Since revealing their own storefront in 2018, Epic Games have been busy snagging titles from under Steam’s nose, whether be it smaller indie projects, or the few bigger guns in upcoming releases. One can’t deny Fortnite’s success played a huge role here, giving Epic loads of cash to spend on luring developers away from PC’s biggest distribution platform. It doesn’t even care for the rather simplistic platform it built, which yet lacks cloud saving out of all things that Steam gave us as quality of life improvements. Despite that, developers shift to it without much thought, and one could see the reasons here; Epic takes a 12% cut from publishers, whereas Steam has always remained at consistent 30% demand of revenue.
In the least expected announcement then, publisher Deep Silver decided to no longer sell its upcoming shooter Metro Exodus on the Steam platform. This comes just slightly over two weeks before the game’s release, mind you, with it available for pre-order over the past few months. Steam even had to issue an apology to users as a result, stating “decision to remove the game is unfair to customers” on the platform. Don’t worry much if you bought it in advance though, with assurance that “all prior sales will be fulfilled on Steam.” Epic really hurt Valve here, grabbing one of the most anticipated shooters of the year. A larger revenue share must have been appealing enough to pull Metro Exodus from Steam this close to final release.
This is far from the only time Epic secured upcoming games, despite its storefront’s lack of extensive features compared to the juggernaut it aims to challenge. A few indies like Maneater and Satisfactory, which I’ve thrown in a list of most oddball games of E3 2018, have already been set to appear just on Epic Store. To follow that, Ubisoft’s The Division 2 is slashed from appearing on Steam as well, and now, Metro Exodus followed suit. Deep Silver always enjoyed a good relationship with Valve prior, which goes to show how a smaller cut of a publisher’s revenue elsewhere swayed them to ditch Steam at the very last moment.
Steam remains the largest hub for PC gaming by far, though a new challenger has already entered the play field in attempt to dethrone the king of game distribution. Epic Store’s rapid expansion will only continue in 2019, though I expect to see more features before fully shifting towards it. I’ll likely make an exception for Metro Exodus here, though there’s no other way to obtain it anywhere else from now on. I’ll keep following the Epic Store as time goes by, with its aim to change our digital purchase habits in PC Gaming. It’s taken impressive strides thus far, and one can tell the momentum will keep on building.
What are your thoughts on this? Does the Epic Store have a chance of shaking up the game distribution landscape as we know it? Feel free to join the discussion in the comment thread below.