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No to Epic Games Exclusivity deals

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Hi. Xenonauts 2 and Phoenix Point has been my 2 most anticipated games for 2019. I have backed Phoenix Point in 2017 and Xenonauts 2 last year. Just today, Phoenix Point announced an exclusivity deal with Epic Store, meaning the game won't be available on Steam for 1 year after release, even to early backers of the game. This has created a huge back lash. I hope this doesn't happen to Xenonauts 2. Here is a link to the Phoenix Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoint/

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Sadly I have had to request a refund on my Phoenix Point backer, I cannot and will not ever support the Epic Store, huge mistake on Gallops part but Epic must have paid them more than the potential Backer money/refunds made. Really disappointing as I have been a big fan since the first days of his games.

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I don't think we'd be given the chance to have that kind of deal, even if we wanted it - we're not as sexy a game as Phoenix Point, who have already signed a lot of deals with various parties for a lot more money than we have. So I doubt there's any risk of us ever becoming an Epic exclusive!

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Chris, you guys are awesome so if being a smaller fish releasing great stuff means you can never sell out to Epic then whilst I hope you make loads of money id rather you make enough and keep being you. You will have more fans for longer that's for sure.

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All that hate against Epic seems pretty petty to me. I'd prefer Epic Store over Steam actually, as all those "features" Steam supposedly has don't concern me anyway (maybe generation facebook needs to share to the world how many hours they put into a grindy shooter or how they tossed the most epic item of the game into lava for an achievement, I don't), and Epic actually gives more of the money to the developers, which is what counts in my book. I still prefer gog for lack of DRM, but I definitely won't get worked up about whether I need to download another piece of free software to play a game, I've done that many times since buying games over the internet became a thing.

By the way, Chris never said he would not take a deal akin to the one Snap Shot took, he just stated that he does not deem it very likely that Goldhawk get such an offer in the first place.

Oh, and yeah, Snap Shot behaved pretty shitty concerning promising Steam and gog keys and now making the game exclusive to Epic, but to me that does not justify the kind of shit storm they receive. But you be the loud minority all you want, after all it is free exposure for Snap Shot who you intend to hurt with that campaign. I'd love to see that kind of money and exposure for Xeno2, actually.

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A quick glance at the epic store may have you ask, yeah, what's the problem?  You have to do a little study, get down to the dirty underwear and the deeper you go the more revolted you will become.   Going with 'It's just another launcher or  Its just another outlet, means it doesn't even have your attention.

In a nut-shell; To be convinced you need to look further than your nose.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Dagar said:

All that hate against Epic seems pretty petty to me. I'd prefer Epic Store over Steam actually, as all those "features" Steam supposedly has don't concern me anyway (maybe generation facebook needs to share to the world how many hours they put into a grindy shooter or how they tossed the most epic item of the game into lava for an achievement, I don't), and Epic actually gives more of the money to the developers, which is what counts in my book. I still prefer gog for lack of DRM, but I definitely won't get worked up about whether I need to download another piece of free software to play a game, I've done that many times since buying games over the internet became a thing.

By the way, Chris never said he would not take a deal akin to the one Snap Shot took, he just stated that he does not deem it very likely that Goldhawk get such an offer in the first place.

Oh, and yeah, Snap Shot behaved pretty shitty concerning promising Steam and gog keys and now making the game exclusive to Epic, but to me that does not justify the kind of shit storm they receive. But you be the loud minority all you want, after all it is free exposure for Snap Shot who you intend to hurt with that campaign. I'd love to see that kind of money and exposure for Xeno2, actually.

For me it is more that I do not use Epic store, have no wish to and backed the game on the basis I would be able to use it in Steam, not a steam fanboy its just over the years that is where my largest collection of games is and I have no desire to install yet another store system for one game.

I'm not a massive fan of Epic but that is not my prime reason for not agreeing with this change by the devs. Your comment about hurt campaign is frankly childish, disagreeing with someone and not wishing to be involved with them after actions you may deem unacceptable is not a hate campaign.

Edited by Kaiphus_Kain

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9 hours ago, Moonie said:

A quick glance at the epic store may have you ask, yeah, what's the problem?  You have to do a little study, get down to the dirty underwear and the deeper you go the more revolted you will become.   Going with 'It's just another launcher or  Its just another outlet, means it doesn't even have your attention.

In a nut-shell; To be convinced you need to look further than your nose.

So basically "I have no reasons" 

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5 hours ago, Kaiphus_Kain said:

For me it is more that I do not use Epic store, have no wish to and backed the game on the basis I would be able to use it in Steam, not a steam fanboy its just over the years that is where my largest collection of games is and I have no desire to install yet another store system for one game.

I'm not a massive fan of Epic but that is not my prime reason for not agreeing with this change by the devs. Your comment about hurt campaign is frankly childish, disagreeing with someone and not wishing to be involved with them after actions you may deem unacceptable is not a hate campaign.

By the end of this month everyone who backed the Xenonauts-2 Kickstarter will have their Steam / GOG keys and going exclusive with Epic wouldn't involve taking them away, so using that logic I'm assuming you wouldn't actually mind us signing an Epic exclusive deal? Everyone would have got what they paid for and no promises to backers would have been broken ... but in reality I think there'd still be a big backlash if we did so.

I personally find the whole Epic Store debate quite interesting. In principle I like the idea of Steam having more competition, because whilst overall they've been a huge boon to independent developers, they represent about 90% of our sales and yet our only contact with them is one guy who probably replies to our emails less than half the time. Having a competitor to keep them on their toes and make them more responsive to what users and devs want from them can only be a good thing - but then having games be exclusive to just one platform is kinda annoying as a consumer (although Battle.net / Origin / UPlay / whatever have been doing that for a long time so it's hardly a new phenomenon).

Anyway, I suspect Snapshot were offered more than enough money to make the backlash they are facing worthwhile. I think it's a very dangerous thing to break promises to your backers and I can certainly see why people are angry, but everyone has their price and if there was enough money on the table then I could also see how that would be tempting for the dev team.

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Posted (edited)

The Epic store is much better than the steam one, because it fucks the poor developer a whole lot less.

Epic take a 12% cut and if you use their unreal engine, you normally owe them a 5% cut but they waive it if you sell your game on their store. 12% means 12%, in otherwords.

Steam take a soul crushing 30% cut of every game sale, they make more money off of finished games than most developers do. Their extreme monoploy status, basically means that they strangle the life out of all but the biggest developers, by taking all the money they might have used to expand their offices, hire staff, etc.

I have always hated steam for this reason, but it seems swept under the carpet a lot that they take 30% and also do sales which the developer effectively also has to pay for.

 

Edited by Edmon
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17 minutes ago, Edmon said:

The Epic store is much better than the steam one, because it fucks the poor developer a whole lot less.

Epic take a 12% cut and if you use their unreal engine, you normally owe them a 5% cut but they waive it if you sell your game on their store. 12% means 12%, in otherwords.

Steam take a soul crushing 30% cut of every game sale, they make more money off of finished games than most developers do. Their extreme monoploy status, basically means that they strangle the life out of all but the biggest developers, by taking all the money they might have used to expand their offices, hire staff, etc.

I have always hated steam for this reason, but it seems swept under the carpet a lot that they take 30% and also do sales which the developer effectively also has to pay for.

I think you'd be surprised how few developers share that opinion. Sure, I'd like Steam to be more responsive and there's a few things I'd like them to sort out - but that 30% cut was industry standard until very recently and Steam give you access to the biggest gaming audience in the world. Also those Steam sales are entirely voluntary and you don't have to participate if you don't want to, devs just participate in them because they tend to shift a LOT of copies.

If a 12% cut became industry standard then that would be awesome but I didn't feel like I was being ripped off by Steam taking 30%. It's also worth noting they don't make a fuss about you selling Steam keys outside of Steam, which is cool - for example all our Kickstarter backers can have Steam keys without Steam ever seeing a dollar of revenue from it. Sure, they do that out of self-interest more than anything else - but it's still really useful from our point of view.

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I mean, you have to say that publically because you work with steam, Chris :P.

Joking(?) aside, your perspective on the matter is very interesting on the matter of steam keys.

However, usually anon-surveys of developers opinions on the matter are highly negative.

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-24-just-6-percent-of-devs-say-steam-earns-its-30-percent-cut-survey

You would be in the 6% if this data is accurate.

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1 hour ago, Edmon said:

I mean, you have to say that publically because you work with steam, Chris :P.

Joking(?) aside, your perspective on the matter is very interesting on the matter of steam keys.

However, usually anon-surveys of developers opinions on the matter are highly negative.

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-24-just-6-percent-of-devs-say-steam-earns-its-30-percent-cut-survey

You would be in the 6% if this data is accurate.

That's an interesting link, actually. This is a survey from another developer which breaks down the data in more detail, but says largely the same thing: https://www.fortressofdoors.com/operation-tell-valve-all-the-things-3-0/

What's interesting in that survey is the number of devs who feel that Steam earn their cut has dropped from 39% to 11% in the last year - I guess taking a 30% cut seems very reasonable for what they offer until someone starts offering a similar service taking a 12% cut instead. Note though that 60% of the devs agreed that Steam deserved their cut at some point in the past while they were partners, so I guess that aligns with how I feel ... Steam could do with some competition to get them back to their best, but there were definitely times in the past where their 30% cut was warranted.

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16 hours ago, Kaiphus_Kain said:

Your comment about hurt campaign is frankly childish, disagreeing with someone and not wishing to be involved with them after actions you may deem unacceptable is not a hate campaign. 

Umm... have you seen what goes on in the PP reddit? If all these cries for legal actions, claims of misusing backers as interest free loans etc. is no hate campaign, I don't know what is. I see nothing childish about my comment. Do you have contact with children?

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13 hours ago, Chris said:

By the end of this month everyone who backed the Xenonauts-2 Kickstarter will have their Steam / GOG keys and going exclusive with Epic wouldn't involve taking them away, so using that logic I'm assuming you wouldn't actually mind us signing an Epic exclusive deal? Everyone would have got what they paid for and no promises to backers would have been broken ... but in reality I think there'd still be a big backlash if we did so.

I personally find the whole Epic Store debate quite interesting. In principle I like the idea of Steam having more competition, because whilst overall they've been a huge boon to independent developers, they represent about 90% of our sales and yet our only contact with them is one guy who probably replies to our emails less than half the time. Having a competitor to keep them on their toes and make them more responsive to what users and devs want from them can only be a good thing - but then having games be exclusive to just one platform is kinda annoying as a consumer (although Battle.net / Origin / UPlay / whatever have been doing that for a long time so it's hardly a new phenomenon).

Anyway, I suspect Snapshot were offered more than enough money to make the backlash they are facing worthwhile. I think it's a very dangerous thing to break promises to your backers and I can certainly see why people are angry, but everyone has their price and if there was enough money on the table then I could also see how that would be tempting for the dev team.

If Snapshot had done this and honoured the GOG/Steam keys for backers then yes id not be bothered at all, I personally do not wish to use Epic due to the parent company and a few other factors but I don't have any issues with more competition for Steam as such.

That said I really hate exclusivity crap, I think it just causes issues in the industry for no good reason.

From what I have been hearing they got enough to cover everything they got from backers and site sales being refunded and keep the lights on for the studio for a year, if that is true then I can certainly understand them taking the deal.

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1 hour ago, Dagar said:

Umm... have you seen what goes on in the PP reddit? If all these cries for legal actions, claims of misusing backers as interest free loans etc. is no hate campaign, I don't know what is. I see nothing childish about my comment. Do you have contact with children?

I have no interest in crap that goes on in Reddit, I was responding to your comment in regard to my own thoughts and actions, as for the last part, not entirely sure what you are trying to imply but maybe you should think before you post.

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14 minutes ago, Kaiphus_Kain said:

I have no interest in crap that goes on in Reddit, I was responding to your comment in regard to my own thoughts and actions, as for the last part, not entirely sure what you are trying to imply but maybe you should think before you post. 

Maybe you should read before you post? You called my comment childish, which I fail to see in the sense of the word. I tried to suggest that you research the meaning of that word or educate me in how it was childish.

Oh, and I also do not see why you took my initial comment as an answer to your prior comment specifically as opposed to the general situation and took personal offense with it. The OP clearly is right up your alley, too, and even linked to the reddit, so there is that connection to the dumpster fire going on at reddit.

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Posted (edited)

Reddit is what you make of it.

If reddit is a hammer, then is it not better to be a construction worker and get something out of it? Rather than just saying "it's a dumpster fire" and dismissing the value you can sometimes find there?

I hope you two stop bickering, I've not seen a playground fight for a good few decades now and your bringing back bad memories :P.

I kid, I kid... maybe...

Edited by Edmon
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You also seem to misread something here. I did not call reddit as such a dumpster fire, but the post flood that occured since Snapshot have made that announcement. Kain somehow linked my statement about what is happening on reddit to his own post instead of the OPs post and implied that there is no shitstorm because he does not see it.

And no worries, I stop if I have the feeling that the argument becomes completely unconstructive.

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13 minutes ago, Dagar said:

and implied that there is no shitstorm because he does not see it.

Incorrect but you be you chief.

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23 hours ago, Chris said:

I think you'd be surprised how few developers share that opinion. Sure, I'd like Steam to be more responsive and there's a few things I'd like them to sort out - but that 30% cut was industry standard until very recently and Steam give you access to the biggest gaming audience in the world. Also those Steam sales are entirely voluntary and you don't have to participate if you don't want to, devs just participate in them because they tend to shift a LOT of copies.

If a 12% cut became industry standard then that would be awesome but I didn't feel like I was being ripped off by Steam taking 30%. It's also worth noting they don't make a fuss about you selling Steam keys outside of Steam, which is cool - for example all our Kickstarter backers can have Steam keys without Steam ever seeing a dollar of revenue from it. Sure, they do that out of self-interest more than anything else - but it's still really useful from our point of view.

---
Out of curiosity: Since Xenonauts kinda made their start also on "Desura" as an "Alpha Funding"-tittle, were all the owners of the store also using the 70/30-share?
(( By "owners", I am referencing to "DesuraNET / DBolical Pty Ltd", Linden Lab, "Bad Juju Games", and OnePlay ))

And is "Humble (Bundle) Store" also using the same numbers?

---
---

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So everyone is aware, I'm now watching this thread with my mod hat on. If people want to argue the merits/demerits of a service, that's all fine and dandy. What is NOT fine and dandy are ad hominem attacks. Kindly reserve your bile for the argument, not the person making the argument. 

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I got my Xenonauts1 from a Humble Bundle. Those bundles are pretty good - I hope they aren't causing grief to developers. Much as I like to get a deal, I wouldn't want to see Chris and his peers being forced into penury just because I'm a thrifty tight arse.

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Comparing to Amazon, Steam is an angel from hair to toe.

For those who think Epic is more friendly to developers than Steam, I would like to ask you, is there anything better than having the marketplace itself to help you worry about your own selling? And if they do a great job helping you to do the marketing, will you be rather happy to offer them an cut, let's say 18%?

But what if the marketplace you choose piss off your potential customers? And what if the marketplace you choose does not have enough data from its users to analysis so it don't know who is your potential customer?

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