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This is a long shot. Like loooong shot. 

 

Ideally I would like to see a response from the developers. 

Since it's inception Epic Store has been securing some excellent titles: Supergiant's Hades, Metro: Exodus, Ashen, Phoenix Point and now Outer Worlds. Customer's perception has been negative: A big bad corporation is carving it's way into the PC Diginal Distribution Market, but it can't be bothered to create a good platform to sell games so they bribe publishers to force poor developers to release their games on this horrible store...errr, or in case of Snapshot developers sell out their souls, backstab their backers and... deliver free DLCs and develop game after launch I guess?

Anyway, the point is: we don't like it. So what is it that the other side likes so much? Money is an easy answer. According to Snapshot, Epic exclusivity deal guarantees them certain amount of sales - Epic will pay them for a certain amount of copies sold, even if they won't sell that much. I see an appeal in that - with a niche title on a way out, now you have a guaranteed source of income, you have secured the nearest future for you company, and the the team can rest easy knowing that the wages will come, and they can plan for the future and develop content in piece.

 

But Outer Worlds? Considering the impact the announcement made, the goodwill earned, I have trouble imagining that:

1) Private Divison/Obsidian - were worried if the game will sell well, and prefered to take a safer route, even if it will drive away a portion of their customers.

2) Epic offered enough sales or straight up money to make ditching Steam, by far the most popular Digital Distribution Platform, worth it.

 

Of course, it would be silly to assume that Epic offered exactly the same deal to Phoenix Point, Outer World or Division2. But why all those companies are so willing to join Epic? "Just money" doesn't seem like enough to me. 

 

The only thing which comes to my mind is that Steam has grown so overcorwded and flooded with absolute trash, that I won't buy anything of it, unless I know what it is and that I want it. Jim Sterling made a Jimquisition on the subject recently and he made one point which stuck with me - being among the selection of games that Epic offers makes you looks good. I have been checking various titles they offer, but of which I never heard of, because the other ones are really really good. While Epic Store front is a pretty mess, if it gets improved and keeps being curated it might become a more reliable source of games then steam, and with more capital and less integrity then GOG it could become Steams serious competitor, once it breaks people into installing it. 

But while this visibility might be appealing to smaller studios, bigger titles are bound to make a splash on steam either way. And I doubt they do it out of goodness of their hearts, hoping to usher a better future. So what is it? Is there more behind scenes Steam shenanigans which makes companies choose Epic, even if they own their own platform? Is Epic planning something? Do we not need to worry, for your sake, or our own? Is something beautiful coming, something that will save us all?

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[what do devs want from Epic Store]

 

This is another one of those definition things.

 

Decisions on distribution and publishing- where a game is sold and for how much etc- are made by the distributor or publisher. That's literally why they're called the distributor/ publisher. They aren't made by the developer unless the developer and publisher are the same entity, which is not the case here. In some cases the developer may have a say, if they have enough influence, but it's unlikely that's the case here due to the MS purchase- the ultimate threat Obsidian could make would be to take the IP elsewhere for sequels, and they've already gone elsewhere (ie MS). So far as we know, and the default answer, is that Obsidian as developer had no meaningful influence on a decision to go to ES.

 

The better question would be what publishers want from ES- and the answer to that is basically money. A guaranteed minimum sale amount gives financial security and mitigates risks such as ignoring steam.

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The better question is: what is epic selling that publishers want?

 

And the answer is: security.

 

This is just supposition on my part, but if Epic go to a publisher and say "Okay, so, for this game, a decent number of sales is...two million unit.  On Steam, at $60 a pop, minus Valve's 30% cut, you'd get $42 a unit.  That 84 million dollars.  So, we'll give you $84 million to make this game a Steam exclusive."

 

Suddenly the publisher doesn't have to sweat the game flopping.

 

(Now, chances are that it's not a direct payout.  The deal is probably structured such that Epic guarantees a certain amount of profit.  So, if the game falls short of $84 million, Epic would cover the difference - the game would have to literally sell zero copies for Epic to have to pay out the full $84 million.  If the game exceeds $84 million, well, that's just gravy.)

 

Again, I'm pulling this out of thin air, but it's how I make sense of these deals.

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Again, I'm pulling this out of thin air, but it's how I make sense of these deals.

 

 

Most likely you're right on the money, Recall the Phoenix Point game that recently went exclusive as well. There was some quote that said they would still be fine if everyone who backed them refunded. Epic is paying out, in one way or another, to make these games exclusive. That's the only reason to limit your game is when you're already ensured a certain profit for doing so. Why limit your potential install base for any other reason?

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There are quite a few independent Indies who chose Epic offer, and it was quite certainly up to them.

 

Publishers who own their own platform, and will make more money selling it through their own platform, still choose Epic as a secondary account. It’s possible that they want Epic to become de facto popular shop due to lower cut and with Fortnight they do already have a big audience to sell their games to (though I don’t know if Fortnight usual audience is willing to buy full priced games).

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A simple online search shows that Private Division has an exclusivity deal with Epic. But at the same time, the tweet from Obs clearly states they view Epic as their "partner" so Obs likely wanted this just as much as Private Division.

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A simple online search shows that Private Division has an exclusivity deal with Epic. But at the same time, the tweet from Obs clearly states they view Epic as their "partner" so Obs likely wanted this just as much as Private Division.

 

lol

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devs can't decide that

it was most likely the decision of higher position and publisher

 

Which still comes down to a decision by the developer. Publishers have known reputations. Developers know who they are getting into bed with on the outset.

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Before the Microsoft purchase, Obsidian actually cared about their fans.

You really believe that ? No company cares about you.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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There are quite a few independent Indies who chose Epic offer, and it was quite certainly up to them.

 

Publishers who own their own platform, and will make more money selling it through their own platform, still choose Epic as a secondary account. It’s possible that they want Epic to become de facto popular shop due to lower cut and with Fortnight they do already have a big audience to sell their games to (though I don’t know if Fortnight usual audience is willing to buy full priced games).

 

In other words - what is Epic selling? Maybe it's simply the means to apply pressure on Valve.

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A simple online search shows that Private Division has an exclusivity deal with Epic. But at the same time, the tweet from Obs clearly states they view Epic as their "partner" so Obs likely wanted this just as much as Private Division.

 

What exactly were you expecting? They're not going to say "We all hate EGS here at Obsidian, please don't buy our game there" even if that was what they thought.

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A simple online search shows that Private Division has an exclusivity deal with Epic. But at the same time, the tweet from Obs clearly states they view Epic as their "partner" so Obs likely wanted this just as much as Private Division.

Yes, a tweet written in PR speak clearly shows that Obsidian wanted the deal...

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