It was during GDC 2010 that both Steve Allison and Joe Kreiner of Epic Games stated that they would eventually stop inking deals to keep certain games off of Steam. Mainly because the tactic wasn’t viable and they were using it as leverage to get a foothold into the PC gaming storefront scene.
Now it seems that the CEO, Tim Sweeny, has other ideas. In a recent tweet thread, stated that there had been multiple discussions on if Epic Games was going to keep signing off on exclusive deals. Originally we were told this would stop as it wasn’t a viable solution. Meaning the tactic on Epic Games part that a huge majority in the PC gaming space loathe, will continue.
This coming from the person who was hellbent on running Microsoft because he felt they were trying to lock down the PC platform. Now, look at what Epic Games is doing with their tactics.
We've had a lot of discussions about this since GDC. Epic is open to continuing to sign funding / exclusivity deals with willing developers and publishers regardless of their previous plans or announcements around Steam.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 1, 2019
The key here is that Sweeny has stated that Epic Games is open to continuing to sign funding and deals. However, it hasn’t been made clear if it’s Epic who is reaching out to these developers or publishing companies and not the other way around.
Now, I’ve expressed my views on this and how I feel about the Epic Games Store. I don’t really have an issue with the storefront, outside of the weak feature set (cloud saves, shopping card, regional pricing, and the issue with Epic Games passing the processing fees onto the consumers. Not to mention how they’ve been treating indie developers since EGS was a thing.
The tactics by Epic Games, however, is my concern. People ask why I get upset about this and every time I explain it, they say they don’t get it. It’s not about having people buy games on a different storefront. It’s about being forced to buy games on a different storefront.
Some likened this to having to go to a Walmart or Best Buy to purchase stuff and didn’t understand why this is a concern. It’s simple, actually. Walmart isn’t forcing me to buy goods in their store, nor is Best Buy. Unless it’s an exclusive offered in their store. It’s not like either store is forcing me to buy a specific TV from them or where I can only get Nintendo games in one store or PlayStation in the other. With the Epic Games Store, that’s exactly what’s happening.