Physical Copies Of Metro Exodus Won’t Come With A Steam Key

Physical Copies Of Metro Exodus Won’t Come With A Steam Key

Deep Silver’s decision to leave Steam in the post-apocalyptic marketplace wasteland is about to ramp up even further. After surprising users and the industry with its announcement that Metro Exodus would be a timed exclusive for the Epic Games Store, the official Metro Exodus account has confirmed that those buying physical copies won’t even get Steam keys with their purchase.

Physical copies of games have shipped with digital keys for a long time, so it’s not a surprise that Exodus – which will take up about 53GB of space on Xbox One and 59GB on PC, although the initial download is likely to be less than that – isn’t shipping with a physical disc. But rather than sending out copies of Steam keys, as has been customary given Steam’s traditional dominance, the developers confirmed that users buying physical copies will get keys for Epic’s store instead.

The news comes not long after Valve’s public complaint about publisher Deep Silver’s decision to remove Exodus from Steam – a decision 4A Games confirmed was taken by the publisher, and not themselves.

Those who pre-ordered through Steam will still have their pre-orders honoured, and Exodus will officially launch on Steam a year after its global release on February 14. That’s of little comfort to users who specifically prefer Steam: apart from the power of incumbency, Steam’s support for a broad range of local currencies means some games there are substantially cheaper depending on that region’s purchasing power compared to the USD. (In Australia, we saw minimal difference once the Aussie dollar was officially supported but the situation is far more stark for gamers in Brazil, whose USD conversion is more stark.)

The decision has copped a heavy amount of flak already, particularly as users compare the various features of Steam versus the vastly less mature Epic Games Store, which only officially went live at the end of last year. Metro Exodus is currently selling for $US59 on the Epic Games Store. Third-party resellers are offering the game for cheaper if you search online, but those are all sites offering Steam keys. Whether any of those keys will be honoured could also be another interesting twist in Exodus‘s rapid departure from Steam.


    • The issue is that Epic have so far given little incentive for consumers to choose them over Steam – all they’ve done is poach titles and demand exclusivity.

      • This is exactly the problem.

        Liam Dawe from stated it nicely…

        However, the way Epic is going about it leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. I don’t think forcing and annoying people into using another launcher is a good way to go, at all. Rather than compete on customer service, value for money, features and so on Epic are forcing people to look at them.

        From my own perspective as a linux gamer, Epic is offering nothing. They have explicitly stated their plans for linux support have close to zero priority, compared to valve which is actively investing, developing and supporting improved gaming on linux.

        Sure, improved competition with valve is good, and I hope this will give them the poke that they need to make improvements. But Epic sure isn’t competing on anything, they are simply brute-forcing their way in to the market.

      • You’re looking at this short term. Epic is setting the pace to match Steam atm. The consumers benefit when the 2 store fronts start price matching and undercutting. Epic is still setting up shop and competing for devs. We’ll see benefit once they are both genuinely invested in competing for consumers.

        • The short term is part of the process though. Its not the whole process, but its an important part.

          Consider that Metro Exodus fails. It doesnt get the sales they expect, and the reason being that people dont want yet another service on their machines. That puts other developers off, who decide to stick with Steam. That hurts the potential mid term and long term user benefits of said competition.

          All because of an aggressive short term strategy.

          There are other ways to go about this. Find a bunch of old titles and pair them with Metro Exodus (maybe earlier Metro games), or offer some sort of financial incentive – store credits for example. But this is a power move that seems to be too soon.

        • You’re unlikely to see undercutting and price matching in the way you might for e.g. EB Games vs. JB Hi-Fi though. Both stores let the publishers set the final price and decide when the game goes on sale.

          Instead of competing for attention from customers, they’re instead competing for attention from publishers.

          • I didn’t expect online services to have a price matching policy like physical retailers, Im referring to price matching in the literal sense, ie. both online retailers will attempt to set and outdo price points of thd other.

          • My point is that the contracts they have with publishers make that impossible. It isn’t Valve or Epic setting the prices of games in their stores: it is the game’s publisher.

            Unlike bricks and mortar stores where the publishers produce copies of the game and sell those copies to retail stores at a wholesale price, for digital download stores the publishers instead provide the store a license to make copies of the game to sell to customers. That license generally includes the ability for the publisher to set the final price.

          • Impossible? Certainly not. In the same way that Epic has encouraged exclusivity deals and given away free games, stores can contract developers to reduce prices on popular games in order to get people to buy from their store. The game store takes a hit on price per unit in order to get people to their shop front, then makes the money back on additional sales and repeat business. Lots of stores do this, because consumers are creatures of habbit. I got Diablo 3 on Switch @ $55 from The Gamesmen. They almost certainly sold at cost or even a loss, in order to encourage repeat business. And it worked – I visit their website regularly now and continue to buy from them.
            Very common business practice. Of course, Epic or Steam aren’t going to force devs to sell at a loss, but they can foot the bill to do so and profit out of consumer loyalty in the long run. You see it with brands in stores too. Masterfoods Tomato Sauce was selling at a loss for years trying to undercut Fountain, the logic being – once we increase the price, people will continue to buy our product out of habbit, and we make money in the long run.
            Honestly, the only true reason we’re seeing so much resistance to the Epic store is because people are loyal to Steam. My thinking is mord fluid – let them win my love with traditional capitolist open-market tactics. XD

          • I’ll say it again: you can’t directly compare physical copies to disc copies. In one case, The Gamesmen buys copies of the game on disc from the publisher at a wholesale price and then sells it at whatever price they think will bring in the most profit.

            For digital download stores, they receive one copy from the publisher with a contract/license to make copies to sell to customers under certain conditions. In most cases today, that contract allows the publisher to set the retail price.

            It doesn’t necessarily need to be like this, but the digital download stores don’t seem to be fighting for price setting power, and publishers aren’t likely to give it up voluntarily. Looking at another industry, Amazon used to have the ability to set prices for e-books on the Kindle store, with the contracts specifying a minimum price and a percentage of anything above that. The big publishers decided that they would prefer to set prices and held their work back to negotiate: Amazon eventually caved, so e-books generally have the same prices now on Kindle, Kobo, Google Play, Apple, etc stores.

          • @jamesh No worries, I’ll say it again too – I disagree. I understand how digital distribution differs from physical and made mention of how digital distribution platforms can and do subsidise discounts on releases in order to encourage use of their platform. A good parallel would be Xbox Live VS PS Plus. Who do you think pays for the free games those distribution services give out every month? The devs don’t give them away out of the kindness of their heart. PS or Xbox respectively pay devs out and give the games away as part of their subscription service. One might say it’s almost exactly the same situation as Epic giving away games to draw customers to their service right now – Epic pays out the cost in order to encourage repeat business to their platform. So if Epic is willing to pay the full cost of a small title to anyone who downloads it in order to draw consumers to their store, what on earth makes you think they won’t offer to pay out a remainder so that a larger title gets a bigger discount on their storefront? Of course we’re not seeing it now, Epic is in it’s infancy. But if Epic wants to present a genuine threat to Steam, the first step is securing developers and the second step is securing consumers. It’s really simple economics, and Epic has made it clear that they are playing the long game and willing to take a loss to secure their dev and consumer loyalty. But y’know, if you really think that this sort of thing is impossible and we should just blindly back Steam because economic competition is a lie, then you do you. I’d rather hope for awesomeness and be disappointed than expect mediocrity and be vindicated.

        • Or they’ll just tacitly agree to charge the same high prices as one another like Coles and Woolworths do.

          As to the more storefronts equals lower prices idea, there’s already way more than two storefronts operating and that hasn’t shifted prices in the right direction. What makes you think another one will?

        • But they’re not currently at all invested in competing for consumers – they’re only competing for publishers.

          As @grunt says, you can’t succeed only by selling long-term benefits; you need to offer short-term advantage to pull people in, otherwise you’ll never last long enough to get to those long-term benefits. Epic is not only not offering short-term advantage, they’re not even offering equivalent service – buying on Epic means sacrificing features like integrated cloud saves, achievements, centralised forums, ease of modding via the workshop, etc, which a lot of people value.

          • What? I’m honestly not sure what you are trying to say but yes I am ‘for real’. Epic do in-fact give out a free game every two weeks which is more than Steam do – the store that had to be sued for $3m before they’d follow consumer law and offer refunds…

          • Is this some illuminati shit where I type one thing but you’re seeing something completely different? If so, yes I support the Chinese government, that and free flights on the backs of polkadotted dragons to the moon every Thursday.

  • I was looking forward to this one, but now I think I’ll wait till the timed exclusive is up and it likely goes on sale.

    I’m all for competition, but I loathe exclusives. They do zero for the consumer and force more bloatware shopfronts into our lives. They’re like the opposite of having great deals – simply denying others the chance to undercut you.

    • It’s not an exclusive.

      Steam is just a (walled garden) store. You’re not being forced to buy new hardware. You simply have to download another free storefront to access it. One which you can tell not to run on bootup if you want.

      I get people want to keep all of their games together. But thats why Steam is so dominant. Epic os playing the only card available to them.

      • It’s not an exclusive.

        It is an exclusive, Its only available on the epic store. That’s the definition of something being exclusive. The publishers literally describe it as being exclusive to the epic store

        Epic os playing the only card available to them.
        Plenty of other cards they can play, They just chose the scummy anti-consumer one.

  • Epic has the right to have exclusives I am not lnocking that but there is some bulldust about this being changed at last minute.

    The Publisher who came out and said they are going with Epic cause it offers a better deal they can use to reduce development costs and pass savings to players… well the games already been developed and the PRICE didnt go down with this announcement. (Epics refund policy is terrible and due to international pricing may be dearer in some regions)… so the whole deal stinks. Its all motivated by publisher greed.

    I have not seen one game on Epic Store thats being released this recently that is cheaper than Steam Keys… the whole passing savings on to players is BULLDUST!

  • They weren’t offering anything that’s not readily available on other platforms for the same price. So in order to make sure they have a point of distinction from other storefronts they’ve purchased exclusivity, to the detriment of consumers, and we’re supposed to be happy about it? Seems a bit rich – and bizarre that people that may have already ordered Metro Exodus on steam are now being forced into using another launcher whether they like it or not. Admittedly that’s not unlike most of the other storefronts, but that’s kind of the point too – why would I bother moving to another launcher that’s just going to do exactly the same shit every other one does. Free games every fortnight is nice, but in the context of this decision it now feels more like a dealer giving you your first hit for free.

  • Question is did Deep Silver allow preorders to be sold on Steam for the game or was it completely on Valve?

    Personally I feel if Deep Silver was happy to take preorder on that platform for the original release date then they need to honor that regardless.

  • Steam should just refund all the Steam purchases of Exodus, and then reduce the share it takes from developers.

    • Steam not a fault some Chinese government run company is the issue.

      Once they take control and destroy competing companies.

      They will turn gaming into a console like experience which they will probably charge a yearly fee.

      So I would boycott epic and deep silver and wait for a cracked version of metro teach deep silver a lesson.

      Anyway steam is more proconsumer

      • So I would boycott epic and deep silver and wait for a cracked version of metro teach deep silver a lesson.

        They chose a storefront that wasn’t going to take as much of their sale revenue from them as Steam does and you think they deserve no payment at all for their hard work because of that? Wow… Clearly you’re not a developer.

  • I find this quote from THQ Nordic (who acquired Koch Media of which Deep Silver is the publishing arm) to be quite interesting:
    “We do not want to categorically exclude the possibility of timed exclusives for any of our games in the future,” THQ Nordic added, “but speaking in the here and now, we definitely want to have the players choose the platform of their liking and make our portfolio available to as many outlets as possible.” Source Basically Koch Media got greedy and wanted the money more than they wanted customers to be happy.

  • I was looking forward to this. Considered upgrading even.
    This rash move has left a sour taste in my mouth.
    I haven’t pirated for over 20 years….

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