The latest buzz surrounding Epic Games and their online storefront is undoubtedly the wave of exclusive games passing over Steam and heading for more Epic pastures. Some of the bigger titles to announce the Epic Store as their exclusive PC seller were Metro Exodus and more recently Outer Worlds, Control, and the Quantic Dream trio. While some fans are understandably unhappy with other online retailers such as Steam getting the cold shoulder from their favorite games, they will be happy to know that Epic Games does not plan on the practice forever.
As reported by PC Gamer, Steve Allison, the head of the Epic Games Store spoke on the matter at a GDC 2019 Q&A panel earlier today. According to Allison, “I don’t think we plan to [negotiate exclusives] forever.” Allison cited the business model that they have been running in their store, the 88/12 split in favor of developers, as the reason for the heavy push for exclusives. “We’re trying to socialize a new financial model for developers that they can thrive on,” says Allison. “It’s just about pushing the business model, helping people thrive, but at some point hopefully people just come, or the industry moves down and matches us.”
While the Epic Games Store shows no signs of slowing down on the exclusives in the short-term, as other storefronts are still running the 70/30 revenue split model, Allison believes that eventually the industry will shift their mindset to be more in line with Epic’s, therefore ending the need for aggressive exclusives. Allison stated, “At some point we could go to zero, or we could go to very, very few major exclusives in any given year. We will definitely not be doing it on the scale we’re doing it on now for an extended period of time.”
It’s a breath of fresh air for the gamers who feel as though they’ve been snubbed by the sudden Epic exclusivity. Earlier this month, Phoenix Point frontman Julian Gollop announced their plan to go Epic-exclusive for the first year and immediately offered refunds to gamers that had purchased or backed the game with the assumption it would be available through other services. While it may be irksome for the time being, rest assured, there is an end in sight to Epic’s reign of exclusives.