Epic vs. Steam: Epic Snags Metro Exodus Away From Steam

By Michelle J. Brohier on Jan 29, 2019

This is it, chief. Epic has gained the upper hand on Steam once again, and it's enough to have Valve themselves whimpering away in defeat at how unfair this is. There's just no denying it anymore; there's a war going on among PC game digital distribution platforms.

Epic Games and Deep Silver announced that the game Metro Exodus will now be downloadable exclusively on Epic Games Store on February 15. The game was also initially available on Steam, but is now in the process of being removed.

On Metro Exodus' Steam page, you will find a statement from Valve expressing their disappointment in this arrangement, "We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologise to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know."

It's rare for Valve to express any form of defeat, which shows how much of a blow this is for Steam. At the same time, the reasoning for why Deep Silver chose Epic Games instead of Steam shows that Steam itself has been problematic for being uncontested in the world of PC games.

Just before Epic announced its store, Valve did change its own revenue-sharing terms to be more generous to games that generate at least US$10 million. Valve's revenue sharing still tops out at 80 percent for sales past $50 million, which compared to the industry-standard 70 percent on most other PC storefronts, is a really good rate. But it’s still less generous than Epic's baseline 88 percent share on all sales.

Which is why Deep Silver CEO Klemens Kundratitz specifically cited that in comparison to Steam, "Epic’s generous revenue terms" gives the game maker that 88 percent of all revenue mentioned an advantage. That revenue-sharing system is "a game changer that will allow publishers to invest more into content creation, or pass on savings to the players," said Kundratitz. "By teaming up with Epic we will be able to invest more into the future of Metro and our ongoing partnership with series developer 4A Games, to the benefit of our Metro fans."

This isn't the first game to abandon the Steam ship. Earlier this month, Ubisoft's The Division 2 became the first big-budget game from a major publisher to abandon Steam for Epic's storefront. A handful of indie titles, like Supergiant's Hades, have also gone exclusively with Epic's storefront since its December launch.

While it will take some time to see if Epic Games can truly win the battle against Steam, you have to admit that 2019 is set to be an interesting year for PC gaming.

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Michelle J. Brohier
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