This could possible be billy-bullshit. However, it would be a good move on their part to deter people actively taking piss out of them as well as, everyone else.
Valve Adds New Clause to Steam Distribution Agreement, Could Block Epic Store Exclusivity
Steam has updated its terms for developers and publishers to seemingly ban them from announcing the game for the platform, only to back out later for exclusivity on another platform.
The news comes from an alleged screenshot (via Reddit) of Steam’s terms of service for those who wish to sell a game through their Steamworks program. The thing to make note of is the first segment of section 2 – Delivery (2.1).
“Delivery. Company shall submit the Applications to Steam for release no later than the first commercial release of each Application or Localized Version, or, if already commercially released as of the Effective Date, within (30) days of the Effective Date. Thereafter, Company shall submit to Steam any Localized Versions and Application Updates (in beta and final form) when available, but in no event later than they are provided to any other third party for commercial release. Company shall provide these copies in object code form, in whatever format Valve reasonably requests.”
In short, once a company has agreed to “deliver” their game to Steam for launch – the files must be submitted to Steam before it’s release (or 30 days after). Updates must also never happen later than on other platforms.
The new terms are most likely to counter the recent trend of games being announced on Steam, only to be later pulled for an exclusive release on the Epic Games Store. This has occurred with titles including Shenmue III, Anno 1800, and Metro Exodus (the latter even prompting a response from the series creator).
Others have rejected the Epic Games Store’s exclusivity offer outright, including Bandai Namco, Microsoft, and indie developer Unfold Games– going as far as to say pulling Darq from Steam for Epic Games Store exclusivity would ruin their credibility.
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