Crowdfunded devs approached Epic for exclusivity deal money

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Avatar image for NoodleFighter
#1 Edited by NoodleFighter (10243 posts) -

Damn this is even worse than the Metro Exodus controversy because unlike Metro Exodus, Phoenix Point was crowdfunded and promised to be on GOG and Steam while people that preordered Metro Exodus through Steam got their Steam keys leaving only those that preordered physical copies to get screwed over. Now backers are only getting Epic Store keys which is bullshit. Linux users are especially screwed the Linux version of the game was cancelled and since the game won't be on Steam till a year later means they can't even play it through Proton/Steamplay. The fact that Snapshot are perfectly fine with giving out refunds means that Epic gave them a lot of money for them to be okay with doing this along with giving out a year of free DLC to backers that chose to keep their keys since Phoenix Point recieved over $2 million dollars in crowdfunding.

This move they made certainly ruined their reputation and will hurt the success of Phoenix Point. It will also definitely demotivate people from wanting to crowdfund games even more. If some giant company that didn't want to take any risk on it until seeing how well it was received by gamers to then suddenly moneyhat it after the gamers were the ones to get the project off the ground is just plain scummy. It means these companies are using us as guinea pigs to see whether or not a game is popular enough for them bribe the devs/pubs of with taking as little risk as possible on their side.

Yet somehow people defend this and claim that Steam is the bad guy.

Edit: It has been revealed that it was Snapshot Games that proposed a deal with Epic. This is low, these guys basically just used their backers as interest free loaners and sold out to get some easy money from Epic. They've dragged their reputation deeper into the mud and now people will be even more wary of crowdfunding games.

They have an AMA on reddit but have hardly replied to anything.

Avatar image for floppydics
#2 Edited by floppydics (84 posts) -

The fact that they had promised the backers gog and steam keys is the worst part regardless of epic store exclusivity. Lots of people just want to grow their steam library and keep them in one place.

Avatar image for R4gn4r0k
#3 Posted by R4gn4r0k (30984 posts) -

Game actually looks quite cool. But yeah, I'm against buying on the Epic Store, no matter how much Fortnite money Epic uses to money hat.

Avatar image for Litchie
#4 Posted by Litchie (23867 posts) -

That's disgusting.

Avatar image for madrocketeer
#5 Edited by madrocketeer (6588 posts) -

The Division 2 going exclusive meant nothing to me.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw going exclusive was disappointing, but I can live with it.

Metro Exodus going exclusive was a shitshow, but the game itself was only of mild interest to me.

But this? A game I've been hyping from the moment it went up on Fig? This f***ing hurts.

Excuse me. I'll get over it soon enough, but right now I just want to break something.

Avatar image for jasonofa36
#6 Posted by JasonOfA36 (1265 posts) -

Doesn't this count as false advertising? Or is that a loophole since it will be releasing on GOG and Steam too after a long while?

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#7 Posted by Howmakewood (5863 posts) -

Epic paid them quite handily, they could refund every backer and still be in the profit

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#8 Posted by PC_Rocks (2254 posts) -

Windows Live 2.0 only worse.

Avatar image for djoffer
#9 Posted by djoffer (1312 posts) -

Screw epic! Never heard about this game, but would love me some Xcom! And yeah seem an incredible scummy move of the devs promised steam keys..

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#10 Edited by ZmanBarzel (1852 posts) -

Have they announced a release date? I thought it looked interesting but not quite enough to back on Kickstarter. (Or was it on Fig?)

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#11 Edited by uninspiredcup (33288 posts) -

Such a seedy store. The Publishers supporting this practice are shameful.

Didn't alot of guys funding this expect to play and Steam on GOG? Even if they get refunded, that it absolutely a shitty ass move.

Avatar image for xantufrog
#12 Edited by xantufrog (11344 posts) -

You shut up, Pedro has said it's fine multiple times. It's fine. It's fine. There's nothing anticonsumer going on here.

(Btw, it's interesting that he refers to the other PC stores as platforms in his video)

Avatar image for NoodleFighter
#13 Posted by NoodleFighter (10243 posts) -
@floppydics said:

The fact that they had promised the backers gog and steam keys is the worst part regardless of epic store exclusivity. Lots of people just want to grow their steam library and keep them in one place.

@jasonofa36 said:

Doesn't this count as false advertising? Or is that a loophole since it will be releasing on GOG and Steam too after a long while?

They will give all the backers a GOG or Steam key after the 1 year exclusivity deal is up so I think that's their loophole to get away with. Which is still unacceptable in my opinion because these people didn't back a game just so some company could buy it out for 1 year exclusivity. What Epic and Snapshot games have done goes against one of the core reasons why crowdfunding exist, it's because big companies won't fund them because they play it too safe so the gamers are the ones that take the risk on these developers instead.

@howmakewood said:

Epic paid them quite handily, they could refund every backer and still be in the profit

Not only that but Epic will pay for any loss "guaranteed sales" so they don't suffer the immediate loss from non backers not buying the game during it's timed exclusivity period. Epic definitely paid them millions upfront since Phoenix Point raised over $2 million and was making $100,000 a month in preorders.

@madrocketeer said:

The Division 2 going exclusive meant nothing to me.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw going exclusive was disappointing, but I can live with it.

Metro Exodus going exclusive was a shitshow, but the game itself was only of mild interest to me.

But this? A game I've been hyping from the moment it went up on Fig? This f***ing hurts.

Excuse me. I'll get over it soon enough, but right now I just want to break something.

Epic already has me contemplating pirating games and the more games I see get into exclusivity the less remorse I'd feel for going through with it.

Avatar image for enzyme36
#14 Posted by enzyme36 (4185 posts) -

I just bought TD2 on the uplay store and glad I did... pretty cool interactivity with the game. Most of these exclusives are timed exclusives only. Both Metro and Rebel Galaxy outlaw will be out 1yr later on steam... I can wait.

Avatar image for NoodleFighter
#15 Posted by NoodleFighter (10243 posts) -

@xantufrog said:

You shut up, Pedro has said it's fine multiple times. It's fine. It's fine. There's nothing anticonsumer going on here.

(Btw, it's interesting that he refers to the other PC stores as platforms in his video)

Which is a contradiction since the game is also going to release on the Xbox One simultaneously.

Avatar image for pyro1245
#16 Posted by pyro1245 (4994 posts) -

Ugh. Linux version cancelled?

This will not stand.

...and after crowd-funding too. This is why we can't have nice things.

Avatar image for Icarian
#17 Posted by Icarian (1862 posts) -

Epic is just doing what they think will give them most profit in the long run. We'll see if it'll be succesful, but I tip my hat to them for their boldness.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#18 Posted by mrbojangles25 (43924 posts) -

What a load of absolute horseshit.

First they provide a bullshit reason, then they try to sugarcoat it.

"We are using Epic Store because it will allow us to support the game better..." Yeah, and Steam/GoG/whatever can't/don't do that with all their games? Bullshit
"...and you get the first year of DLC free!" Ah, there's the sugarcoat, the bribe.

Boycott Tencent's Epic Store. Wait a year for exclusivity to end. Plenty of games to play until then.

@madrocketeer said:

The Division 2 going exclusive meant nothing to me.

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw going exclusive was disappointing, but I can live with it.

Metro Exodus going exclusive was a shitshow, but the game itself was only of mild interest to me.

But this? A game I've been hyping from the moment it went up on Fig? This f***ing hurts.

Excuse me. I'll get over it soon enough, but right now I just want to break something.

Well, don't get over it too quick, it will be on other stores in a year. So stay angry for a year, don't buy it, and keep the Epic Store boycott going.

They lied. They said one thing, and now are doing another. Don't support that.

@Icarian said:

Epic is just doing what they think will give them most profit in the long run. We'll see if it'll be succesful, but I tip my hat to them for their boldness.

Would be better if they actually offered a superior experience, but yeah, whatever, ummmm go bold I guess whatever the hell that means in this situation.

Avatar image for floppydics
#19 Posted by floppydics (84 posts) -

@NoodleFighter: Yeah it's very shady agreed. Maybe those who are willing to wait for their steam and gog keys can sell their epic key as way of some sort of compensation for the wait eh 😉

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#20 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43924 posts) -

@howmakewood said:

Epic paid them quite handily, they could refund every backer and still be in the profit

I imagine that's exactly what happened. They probably paid enough to cover the crowdfunding cost plus more.

It almost seemed like he was daring people to refund in the video, like "It's cool, if you don't like this decision, that's fine go ahead and refund, we got our money."

@NoodleFighter said:
@howmakewood said:

Epic paid them quite handily, they could refund every backer and still be in the profit

Not only that but Epic will pay for any loss "guaranteed sales" so they don't suffer the immediate loss from non backers not buying the game during it's timed exclusivity period. Epic definitely paid them millions upfront since Phoenix Point raised over $2 million and was making $100,000 a month in preorders.

That is shady as hell. Makes it obvious they don't really care about the industry, they only care about taking games from other places.

It's incredibly dishonest to consumers, and hostile to the industry.

I don't blame the developers, not entirely; game development is not an easy industry from what I hear and if someone comes up to you and offers you A.) money to pay for your current game's development and B.) money on top of that to use as profit or to start another game, well, you kind of need to sell your soul in that respect.

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#22 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36207 posts) -

Anyone else notice that Epic is utilizing tactics Nintendo used in the 80's?

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
#23 Posted by ZmanBarzel (1852 posts) -

@nintendoboy16: They’re not the same tactics, though. Nintendo used the threat of the stick — support only us if you want to be on our console — while Epic is using the enticement of a sweet deal.

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#24 Posted by with_teeth26 (9514 posts) -

until Steam reduce their revenue cut, I suspect we are going to see a lot more of this.

I don't blame Epic for soliciting these devs so much as the publishers and devs who actually take them up on it

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#25 Posted by randomHALT (140 posts) -

Can someone explain to me what the problem with using Epic store is?

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#26 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (28997 posts) -

LOL, pc users. They're hilarious.

Oh no, I have to type in a diff web address to play the game on my PC?

First world problems.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#27 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (28997 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

Such a seedy store. The Publishers supporting this practice are shameful.

Didn't alot of guys funding this expect to play and Steam on GOG? Even if they get refunded, that it absolutely a shitty ass move.

Does Epic store not work on PC's?

Is the game released on some other non PC platform?

The eruption over this is hysterical. PC master complainers.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#28 Edited by uninspiredcup (33288 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Such a seedy store. The Publishers supporting this practice are shameful.

Didn't alot of guys funding this expect to play and Steam on GOG? Even if they get refunded, that it absolutely a shitty ass move.

Does Epic store not work on PC's?

Yea, the game no longer supports Linux. Steam does. One of many features it doesn't have.

@Bread_or_Decide said:

Is the game released on some other non PC platform?

No, the problem is that it's on an inferior service the favours Publishers over the consumer and deliberately tries to limit purchase options.

Something Valve has never done outside of it's own games.

@Bread_or_Decide said:

The eruption over this is hysterical. PC master complainers.

Not really, this is something people backed in good faith with promises. Now, out of the blue, what they got was essentially a "sorry but we fucking like easy money" retracting all that.

If this is the sort of thing Kickstarts can do in the near future on a whim, not a good precedence. It makes these developers look like massive cocks.

Avatar image for XVision84
#29 Posted by XVision84 (15981 posts) -

You tell em Epic. Why spend millions upgrading your service when you can just inconvenience people to build trust and good will? 🤔🤔

Incentivizing customers is what people stuck in the past do. Epic's innovative PR technique involves pissing off their consumer base to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#30 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (28997 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:
@Bread_or_Decide said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Such a seedy store. The Publishers supporting this practice are shameful.

Didn't alot of guys funding this expect to play and Steam on GOG? Even if they get refunded, that it absolutely a shitty ass move.

Does Epic store not work on PC's?

Yea, the game no longer supports Linux. Steam does. One of many features it doesn't have.

@Bread_or_Decide said:

Is the game released on some other non PC platform?

No, the problem is that it's on an inferior service the favours Publishers over the consumer and deliberately tries to limit purchase options.

Something Valve has never done outside of it's own games.

@Bread_or_Decide said:

The eruption over this is hysterical. PC master complainers.

Not really, this is something people backed in good faith with promises. Now, out of the blue, what they got was essentially a "sorry but we fucking like easy money" retracting all that.

If this is the sort of thing Kickstarts can do in the near future on a whim, not a good precedence. It makes these developers look like massive cocks.

Welcome to kickstarter. Not sure why anyone is even surprised anymore.

I approve of everything Epic is doing. This is how you take down a titan like Steam. I say, bring it on.

Avatar image for howmakewood
#31 Posted by Howmakewood (5863 posts) -
@with_teeth26 said:

until Steam reduce their revenue cut, I suspect we are going to see a lot more of this.

I don't blame Epic for soliciting these devs so much as the publishers and devs who actually take them up on it

doubt its so much the cut, rather than the fat stack of money

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#32 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (28997 posts) -

Welcome to capitalism, kids.

It's nothing personal.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
#33 Edited by ZmanBarzel (1852 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide: "Tell Valve it was only business. I always liked Gabe."

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#34 Posted by KBFloYd (21808 posts) -

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
#35 Posted by Bread_or_Decide (28997 posts) -

@zmanbarzel said:

@Bread_or_Decide: "Tell Valve it was only business. I always liked Gabe."

Win.

Avatar image for speedytimsi
#36 Posted by speedytimsi (955 posts) -

Yeah this is effed up!

Kickstarter failure #%#@$

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#37 Posted by Gamerno6666 (6733 posts) -

Imagine if epic get exclusive rights for RDR2 on PC.

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#38 Edited by Planeforger (18020 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide said: "Welcome to kickstarter. Not sure why anyone is even surprised anymore.

I approve of everything Epic is doing. This is how you take down a titan like Steam. I say, bring it on."

No, this is how you kill indie projects and their developers.

Have you read the comments by the backers on Fig? There are people who have supported this guy for 30 years who are furious about this decision, and tons of backers are demanding refunds. The developers have just betrayed the game's most dedicated fanbase (the people willing to back it) by backing down on their original promises (GOG or Steam and a Linux version) and announcing a last-minute exclusivity agreement with a large publisher (which is contrary to the whole point of crowd-funding).

It would be slightly better if they were willing to honour the original agreement, like with Metro's Steam pre-orders...but the fact tbat they aren't is just a slap in the face to the people who are central to the game's word-of-mouth appeal.

Also, Fig isn't just for crowdfunding - it's also for investing. They just announced a last-minute exclusivity deal that removes the game from the biggest digital storefronts, and locks it to a storefront that has tons of negative press at the mpment. That'll drastically cut down the sales of the game, even without all of this controversy. The investors could take legal action over that sort of thing.

Anyway, by accepting the Epic deal, rhe developers have just poisoned their own well. Epic better have payed them a huge stack of money, because the word-of -mouth backlash will leave this game deas in tbe water, even when it has a wider release 12 months later.

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#39 Posted by Ten_Pints (3789 posts) -

Another game I won't be buying.

Avatar image for vaeh
#40 Posted by Vaeh (466 posts) -

UE4 - widely used game engine

No.1 gaming company (Tencent)

Unreal Dev Grants

Free games from left and right

Devs receive 88% of revenue

Steam will keep losing games.

Avatar image for xantufrog
#41 Edited by xantufrog (11344 posts) -

@Bread_or_Decide: I'm glad you're getting your SW jollies, but it's pretty screwy to side against other gamers who got screwed on this.

I hope you're being edgy for the SW game, at least, and not truly incapable of seeing one single issue surrounding this store. Not one?

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#42 Posted by Enragedhydra (1081 posts) -

This is exactly why I don't pre-order games and I was super excited for Phoenix Point

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#43 Edited by lundy86_4 (53132 posts) -

Metro Exodus put me off buying until the Steam release comes, and any interest I had in TD2 has fizzled over that whole debacle. If I were going to pick this up, I definitely won't be now.

The fact that they switched out keys is a scumbag move. At least 4A gave people who pre-ordered their Steam keys.

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#44 Posted by ZmanBarzel (1852 posts) -

@xantufrog said:

@Bread_or_Decide: I'm glad you're getting your SW jollies, but it's pretty screwy to side against other gamers who got screwed on this.

I hope you're being edgy for the SW game, at least, and not truly incapable of seeing one single issue surrounding this store. Not one?

Got screwed? They're getting their money back if they want it.

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#45 Posted by xantufrog (11344 posts) -

@zmanbarzel: they don't want the money. They want the thing they paid for.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
#46 Posted by ZmanBarzel (1852 posts) -

@xantufrog: And they're not getting it. They're getting their money back, though, if they want it.

Getting screwed would be not getting what you paid for and not getting your money back.

Avatar image for xantufrog
#47 Posted by xantufrog (11344 posts) -

@zmanbarzel: i'm not going to waste my evening playing "what EXACTLY does 'screwed' mean"

You can't honestly say you see nothing wrong with this and wouldn't be upset in their shoes. Can you?

I mean whatever, seems like some people are hell bent on making excuses for every thing this company does. Why? I can't fathom it unless you work for them. I'm not sure if you are one of those individuals or not - this is out first interaction that I can recall. But really, why would anyone side with the monolith Tencent over good customer service and consumers getting the things they paid for.

Avatar image for zmanbarzel
#48 Posted by ZmanBarzel (1852 posts) -

@xantufrog said:

@zmanbarzel: You can't honestly say you see nothing wrong with this and wouldn't be upset in their shoes. Can you?

I mean whatever, seems like some people are hell bent on making excuses for every thing this company does. Why? I can't fathom it unless you work for them. I'm not sure if you are one of those individuals or not - this is out first interaction that I can recall. But really, why would anyone side with the monolith Tencent over good customer service and consumers getting the things they paid for.

Upset? Not really. Disappointed, probably, but as long as I got my money back, I'd be all right. As virtually everyone in this thread has admitted, I have my own backlog to keep me entertained.

As far as siding with Epic, the Steam monopoly needs serious competition, and sometimes you have to do ugly rollouts like this. If you only recently decided to open a Steam competitor, time is of the essence: you're wanting to use "Fortnite" to promote your store before it shrinks, and you can't let Steam get any more entrenched. That time pressure means you're going to have to launch barebones and agile it.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25
#49 Edited by mrbojangles25 (43924 posts) -

@zmanbarzel said:
@xantufrog said:

@zmanbarzel: You can't honestly say you see nothing wrong with this and wouldn't be upset in their shoes. Can you?

I mean whatever, seems like some people are hell bent on making excuses for every thing this company does. Why? I can't fathom it unless you work for them. I'm not sure if you are one of those individuals or not - this is out first interaction that I can recall. But really, why would anyone side with the monolith Tencent over good customer service and consumers getting the things they paid for.

Upset? Not really. Disappointed, probably, but as long as I got my money back, I'd be all right. As virtually everyone in this thread has admitted, I have my own backlog to keep me entertained.

As far as siding with Epic, the Steam monopoly needs serious competition, and sometimes you have to do ugly rollouts like this. If you only recently decided to open a Steam competitor, time is of the essence: you're wanting to use "Fortnite" to promote your store before it shrinks, and you can't let Steam get any more entrenched. That time pressure means you're going to have to launch barebones and agile it.

Steam does not have a monopoly. They simply offer the best service, which in turn makes them the most popular. I can buy Pillars of Eternity on GoG and Steam...I choose to buy it on Steam because A.) good forums, B.) game guides and community, C.) got it during a really good sale. Sometimes I buy on GoG for similar or different reasons. That is the beauty of choice. Of not being exclusive.

If Epic actually wanted to compete, they'd make a better service and compete in an honest fashion. I mean, I want Steam to dethroned. I can't imagine anything better than Steam but, dammit, I want it to happen because that would be amazing. But I only want Steam dethroned to my benefit.

Steam is not this sinister corporation that is doing all kinds of nasty shit under the table; they're not even publicly traded! Unlike Tencent-Epic...

So, ya, I guess it's worth it to some people to endure the following to see Steam fail because, ummm, screw Steam I guess:

  • Epic Store has no mod support
  • Epic Store has little to no forums
  • Epic has an "F" rating with the BBB due to mishandling of hundreds of Fortnite accounts
  • Epic Store has no community tools (in fact, they have to build theirs using Steam! FAIL!)
  • Epic Store saves developers a significant percentage, but does not pass this on to consumers
  • Epic Store practices dishonest sales tactics by paying for exclusives, i.e. limiting a consumer's options to buy where they want
  • Epic Store has limited selection of products

Let's tolerate all this for the sake of....tell me again why we should? I feel like if you support Epic Store, you're cutting your nose off to spite your face.

"Yeah I'm sticking it to the man by using Epic Store!"

No, you're not. Also, I'll be honest, I'm a little freaked out letting a Chinese/multinational company into my life. I feel like this is how the megacorps of all those dystopian games, movies, and books get started...

Avatar image for jeezers
#50 Edited by jeezers (2823 posts) -

@mrbojangles25: people seem to forget that when steam first came out it was nothing more than a launcher for valve games to boot counterstrike, Day of defeat, and half life , I remember being irritated that I had to download it to play.

Valves dead now tho so w/e

Go Epic!!!!!! If you pre ordered you can still get your steam key a year later or you can go ahead and playing it through epic, nothing is stopping you from play it, stop acting like the reason you crowd funded the game was for it to be on steam , thats bs lol