Opinion: why Metro Exodus exclusivity is a slap in the face for fans of the series (Topic)

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Opinion: why Metro Exodus exclusivity is a slap in the face for fans of the series


On October 28, another scandal erupted in the gaming industry: the expected shooter Metro Exodus, two weeks before the release, unexpectedly became an exclusive for the Epic Games Store, which caused a storm of violent indignation among gamers. PC players not only chided the publisher on gaming forums for such a "surprise" in the form of the main symbol of 2019, but also embarked on more decisive forms of protest to demonstrate their own rejection of the situation. I believe that such actions on the part of gamers are fully justified and Epic Games, along with Deep Silver, fully deserve a stream of hatred in their own direction. But first things first.

Just as Moscow was not built right away, it took Steam more than ten years to become the main stronghold of PC gaming. Gabe Newwell's site was positioned as a direct competitor to torrents and thanks to the right decisions Valve significantly reduced the level of piracy on the PC. We can recall at least the regional prices, which have become an obvious help for the purchase of licensed games from inveterate pirates. In addition, Steam is not just a launcher for installing games, but a whole infrastructure entirely created for the convenience of the community of computer gamers.

A free service for streaming games, an entire social network with guides and tips for troubleshooting technical problems in PC games - this is just a small part of the capabilities of Steam. If you buy a game on the Valve service, you can definitely count on convenient functionality, competent support and even a refund system, where Valve employees often took the side of the players.

For example, let's recall the disastrous launch of Kingdom Come Deliverance in 2018 and the refund of funds for the game even for those users who managed to play several dozen hours of RPG from the developers from Warhorse.

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For a loyal playground with 90 million active users, Valve, as expected, took some of the funds from the developers after the game was posted on Steam. Large publishers considered it inappropriate to pay Valve a 30 percent deduction for each game sold, so they began to produce their own game services. Stores from Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Bethesda and Blizzard, as they did not offer before, and now do not provide even an approximate level of functionality comparable to Steam. The only reason players pay attention to them is because they have exclusive and sometimes free games.

Finally, the Epic Games Store appears on the scene, whose politics can only be compared with aggressive racketeering, where the comfort of the players is given the last place.

Metro Exodus and Justified Violence

The Epic Game Store is advertised as a loyal platform for game developers. We may hear benefits over and over again, like 12% sales royalties and the independent contributor support program. And this is not bad at all, even good, but Epic completely forget that gamers, as the end consumer of a gaming product, should be a privileged target audience.

The Epic Games Store is now a bare foundation, a platform that lacks nearly all of the useful features of Valve's service. No achievements, no game scoring system, no extensive forum or communication opportunities with other gamers to discuss and solve game problems.

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Instead of deliberately improving the service and providing a platform that is competitive with Steam, Epic is acting as clumsy as possible and, thanks to the billions of dollars earned on Fortnite, simply buy up exclusivity for numerous games. Thus, in essence, depriving gamers of the right to play the expected games on not only the usual, but the most convenient and functional computer platform today. The real apotheosis of Epic Games Store's aggressive policies was the purchase of The Division 2 perpetual exclusivity, and then the temporary Metro Exodus exclusivity two weeks before the game was released.

It was the publisher's decision at the last moment to withdraw Metro Exodus from the sale on Steam that was the most controversial in this situation. As I can recall, this is the first such time in history that the exclusivity is announced shortly before the release of the game. Even when Microsoft bought third-party studios en masse, they did not condition the same Obsidian and InXile that the games declared at the moment should be a mandatory exclusive for the Microsoft ecosystem. As a result, gamers began to actively bring down the rating of past Metro games in Steam.

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Such actions may look childish from the outside, but if you think about it, what else is there a way of dialogue between the players and the publisher, which breaks promises and does not care about its own audience? Of course, Steam supporters can boycott the sales of the product, but in this situation they have no opportunity to express their indignation in this way until the release of Metro Exodus in 2020 on Steam. All that remains is to understate past games in order to reach out to the publisher and remind them that gamers and their expectations should also be taken into account.

Perhaps the statements of gamers are toxic, it's hard to disagree here, but the outrage of the players was the result of a financial deal between Deep Silver and Epic Games. The publisher seemed to have forgotten that "ostentatious disrespect" is a game that can be played by two parties at once. As they say, what you sow is what you reap. At the same time, do not assume that the wave of indignation will pass unnoticed by publishers.

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The Metro Exodus case is a precedent that may not force Epic Games to change its operating policies and modify its own service, but it will definitely be a worthy lesson for other publishers who would prefer to care primarily about moneybags over the comfort of their own audience. .

There is at least one bright moment in the Metro Exodus exclusivity story. Obviously, Steam has a serious competitor that, even if it doesn't take the quality of service, takes away the players with the help of exclusive AAA games. Steam revenue is expected to decrease this year, and most likely we will see not only Valve's concessions to game developers, but also the start of development of our own large-scale games from Gabe Newwell's studio. As we were told last year, Valve is starting to develop games again. And now is the time for the cult game developers to return.

The Topic of Article: Opinion: why Metro Exodus exclusivity is a slap in the face for fans of the series.
Author: Jake Pinkman