I’m in a weird position here. I’m a game maker/publisher, but at heart I am a gamer. I love video games and have put way more hours of my life into video games than any human ever should. But there’s a disturbance in the video game world and it’s NOT good for anyone.
See Epic, the makers of the incredible Unreal Engine, Fortnite and honestly a lot of great games throughout gamer history has opened their own store. that in itself is not a problem, but they’re mandating exclusivity for the PC market. My problem is shared with many gamers, we’ve been on Steam forever. I have 549 (not lying) games on Steam, collected since it was a distribution platform for Half-Life. As a gamer, I honestly don’t want the plethora of video game managers on my home PC. There is GOG Galaxy, EA Origin, Epic, Steam, Bethesda, Blizzard… I’m fucking done with this shit.
Competition is important and the heart of capitalism. I get that. But, like the movie/TV Series streaming services are suffering, too much competition is a bad thing. It limits consumer choice and Piracy becomes a big thing again. Netflix used to have everything, then comes Hulu, Amazon and a plethora of other video streaming services. Suddenly I can’t watch James Bond on Netflix. I have to buy all the DVD’s. Marvel is moving to Disney’s streaming service… This limits consumer choice and promotes piracy.
As an independent Game developer piracy sucks. I work 16 hour days, 7 days a week to make video games and publish them on Steam, Apple, Google and other services. I cannot afford exclusivity. I cannot afford piracy. Epic is hurting the Gamer, and Epic is hurting the developers.
I was forced to buy Metro 3 (my first Metro Game) on the PS4 because it was no longer available on Steam. PS4 has horrible load times and made my Metro 3 gaming experience horrible. Anno 1800 (I hate Ubisoft) was on Steam and is being removed tomorrow to exclusively go to the Epic store. This fucks over me, the consumer, the gamer. As an independent developer this also fucks me over. Feedback on the indie game groups says it clearly: “Steam is take my money, Epic is I’ll wait for humble bundle”.
I eventually wanted to migrate my game development from Unity3d to Unreal Engine, because I’ve personally loved Unreal for over a decade. but their Store policy hurts the little guy like me, struggling to make ends meet, working alone in a freezing basement office. As an independent game publish I personally need AS MUCH EXPOSURE AS POSSIBLE! I don’t have a million dollar marketing budget. I barely have $100 a month for marketing.
So at the end of the day, the moral of this article is Exclusivity hurts the indies. The people who love video games and make them out of passion. They’re struggling to be seen and need exposure. Epic game store, bethesda Game store all this market fragmentation is hurting us as developers. It’s also hurting us as gamers.
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