-orders will be fulfilled. Metro: Exodus will also release on Steam in 2020, as the deal is only for one year of exclusivity. Valve has called this move “unfair to Steam customers” in a notice on the game’s store page. Many gamers on Twitter have seconded that notion, with a lot of dislike for Deep Silver’s move to Epic Games making the rounds. It is unknown at this point if these sentiments will affect sales numbers, but considering the hype around the game, it will likely still do very well.
Oddly, Exodus in the US will cost only 50 dollars, while in the UK it will cost 50 pounds. For any who are unaware, the UK pound is worth more than the USA dollar. So, in the end, the price comes out to about $65 US in the UK, but only 50 in the US. It is unknown why this has occurred and if it is an accident or purposeful, but it definitely won’t help the image if it stays as is.
Why developers want to be on the Epic store
One of the big draws to the Epic store is its more competitive price cut, with only 12% of sales going to Epic, while Valve takes 30%. This makes the Epic store a much more profitable venture for many games. As long as they can guarantee the exposure, a developer will simply make more money from their product. Even with the USA price cut, Deep Silver and 4AGames will still be making more money off of individual copies. Not to mention the mountain of cash Epic probably gave them for the exclusivity rights.
For the sake of exposure, especially indie games, Epic’s more curated store, and front page spotlighting for every game it acquires is a massive deal for smaller studios. Steam, on the other hand, is much more open, but without external marketing, many games slip away amongst the chaff.
To reiterate, all pre-ordered copies on Steam will be fulfilled and DLC will be purchasable on Steam when DLC is available for those buyers. Yet for many, this does not sit well. Under their official tweet, many unhappy users expressed their displeasure with Deep Silver, and with Epic games in general. We will have to see if this displeasure is a small subset, or if this will boil up into a larger issue that actually effects sales numbers. I have my doubts, especially if Metro: Exodus lives up to the hype and the quality of what we have seen so far. That, of course, is yet to be seen.