Epic Game Store, Exclusivity and Developer Trust

I’ve got plenty to say about the whole Epic Games Store Exclusivity thing but I’m not going to. I could assemble one of my usual Wall Of Text rants but I won’t.
Because I’ve got one single point I really want to focus on here.

This is setting a bad precedent because of one thing. Trust!

Trust Issues

Developers and publishers have opened up pre-orders or used the forums on Steam. They’ve listed, or at least strongly implied, Steam as a digital release platform. When potential customers have expressed concern about Epic exclusivity, some developers have even set minds to rest by stating that the plan is still to release on Steam.

OK, “plan” means that things can change. That’s not the point, though.

The point is that this year, several games have been announced to have timed exclusivity on the Epic Games Store despite every indication during the Hype-Up Phase that the initial release date would at least be on Steam, if not GoG and other distributions platforms as well.

This has changed.

If This Then Why Not That

If one pre-release statement can change before the actual release date, surely other things could change as well. That’s something I think the developers and publishers jumping on the admittedly really good deal that Epic offers are overlooking
Especially in the case where people have sought early assurances that a day-one Steam release would be forthcoming, or that a physical release would including game data and not just a prompt for a download.

At this point, enough examples exist that it’s safe to say that anything stated prior to the actual release date can change at any time. At which point, how can anything stated by developers or publishers in the run up to a game release be relied upon?

A simple fact is that when people are weighing up whether or not an in-development game is worth buying, official statements need to be trustworthy. If any single statement is a deal-breaker for someone, that person needs to be certain that every statement is upheld.

For now, at least, that trust is broken.

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