The Epic Games store has done it again and nabbed a timed PC exclusive from under the nose of steam. It’s a big one this time, Borderlands 3 was announced to be an Epic Exclusive for 6 months until general release on steam. But why?
Epic is trying to break the monopoly that Valve has with Steam dominating the PC sales market. The problem is that there trying to do it in the wrong way. Their using brute force to try and get people to move onto their platform. While I can’t explain the specifics of why they’re throwing all the cash around, but the only idea I can come up with is that there treating the games like other company’s treat Microtransactions.
The idea behind it is, “if we spend enough money to make big games exclusive to Epic, there must be enough people who will spend the extra money to get the game early”, subsequently stemming the loss they made by getting the game as an exclusive. The upside for epic is that they get a large number of people joining their service, but I think there will be enough people who will wait until the game is on steam. One of the things that I along with various other gamers want to do, keep all of my collection of games together in one place.
Of course, you could just use Steam as a launcher and add the game as a non-steam game, but then you don’t get the bonuses of the Steam Workshop for a huge number of mods. You also don’t get to see detailed information about the game, like news, achievements, tracking of how many hours you have in the game and DLC that you own and have installed as well. Borderlands 3 is just the latest exclusive that Epic has grabbed. Other Triple-A exclusives they have locked up include The Division 2 and Metro Exodus, while some of the smaller titles include Super Meat Boy Forever.
While they may be attempting to lock down the PC gaming market, somehow they’ve also managed to do the impossible and managed to get ports of PlayStation Exclusives onto PC. Games like Journey, a PS3 exclusive that was all about exploration. They’ve also worked on a few other PlayStation ports. Including Detroit: Become Human, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. Now let’s see if they will port The Last Of Us as well. Despite the good of bringing new life to old games on a new platform, there’s still a lot of reasons why Steam is a better marketplace.
On Reddit, u/coryinthedark shared on r/Gaming a table comparison on why the exclusive of Borderlands 3 is not wanted by the majority of PC gamers. You can find the Image Here. The list is quite substantial and lists out things that steam has that Epic does not, including a large number of social features like Gifting, User Profiles and reviews. The picture also sheds light on some of the more serious things, like epic games have a Chinese company holding 40% of its stocks, and you can’t play your games without an online connection.
So here’s what’s happening, Epic is making a games store for the game makers, not the game buyers. There are perks for creators like higher royalties and getting paid to make the game exclusive. But for you the consumer, the issue is that the store isn’t very big, I can’t buy huge numbers of games on the store because there aren’t as many games to buy; some of the games their offering I already have on steam, and It’s forcing me to use yet another launcher for my games despite not wanting it.
Finally, possibly the biggest issue for me, There are no reviews. The developer needs to opt into having a review page for the game. This is epics idea for stopping review bombing, in effect there making people need to search in other places to find fixes for the game (often on Reddit or even Steams own forums). The thing for me is that reviews help not only the buyer work out if the game is for them, but it is also a great way for letting developers know about issues with the game so bugs can be fixed. When you start taking away the support structure for games, everything will just fall apart. In the end, the games we all really want will come to our favourite games store, but for now, well just need to wait.