Mechwarrior 5 'Has A Greater Chance Of Success' On The Epic Store, Devs Argue

If you're the kind of person who hates the idea of timed exclusives, and you've also been waiting very patiently for a dose of Mechwarrior action that's not tied to an always-online setting, I've got some bad news.

Piranha Games, makers of the upcoming Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries, announced some news early Friday morning. The latest iteration in the series will be released later this year on December 10, with "community pre-order pilots" able to access practice missions for the game in November. It's a slight delay from its original release date, which was set for September, but the official FAQ notes that the studio needed more time, as well "as a release date we felt wouldn't be overcrowded".

"As we approached the date it was becoming congested with several very large game releases and it was becoming clear it would be very challenging to meet our marketing and localisation goals for that date," Piranha said.

But along with the delay, there's another downside: Mechwarrior 5 is now an Epic Games exclusive for a full year.

As to why, the studio argued that Mechwarrior 5 would have a higher chance of success on the Epic Store due to the lack of clutter on Epic's marketplace. They also noted that the extra time, afforded to them through Epic's exclusivity deal, would also ensure that localisation could be properly finished in time.

"We also feel very strongly about discoverability and believe that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has a greater chance of market success on the Epic Games store," Piranha said.

Mechwarrior 5 pre-orders originally came with a Steam key, and because those won't be available until late 2020, Piranha has pledged to offer full refunds. But obviously, there's a catch.

"Fans looking to obtain refunds from their pre-order of any tier are able to do so by September 1st," the developers said on their blog, something that doesn't seem wholly compliant with Australian Consumer Law.

"Refunded pre-orders will forfeit their access to the full game and be unable to participate in the upcoming closed beta for MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, now scheduled for November as well as lose the exclusive MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries DLC items."

One universally positive bit of news out of all of this is that co-op functionality and support for modding remains unaffected. Mechwarrior 5 players will get access to an editor upon the game's release this December, with an end user experience being integrated "for mod makers to share their creations with the community" in early 2020.

The current roadmap for the Epic Games Store, which is publicly viewable on this Trello board, pledges to add mod support for games in the next four to six months. User reviews, wishlists and support for additional currencies are planned to be shipped in that timeframe as well (although the Australian dollar isn't confirmed at this point).


Comments

    and believe that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has a greater chance of market success on the Epic Games store

    I think this sums up my opinion on that.

      It is my belief that you speak for the majority of the gaming community. Good luck to them.

      ... By 'good luck' I really mean that I can't wait to watch this crash and burn into oblivion.

        I’d say the majority of the gaming community really don’t care and it’s just a vocal minority shouting about it.

        The majority of the gaming community probably wishes you could still buy games in a physical format and not just get a steam code in a cardboard box.

        Which Blizzard did with Battle
        For Azeroth in the freaking Collectors Edition.

          I still have my multi-disc WoW classic box with all its cool art on the disc sleeves... good times, good times. Well. Not really. Disc-swapping was a pain in the ass. But still... nostalgia! :D

            Well the nice thing about picking up the old wow and xpacs with the disks is that you’d save a lot of time when reinstalling. Alas, that convenience is condemned to history!

              On the plus side, downloading the full behemoth to the 'playable' state takes about five minutes now, which is much, much, much faster than the disc install ever was.

              I guess it depends if you're on decent NBN or not. Even the fastest CD drives (72x) capped out at 88Mbit. For me it's actually faster to install by download than from disc.

          Aside from the Steam/Epic switch, Ys Net also announced they're doing this with Shenmue III, which will only contain a disc with the Epic Store installer on it. Despite the so-called "Physical copy of the game" going for more than twice as much as the "Digital copy of the game" on the kickstarter rewards listing. Which is such blatant, undisguised, bait-and-switch, "nyl;on canvas bags" fraud that it's the main reason they're gonna give me a total refund.

          Correct. Everyone I know look at the outrage about EGS and go "*pfft*". It's only the vocal minority too attached to their Steam library that seem to give a damn.

          Personally, I see Steam's dominance of the market as a threat. Does anyone think that when Gaben shuffles off and Steam become a public company that things will remain the same. That monolith that gamers have built and defended will become the bane of gaming.

      Well it's not like MechWarrior is a huge well known franchise.
      Perhaps now this unknown indie game can get some attention! :p

    The idea that exclusives on steam/epic/origin etc is a bad thing is such a first world problem.
    PC master race my arse, get upset having to use a different program.

      The issue isn't a different program. We don't hear people screaming from the ceilings about Blizzard or Origin exclusives. The issue is that Epic is anti-competitive.

      Also, outside of Valve titles, no game has ever been exclusive to the Steam store. You have games that only released on Steam, but no contracts preventing them from releasing elsewhere.

        My issue isn't so much about them being anti-competitive as much as they are anti-consumer (although exclusivity is certainly a way to be anti-consumer).

        ...Also their store app sucks balls.

      Nice little fallacy you got going there.
      Even if it is a first world problem that's where we live and it has no relevance to more series world issues and problems anyway.

      You seem to misunderstand the issue. Yes, publishers generally tend to release their games exclusively on their own storefront but what Epic is doing is monopolising the market on a lot of popular releases. This means that there is no competition and that Epic have exclusive control over pricing and availability on items they know are going to geenrate lots of sales.

      Any business person worth their salt will tell you it's a bad thing and it's not something reserved for the first world either. This world is rife with stories of single entities having exclusive access to resources and abusing that power in the name of greed.

        Any business person worth their salt will tell you it's a bad thing

        Haha. No.

      You don't understand the actual issue whatsoever.

      Its almost as if you dont understand the issue at all and just want to shit on a group of people.

    And the fact that they can charge full price and get more money from it has absolutely nothing to do with it right? If discoverability is the key factor then there's no reason not to put it on both Steam and EGS because people will still be more likely to find it on the EGS than Steam. Ah but they can't, Epic doesn't want competition, they just want to make sure they get 100% of the initial sales period and leave the dregs to everyone else once the well dries up.

    The article raises an interesting idea though. Are we at the point now where we're just chasing whatever storefront has the least number of games on it so our game will be more visible? I'm sure it's part of why developers love the Switch, it's still relatively uncluttered but that's not going to last long at the rate it's going.

      Small developers love the Switch because there's less competition from the big AAA end, so it's easier for the Indies to get a look in. Same reason they loved the Vita, but better because it has a bigger install base.

      When WoW was still growing, they occasionally added new servers. In the roleplay community, this was exciting for a certain group of people who would loudly declare that their current RP server was full of trolls and toxic people and they were planning to move to the new server where it would be a chance to be all sunshine and daisies again. Then they moved, en masse, and the new server rapidly descended into the same problems their previous server had.

      I watched this happen with the same group of people three times in a row. It never clicked to them that they were the problem they were trying to escape. Elitists and gatekeepers disgruntled that normies were on their precious RP servers, taking their toxic-arse attitude to the new servers and fucking them up in the same way.

      I learned two things from this.

      1. The people most excited to move to a new place are the ones most likely to fuck it up, because they're moving for the wrong reasons.

      2. 'The grass is greener' is a trap that generally catches people who don't understand how things work in the first place.

      Both of those points apply as much to devs jumping ship for 'better exposure' as they did to the shitty roleplayers jumping ship for 'a purer server'.

      If discoverability is the key factor then there's no reason not to put it on both Steam and EGS because people will still be more likely to find it on the EGS than Steam.

      Weeeelll if you wanna put your 'manipulative bastard' hat on... One of the things many Early Access titles notice is that when they first put their game up for sale and it lands on a featured front page, it generates a big glut of sales, then a trickle afterwards. Later, when they 'go gold' and release proper, 1.0, they get to go back up on the 'new release' featured page again... and they get that sales spike again.

      Second bite of the cherry, as it were.

      Wouldn't be surprised if part of the projections for total sales factor in that second bite of the cherry when Epic exclusivity ends and the hundreds of millions of Steam users suddenly see it on their featured front page as a 'New release'.

      (And yes, I've been making the, 'small catalog indie gold rush' comment about devs hungry to be big fish in small ponds every time one of these articles comes up. I rarely ever see the phenomenon brought up by game journos in related articles, though.)

        So if we want to take this further, we could bit the cherry four times!
        Early access on Epic -> full release on Epic: the first two bites
        Then, we make up some reason that we need early access for the Steam edition, and boom, two more bites!

    But how can they confidently say that... Epic Games has never shared sales data or consuner metrics.

    And until one of these exclusives eventually end up on Steam and we get an apples to apples comparison on sales we wont know, if these exclusives and market differences arecactually helping.

    Maybe find the games that have a foot in both stores and see what their experiences are like... Subnautica developer may beva goid example.

      Metro Exodus devs shared some data earlier this year how their sales were better than anyone anticipated. And the discoverability thing definitely plays a factor in sales; it's why indie developers have had a much better attach rate on the Switch (people are more likely to find their game, although the Switch is also something people pick up when they want to play a game, so the intent to buy is higher there too).

        They shared a percentage of a specific subset of sales relative to their previous title. The fact they hid the details behind a percentage and a limited subset instead of using raw numbers like everyone else is a strong indicator that their performance wasn't objectively good at all, and the limited percentage was the best spin they could put on it.

        Metro is a chicken & egg argument.

        Total units sold eclipsed the first two games. Epic made the most digital sales. However consoles sales made up (THQ's words) the sheer majority of sales.

        This implies that physical copies for consoles still sell over and above digital copies (not surprising with things like being able to sell the game afterwards unlike digital on PC). Furthermore, without comparison to another PC Digital storefront, who knows what effect Epic had on sales.

        At the time the publisher were dealing with a lot of criticism trying to justify their position, especially to their own developers and investors. So I suspect a lot of spin and dodgy number reporting.

        Its also one of the first games to recieve backlash, offer refunds and explain there decision. Will be interesting to see what data comes out when they finally come to Steam in what 6 months?

        Unless you have a game that was released on both platforms at the same time with no other advantage besides a price difference reflecting the li wer Epic margin... any comparision is subject to percieved benefit.

      Epic gave Subnautica away for free as its very first bribe title.

      Any data you got on it would be corrupted by that and that it was out for a considerable time on other platforms first. So they would have gotten the juicy launch window sales and Epic wouldnt.

      Not disagreeing with you by the way, but saying we need a better example. Maybe something from GoG's history would work better.

        I was referring to their sequal thats in Early Access and was released same day on both platforms.

        Did the original owners eho bought it on Steam stay on Steam?

        Did they switch to Epic cause it was cheaper?

        Did people by the sequal after the free giveaway, and did they buy it on Epic?

        Since its on Steam with better community options, has the development benefit or being hindered by Steam community?

    Has the dev been on the Epic store recently? Its an absolute mess.

    The discoverability argument worked when EGS was 20 games. Now, its a flustercuck with no discoverability at all.

      A high priority feature for Epic NEEDS to be an 'ignore' feature like Steam has.

      I'm never going to buy a racing, sports, or MOBA game. Don't show it to me. It's taking up a tile that could be used to show me something I might buy.

      I'm never going to buy games on the Epic store that I already own on Steam, Twitch, or GOG. Don't show them to me. They're taking up tiles that could be used to show me something I might buy.

        The Ignore function really does almost nothing on the Steam store because it keeps showing me games that I’m Ignoring in lists just mildly greyed out with an ignored icon on the side.

        If they cut them from appearing for you at all, then I’ll believe it adds value.

          I've seen them turn up on some of the special-presentation seasonal sale things which must be immune, and on curator recommendations, but otherwise they're effective at pruning my featured/new release/recommendation lists, for sure. (The only ones I look at.)

          Same goes for the filter that lets you filter out tags. I think the tag filter might actually override all of the above because Steam hasn't shown me a MOBA or racing game like... anywhere, in quite a while.

            Yeah, I've never had an ignored game show up in the carousel or recommendations. The only time I've seen them appear, other than during sales, is when I'm looking at the top selling list for a genre, and for that it makes perfect sense to include ignored titles.

            They’re constantly turning up in the lists when I’m searching on tags since I tend to use those to find new things rather than using the Discovey Queue. It’s why I’m always seeing Wallpaper Engine (to my eternal aggravation) despite ignoring it for a very long time now.

              Ah, that'd be it. I never search by tags. My tastes are pretty broad and varied (my library's like... 1600 titles) so that's just diving into a bottomless pit for me. Closest I get to being advertised to is looking at the 'new releases' every other day.

              Tags are definitely useless garbage, but the Ignore button does seem to work.

    Just say "we liked the money they offered us." Nobody window-shopping the Epic Store while waiting for a Fortnite patch knows or cares about Mechwarrior.

    You know what would have an even greater chance of success? Selling it on both the Epic Games Store and other stores! I mean, nobody using Steam or GoG is going to see your game if it's not on the store they're using. Just be up front about it - Epic paid a lot of money for exclusivity, which helps the studio, and the "OMG exclusivity!" story on the news outlets is great free publicity. Visibility was a good consideration when EGS first launched, but now it's getting increasingly crowded and the store's "discoverability" is still very poor.

    Remember when Epic said their store cut would benefit consumers?

    I've yet to see a single game go on sale for cheaper than what they would normally sell for if on steam.

    Don't bullshit us and say you chose epic because you think it will be better. Be honest and say Epic gave you a bunch of money so you chose them. Be honest about your bullshittery.

      this and the very likely fact that mechwarrior 5 is using the Unreal engine thus buy going exclusive with epic they dont have pay for its use

        Ill be more accepting of Game companies decisions if they are upfront about it.

        Dont beat around the bush and pretend its for other reasons, Just be upfront and say Epic gave you a bunch of money so you chose their store. Ill respect a company for being truthful.

    Product was not as described in advertising (not available on the announced platform at the time of release), therefore entitled to a full refund at the time of the customers choosing regardless of what arbitrary limits the devs put on it.

    Some of these exclusives are only for 1 year, which is ok I guess, I can wait.

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