Epic Says Even More Epic Store Exclusives Are Coming In The Future

Epic Says Even More Epic Store Exclusives Are Coming In The Future
Screenshot: Epic Games, Other
Facebook may have decided that you shouldn’t see the news, but we think you deserve to be in the know with Kotaku Australia’s reporting. To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Kotaku Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Epic pissed off a lot of people when it first revealed that big games like Metro Exodus and Borderlands 3 would be Epic Games Store timed-exclusives on PC. Now it says that even more exclusivity deals are on the way.

“We have more exclusives coming in the next two years than we have published to date,” a representative for Epic Games told PC Gamer when asked about the seeming lull in Epic Store exclusives at the moment. According to PC Gamer’s rough calculations, over 100 games have had some sort of exclusivity on the Epic Games Store since it launched back in December 2018. That would mean that over 100 more games with some sort of exclusivity will launch on the platform in the next couple of years.

Whether all of them will be as big as Borderlands 3, which was exclusive for six months, or Metro Exodus, which finally came to Steam a year after its February 2019 release, remains to be seen. The first Epic Game Store exclusive was Supergiant Games’ hit indie roguelite Hades. Red Hook Studios announced last October it will take a similar approach with Darkest Dungeon 2, releasing it in Early Access on Epic’s storefront sometime in the first half of this year. Meanwhile, blockbusters like Ubisoft’s Far Cry 6 are scheduled to launch simultaneously on Epic Games Store and Uplay while skipping Steam.

Epic Games Store exclusivity has been controversial in the past, even becoming a pretense for some angry fans to launch ugly harassment campaigns online, especially when games players expected to see on Steam (and in Metro Exodus’ case had even already pre-ordered there) ended up getting pulled because of a last minute deal.

Competition between platforms can be good, and god knows Steam needs to be pushed to improve, especially when it comes to community toxicity and moderation. But it’s also occasionally led to new messes when the platforms battle over new releases. The most recent example of this was Hitman 3, which launched exclusively on the Epic Games Store last month despite Hitman 2 being a Steam release.

This might not have been such a big issue if one of the selling points of the new Hitman was that it would incorporate levels and player progression from the previous one. Steam players were originally told they would need to purchase Hitman 2 again through Epic Games Store in order to play its levels within Hitman 3, before developer IO Interactive later reversed course and announced it would work on a fix. Hitman 3’s launch was chaotic for other reasons, but the forced shift between store ecosystems certainly didn’t help.

Based on Epic’s latest remarks, it doesn’t sound like these hiccups have persuaded it to change course. It sounds like we’ll find out a bit more about what shape some of the platform’s future exclusives will take later this week. Epic Games announced this morning it plans to share more news about its upcoming launch lineup during a spring showcase on February 11.

Comments

  • Such a shame, all they are doing is hurting the industry in the long run.
    I just wish more companies would support people buying their games wherever they want like ms are doing.
    Even Ubisoft and EAs launcher integration via steam is a much better solution so those companies effectively have their cake and eat it too.

  • With their better margin and surplus cash it uses to pay signing bonuses and free games. I want them to STOP with this anticompetitive exclusives.

    If they believe themselves to be the better store, start acting like it, give us a better store front, more features, return value to customers… and start an actual PRICE WAR!

    Seriously, its still cheaper to buy a box copy from JB HiFi than buy a game off Epic Store. How is it more expensive on a digital store than buying a store copy that was air freighted across half the planet?

    You can’t ride a high horse in your battle against Apple, when your still muck raking with Valve.

    • The most anticompetitive thing working against Epic in the marketplace is not price, it’s that Steam has a stranglehold on people’s game libraries. People who already have hundreds of games on Steam have significant incentive to continue to use that platform, even at a premium price, simply to keep all their games in one place.

      Free game giveaways and EGS exclusives address this problem. Epic are going to continue with both until people’s game collections are fragmented enough that Steam is no longer perceived to be everyone’s default game library.

      In any case, pricing-wise, EGS is demonstrably cheaper than Valve when Epic’s $15 sale coupons are taken into account.

      The issue of JB/EB box games sometimes being cheaper again is largely related to how publishers set pricing for physical retailers in order to maintain physical market access, particularly how agreements with digital retailers have been set specifically to protect local retail outlet pricing, and largely applies only for a fraction of mostly older, mostly dual PC/console titles.

      • Perhaps just maybe, Epic shouldnt have told the PC userbase to fuck off back in the mid the 2000s. Epic were right up there with other publishers like Ubisoft who were quite happy to burn their bridges with the userbase that made them. They were quite happy with calling every single PC user a pirate despite Vavle showing everyone that Piracy was a Delivery and Service problem, not a monitary problem.

        Also just answer me this, Does the EGS at very fucking least finally have a fucking shopping cart?

        • Which more or less emphasises that the primary objection to the Epic Game Store is Epic, not its pricing or nor anything much else.

          We were just discussing Epic’s business model. Angry rants about Evil Epic probably need their own separate thread. Ideally sitting immediately adjacent to the corresponding Evil Valve thread.

          Use Epic, don’t use Epic, I seriously don’t care. Millions of users collecting their free games every week don’t seem to care much either.

  • That’s annoying and frustrating. Restrictions suck. At least these storefronts don’t have subscription fees, but the inconvenience is aggravating enough to earn some serious ill will from me.

    See, this fragmentation through exclusives bullshit is a big part of why I’ve started cutting back on video subscription subs. At one point I had Stan, Netflix, Crunchyroll, Animelab, Binge, Disney+, Prime Video, FunimationNow (thankfully merged with Animelab), and Apple TV+. This problem of finding, “Where the fuck does the show I want to watch live?” got worse when some of them were only available on SBS on demand, ABC iView, or 9Now, some of which are available on the TV, others are only available on my consoles, but none all available on one, meaning switching from one to the other.

    When I went to go reconcile these, I purged over half of them and now I just pirate shit.
    I was done with pirating shit. They successfully convinced me to stop getting something for free, thanks to the convenience.
    …Then they removed the convenience. So fuck them.

    Starting to feel the same way with the games services. I have to have playnite installed, because I can never fucking tell which storefront I have something installed on, and that shits the fuck outta me. It might be good for someone, but it’s not good for ME.

  • Is it any surprise when their scumbag tactic of monopolising the critical sales period of games has netted them over $700 million?
    But hey, it’s all about the developers right and not totally ensuring that they get all the money. It will be interesting to see how their case against Apple turns out.

  • One of the most popular games on Steam and a critically acclaimed game of 2020… Hades… was the first EGS exclusive.

    I’m not sure how much of its success is attributed be released from EGS, but watching the NoClip documentary on it seems like they were sweating bullets and were surprised by the uptake.

    I think that post EGS successes of certain titles needs to be closely examined by publishers before they dare take up Epics offers.

    • All the experience of Hades seems to do is confirm that developers can largely take up Epic exclusivity without consequence. Valve fanboys have proven that they’re quite willing to wait out the 12 month exclusivity period and then buy the game once it launches on Steam after a year of bug fixes and extra content. In practical terms the EGS exclusivity period is really not much different from waiting until a game leaves early access before buying.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!