Metro: Exodus become and Epic Games exclusive
Epic Games has moved to match or undercut the Steam storefront in all ways possible. This month saw improvements to their refund policy, which should now make the process of claiming a refund much simpler, meaning that they aim to catch up with Steam in this respect – an aspect of the respective platforms that the Epic Games Store has struggled with in its time online so far. Alongside the generously low cut they take from developers selling games via their storefront, 2019 looks like a year set for a mounting rivalry between Steam and the Epic Games Store, with Steam outlining some interesting plans for the coming year. This mounting rivalry broke into essentially open hostility as Epic poached exclusivity to Metro Exodus barely two weeks ahead of its release.
While many gamers welcome the prospect of a competitor to the hugely dominant Steam platform, the Epic Games Store has also received much criticism in recent weeks for its consmer-unfriendly practices and poorly-placed priorities. Regional pricing issues have plagued the platform since its beginning, various security concerns have been raised, its customer service has performed terribly so far, its still not possible to play games offline and in general claiming exclusivity on games has been received poorly.
Epic Games: a Bare-bones platform
Perhaps this wouldn’t be so if it weren’t the case that alongside all this, the actual platform lacks anything but the crudest implementation of a distribution platform – in this sense it compares unfavourably to Steam in almost all respects with still no chat, no cloud saves, no reviews, no achievements, etc.
Epic is clearly trying to establish itself as a gaming platform by using its vast funds earned from the success Fortnite, or more specifically its microtransactions, to purchase (at presumably enormous expense) exclusive deals from companies like Deep Silver for games like Metro Exodus. Yet they will not become an established platform unless they make their storefront one that is attractive to gamers instead of one they just have to use in order to access certain games. How well they manage to do that remains to be seen this year!