SkateBIRD Devs Say Epic Turned Down Their Game Because They're 'Focusing On Exclusives'

We've written about SkateBIRD a bit in the past, because it's a bunch of cute birbs doing their best Tony Hawk impression. But that wasn't enough too woo over Epic Games apparently, with one of the developers saying publicly that the storefront turned down the game over exclusivity.

Megan Fox, the founder of SkateBIRD developer Glass Bottom Games, wrote publicly on Twitter this week that Epic Games rejected SkateBIRD from the store entirely. Why? The reason, according to Fox, is because Epic wanted to focus on exclusive games only.

Fox was fairly sanguine about it all, noting that SkateBIRD has gotten a good amount of attention through the Steam wishlist system and their original Kickstarter campaign. "We have over 15k wishlists now, and are trending toward 30k-40k by launch at a bare minimum projection," she wrote.

It's not actually that surprising. All the way back in 2003, Steam used to operate under very similar principles. It took several years before the storefront began to open up more to smaller developers, and Epic has been relatively consistent in pushing heavily curated content. That doesn't necessarily mean the games are all AAA or AA titles — there's plenty of smaller indie efforts on there, but primarily because they've pledged not to launch on Steam or another PC storefront (unless they're being given away as a free monthly game, like LIMBO and Axiom Verge recently).

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So this lines up with what we already know. But the public confirmation is nice nonetheless, and it helps colour in the lines between everything else that Epic themselves and indie developers have said in the past. The SkateBIRD creator certainly doesn't seem to mind; the skateboarding market isn't exactly crowded right now.

And it also makes sense from the storefront's perspective, in that it's not really prepared to deal with a flood of titles just yet. Tim Sweeney on Wednesday morning tweeted that the Epic Games Store will become more open "as we build in more automation for developers," as well as the addition of search and curation features for users.

But a lot of those features will take months before they're officially rolled out. Automated refunds are listed as a "long term" priority, as is the ability to gift games, and direct billing for carriers, while wishlists, user reviews and mod support won't be implemented until at least Christmas, if not early 2020.

In the meantime, SkateBIRD stays on Steam. For most people, that's probably the perfect result.


    Interested that they were rejected for "promising Steam Keys"... seems Epic has finally had a gutful of that issue after Shenmue and the other KS titles.

    That hasn't stopped them in the past. There have been several significant titles that had Steam pre-orders open that Epic then snapped up as exclusive titles. My guess is that Epic just couldn't see the game bringing in enough initial sales to offset the reduced revenue share. They only seem interested in getting exclusives on the ones that are going to hurt the other storefront's wallets the most.
    Tim Sweeney on Wednesday morning tweeted that the Epic Games Store will become more open "as we build in more automation for developers," as well as the addition of search and curation features for users.Oh, so it's not (and I'm quoting Tim himself) If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.

      Wow, I can't believe Tim was a bullshit salesman this whole time.

      Whoops, sorry, that's a typo. CAN believe, can.

      In fairness, those two statements are mutually exclusive, not contradictory.

      Opening the store up to more devs has nothing to do with releasing exclusive contracts or porting Epic titles to Steam.

      I like how that second quote talks about Steam not having any 'major strings attached' were they to commit to an 88% revenue share...

      Meanwhile here are the hypocrites themselves walking around with a major string attached in the vast majority of cases when Epic's stance is basically, "We only want your game if it's exclusive to our store. Otherwise fuck off."

    Ok I can't believe I am actually going to defend EGS, but its a curated store. They are doing this so that they don't become bloated like Steam and the curated system was always going to hurt some devs feelings, it just so happens that it was for a niche title with a small media following.

    Nothing to see here, move along.

      To counter that, it isnt. See Casual Prolix's post above. They're on record as saying they'll basically bloat their store if Steam gives in to their demands. As in "If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share... Epic would... retreat from exclusives...".

      And yes, I took a couple of bits out that dont change that basic summary. This isnt about a curated store, this is about getting day one sales. They seem to think that SkateBIRD isnt worth their time or money.

      But if Steam lowers their cut, they'll happily accept more titles that arent exclusives, which when you add in that they'd automate it means their store is no longer curated.

      And to me, just more evidence they dont have the developer in mind, and certainly dont have the customer in mind with what they offer.

      That would be one thing but that's not the reason given.

      It's only a matter of time until it becomes a mess... Or do you think Steam didn't start out basically just like the Epic store?

      Steam's curation became less and less over time, it didn't start out just letting everyone in. Thinking Epic's store will be any different in the end is laughable.

      Epic have already very clearly demonstrated they care more about money than they do about consumers, the only difference is they've cleverly wrapped it up in this guise of trying to do those same consumers a favour and make Valve change their evil ways.

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