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.