Ashen, Announced as Coming to Steam and the Win10 Store, Now Exclusive to the Epic Store on PC *Update* Game Director Responds - Win10 Coming ASAP

Oct 27, 2017
751
OH GEE GREAT COMPETITION HUH GUYS.

Now imagine if this was done on consoles...oh wait...it has...and I bet the ppl that say this is COMPETITION hated those same tactics on consoles.
I don't need to buy a new PC to use epics store, try to troll harder next time I guess.
 

Durante

Dark Souls Man
Member
Oct 24, 2017
4,143
That's competition at work. If the Epic Store was 100% as feature complete as Steam right now, and you had absolute faith in its longevity, it would still be nearly impossible to lure people away from Steam without exclusives because Steam devotees would cite familiarity, friends, achievements history, etc. as reasons not to use the alternative. Once again, if Steam wanted to compete, they could offer the game more promotion and a better royalty, but Steam doesn't want to compete and everyone gives them a free pass for that.
Consumers prefer Steam because it competes for them with consumer-facing priorities and features, and has reliably done that for a long time. Developers apparently give its competitors a "free pass" for not doing that.

Basically, I don't know why we should expect consumers to fight for publisher money, just like I don't expect publishers to fight for consumer features when they make their decisions.

The only part of all of that I find truly disgusting is when publishers try to argue that their business decisions and exclusivity deals are all about improving the customer experience. They aren't.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,742
Europe
What is it with P.C. gamers and their game launcher? It’s like being attached to a disc drive or something.
I mean, if PC games still came on discs and I'd be able to sell them once I beat them, it'd be less of a problem for me, actually. But this isn't the case anymore, everything's digital. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. But when I buy stuff that I can't get rid of easily if I don't like it, it's broken or as I already said, I finished playing it, I have to have trust in the storefront/launcher I buy it from.

And Steam makes this especially easy. They have been in the game for a damn long time and offer full automatic refunds for games, no question asked. And yeah, Epic said they'll offer that feature in the future. The catch is: "We will offer two no-questions-asked refunds". They fucking limited refunds and it's not really no-questions-asked.
 
Jul 25, 2018
1,353
Consumers prefer Steam because it competes for them with consumer-facing priorities and features, and has reliably done that for a long time. Developers apparently give its competitors a "free pass" for not doing that.

Basically, I don't know why we should expect consumers to fight for publisher money, just like I don't expect publishers to fight for consumer features when they make their decisions.

The only part of all of that I find truly disgusting is when publishers try to argue that their business decisions and exclusivity deals are all about improving the customer experience. They aren't.
Re your last sentence, I've just re-read the OP and none of that happened.
 

Durante

Dark Souls Man
Member
Oct 24, 2017
4,143
Re your last sentence, I've just re-read the OP and none of that happened.
You are correct, that's not happening in this particular case. (There's the "a great new platform, one that genuinely wants to do the best for developers and players alike" part, but it doesn't claim that the are succeeding at the latter)
 
Feb 2, 2018
1,518
Denmark
And yeah, Epic said they'll offer that feature in the future. The catch is: "We will offer two no-questions-asked refunds". They fucking limited refunds and it's not really no-questions-asked.
That's disgusting. The list of stuff they need for a simple refund is intended to make people give up and not bother. When did Epic become such a scummy company? I'm definitely never installing their garbage launcher/store.
 
Oct 27, 2017
128
I mean, if PC games still came on discs and I'd be able to sell them once I beat them, it'd be less of a problem for me, actually. But this isn't the case anymore, everything's digital. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, of course. But when I buy stuff that I can't get rid of easily if I don't like it, it's broken or as I already said, I finished playing it, I have to have trust in the storefront/launcher I buy it from.

And Steam makes this especially easy. They have been in the game for a damn long time and offer full automatic refunds for games, no question asked. And yeah, Epic said they'll offer that feature in the future. The catch is: "We will offer two no-questions-asked refunds". They fucking limited refunds and it's not really no-questions-asked.
Lol all that just for a simple refund? Makes you think twice before even buying a game from their store.
 
Oct 25, 2017
257
USA
I don't need to buy a new PC to use epics store, try to troll harder next time I guess.
Not all storefronts/launchers are created equal. There's major differences between them in terms of functionality/features/refund policies/DRM/community etc etc. If it was totally optional to buy games on whatever store, then fine more power to people, but having to forcefully split your library of games between storefronts because they got paid for exclusivity is ridiculous considering its the same damn hardware.
 
Oct 27, 2017
410
I have never played Paragon and only played Unreal Tournament 4 once but okay.
Then why did you bring up two floundering projects being closed out in favor of shifting resources to a wildly successful one?

Valve never forbid developers to sell their games Outside steam as far as I know and they never forbid developers to set their own price.
They forbid them from offering list prices lower on other stores than the list price on Steam.

This has nothing to do with benefiting players.
Devs being able to stay solvent because they keep more of their sales revenue directly allows them to invest more in their products and produce a greater variety of available titles. That is a direct benefit to consumers.

Why is locking games behind launchers competiton?
How is it not?

Anti-consumer, yes.
You keep using that word, but you don't seem to know what it means.

Competition is meant to be good for the consumer. This only seems good for a dev
This is patently false. Competition plays out in a variety of direction. You compete for consumer interest (say, by offering exclusive products). You compete for suppliers and inventory (say, by offering lucrative terms to those who produce your product). You even compete for employees (say, by offering them better pay and/or benefits). To suggest only competition for consumers is desirable is to badly misunderstand how a free market fundamentally operates.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,655
Then why did you bring up two floundering projects being closed out in favor of shifting resources to a wildly successful one?



They forbid them from offering list prices lower on other stores than the list price on Steam.



Devs being able to stay solvent because they keep more of their sales revenue directly allows them to invest more in their products and produce a greater variety of available titles. That is a direct benefit to consumers.



How is it not?



You keep using that word, but you don't seem to know what it means.



This is patently false. Competition plays out in a variety of direction. You compete for consumer interest (say, by offering exclusive products). You compete for suppliers and inventory (say, by offering lucrative terms to those who produce your product). You even compete for employees (say, by offering them better pay and/or benefits). To suggest only competition for consumers is desirable is to badly misunderstand how a free market fundamentally operates.

anti-consumer adjective
an·ti-con·sum·er | \ˌan-tē-kən-ˈsü-mər, ˌan-tī-\
Definition of anti-consumer
: not favorable to consumers : improperly favoring the interests of businesses over the interests of consumers


Definitely sounds like the perfect word for it.
 
Jul 25, 2018
1,353
anti-consumer adjective
an·ti-con·sum·er | \ˌan-tē-kən-ˈsü-mər, ˌan-tī-\
Definition of anti-consumer
: not favorable to consumers : improperly favoring the interests of businesses over the interests of consumers


Definitely sounds like the perfect word for it.
False. There's nothing "improper" about it. That was a great post by BradGrenz
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,273
Not all storefronts/launchers are created equal. There's major differences between them in terms of functionality/features/refund policies/DRM/community etc etc. If it was totally optional to buy games on whatever store, then fine more power to people, but having to forcefully split your library of games between storefronts because they got paid for exclusivity is ridiculous considering its the same damn hardware.
1. Are you being forced or coerced into buying games? Because it's always optional to buy games from ANY store. you either want the game on pc where it's available or not
2.It's still on pc, even if the Epic Store is a raging dumpster fire, those games are playable on pc. Assuming there are no inherent issues with the games after getting past the storefront.
 

Ryna

Member
Oct 25, 2017
712
Canada
Then why did you bring up two floundering projects being closed out in favor of shifting resources to a wildly successful one?



They forbid them from offering list prices lower on other stores than the list price on Steam.



Devs being able to stay solvent because they keep more of their sales revenue directly allows them to invest more in their products and produce a greater variety of available titles. That is a direct benefit to consumers.



How is it not?



You keep using that word, but you don't seem to know what it means.



This is patently false. Competition plays out in a variety of direction. You compete for consumer interest (say, by offering exclusive products). You compete for suppliers and inventory (say, by offering lucrative terms to those who produce your product). You even compete for employees (say, by offering them better pay and/or benefits). To suggest only competition for consumers is desirable is to badly misunderstand how a free market fundamentally operates.
Because It was a relevant response?

I said Epic should make their own exclusives (as in published/developed) instead of moneyhatting 3rd party indie games that were already announced for Steam. I was responded by “they have their own exclusives” when they only have 1, Fortnite.

Are mentioning games we haven’t played forbidden from debates now?
 
Oct 27, 2017
410
I said Epic should make their own exclusives (as in published/developed) instead of moneyhatting 3rd party indie games that were already announced for Steam. I was responded by “they have their own exclusives” when they only have 1, Fortnite.
So your argument is that all that is important is the number of games, not the success of those games? I think having Fortnite be less successful just to keep Paragon and UT in a list is a pretty foolish way to look at things.
 

Ryna

Member
Oct 25, 2017
712
Canada
So your argument is that all that is important is the number of games, not the success of those games? I think having Fortnite be less successful just to keep Paragon and UT in a list is a pretty foolish way to look at things.
It wasnt an argument but more of a correction, They have an exclusive, not exclusives.
 
Oct 18, 2018
200
Europe
I don't need to buy a new PC to use epics store, try to troll harder next time I guess.
Then imagine having to log into different stores for different games on your console of choice and each store has different friend lists, achievement systems, some have cloud saves, others don't, some offer refunds, some don't or attached to shitty condiditions. I could go on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
751
Then imagine having to log into different stores for different games on your console of choice and each store has different friend lists, achievement systems, some have cloud saves, others don't, some offer refunds, some don't or attached to shitty condiditions. I could go on.
You already have to log into different accounts for different publishers games on consoles. Steam needs more competition, the only reason they have refunds is the lawsuits. I'm tired of thier shit and have multiple stores on my PC. For hard core PC gamers on era who build thier own PC's it seems like some struggle to simply log in to a store.
 
Oct 28, 2017
367
Which they have confirmed is still happening...
You're bending over backwards to defend something that's clearly been deceptive to anyone expecting, rightly, to play Ashen on PC at launch as part of Game Pass Play Anywhere, as has been advertised.

They forbid them from offering list prices lower on other stores than the list price on Steam.
Could you elaborate on this? Steam is often the worst place to buy a game that redeems on Steam because other shops are offering the game for cheaper.
 
Nov 2, 2017
2,114
That they don't innovate or invest is bullshit.
If you read what you just quoted, I specifically referred to content. To be semantically correct, I should’ve said they invest little compared to other platform holders. ...and I don’t know why this is controversial.

Why don’t the rules and standards we hold the other platform holders to apply to Valve? Because they own an open platform? It’s easy to say that all platforms should be open and without exclusives when you’re making the most profit from that type of system.

Valve has a great platform that millions of gamers are passionate about. 2 of their IPs land in a lot of people’s top franchises of all time. But I don’t believe in business aristocracies. No one is ordained in free markets because they started something great. Since Jul 2013 when they published DOTA2, they’ve done little in terms of content. I believe it’s important for any platform holder to provide their own content. Feel free to disagree. Ironically it was Half Life 2 that was the reason I and many other gamers launched Steam. Back then, we didn’t launch Steam because we thought it was going to be this great open platform. If any platform holder/publisher sits on licenses like Half Life and Portal today, I don’t see how they feel challenged or have a sense of urgency.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,661
China
But I don’t believe in business aristocracies. No one is ordained in free markets because they started something great. Since Jul 2013 when they published DOTA2, they’ve done little in terms of content.
They did, because all their games are weekly updated with new content. CS:GO just released a BR mode and new maps and operations every few months. DOTA2 gets new heroes, modes. Artifact just launched.

Apart from Content I personally think its far more important that the "PC ecosystem" is being worked on. Chinese can now buy Games without any hassle. Linux gamers can play almost all games now. VR fans have a plattform to develop and use APIs for free for.
I personally think its far more important that people from Argentina, Vietnam, Malaysia, China can actually buy games for a mostly reasonable price now.

If any platform holder/publisher sits on licenses like Half Life and Portal today, I don’t see how they feel challenged or have a sense of urgency.
Thats not the problem. The problem is that most new competitors launch with a featureset of 2004, not 2018. The Epic Launcher doesnt even have achievements and a search function. Bethesdas launcher doesnt allow refunds and deletes your game.

A lot of consumers (not saying all) expect a bit more in 2018. No one would release a console with 2005 technology that would compete with modern consoles in 2018.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,637
Belgium
Could you elaborate on this? Steam is often the worst place to buy a game that redeems on Steam because other shops are offering the game for cheaper.
The only reason why this is true, is because Valve allows devs to generate FREE game keys to sell in competing 3rd party webstores. For games sold outside Steam, devs don't have to pay Valve any royalties. This is one of the most significant perks of Steam.
 
Oct 28, 2017
367
The only reason why this is true, is because Valve allows devs to generate FREE game keys to sell in competing 3rd party webstores. For games sold outside Steam, devs don't have to pay Valve any royalties. This is one of the most significant perks of Steam.
Exactly. If that person I quoted means Steam prevents Steam games from being sold cheaper elsewhere, it's an absolutely laughable claim based in no truth whatsoever.
 
Oct 27, 2017
705
I don’t get it, every dev that has launched their game on the EPIC store is tremendously happy for the help and obviously money they’re getting with this deal and people is mad because the game is not on their favorite client, I think sometimes gamers forget this is a business, I’m all in for devs getting as much money as they can, making games is not easy and them getting rewarded for the hard work they put in is amazing, all we have to do in install a new client, but we much rather have it on steam and fuck developers economic stability, but when studios are closed you see everyone sending worm thoughts to those affected, if the game is good and you were interested, support the talented people that work day and night to make it happen, regardless of your “client” preference, smh......
 
Oct 27, 2017
144
I don't need to buy a new PC to use epics store, try to troll harder next time I guess.
Man, why so much people don't want to understand the problem?

It's not like you have to buy a new console. It's like if you have to go to a different download tab that doesn't work in rest mode. You have to enter a different PSN store to buy and track sales. You have to create a different friends list. Configure a different setup for your mic. You have a different place to search for your screenshots. You can not access you regular PS menu from those games in the different launcher. You have to configure a new user, a new password, etc. Everything you do in your console is splited in two.

Now think that this scalate to not 2, but 6 different setups for everything. And some of them doesn't have some options you want.

Steam is not only a store. Is not only a launcher. It's a HUB with A LOT of things. It's the only app that being in my tray, is accesible only pushing the home button on my controller. I can navigate everything in Steam with my 360 or XO controller. Buy, play, write... with a controller without touching a mouse. This is not possible in Epic Store. Shit, people playing Ashen from EPIC is discussing the game in the Steam forums.
 
Oct 27, 2017
144
I don’t get it, every dev that has launched their game on the EPIC store is tremendously happy for the help and obviously money they’re getting with this deal and people is mad because the game is not on their favorite client, I think sometimes gamers forget this is a business, I’m all in for devs getting as much money as they can, making games is not easy and them getting rewarded for the hard work they put in is amazing, all we have to do in install a new client, but we much rather have it on steam and fuck developers economic stability, but when studios are closed you see everyone sending worm thoughts to those affected, if the game is good and you were interested, support the talented people that work day and night to make it happen, regardless of your “client” preference, smh......
They are happy today because they have the money now. Wait a while.
 
Nov 2, 2017
701
I don’t get it, every dev that has launched their game on the EPIC store is tremendously happy for the help and obviously money they’re getting with this deal and people is mad because the game is not on their favorite client, I think sometimes gamers forget this is a business, I’m all in for devs getting as much money as they can, making games is not easy and them getting rewarded for the hard work they put in is amazing, all we have to do in install a new client, but we much rather have it on steam and fuck developers economic stability, but when studios are closed you see everyone sending worm thoughts to those affected, if the game is good and you were interested, support the talented people that work day and night to make it happen, regardless of your “client” preference, smh......
It's cool that they are getting a bigger percentage, but personally I would think having your product in as many places as possible would be the best way to maximize profit. Getting an extra 18% from each sale doesn't help much if not many people are using the store.
 
Jan 21, 2018
5,940
Everyone who is saying that it doesn't matter because it's the same platform.

Imagine the 'next Ashen' coming from [email protected] You think Microsoft will agree with this platform agnostic approach in the future if their games get moneyhatted like this? I could see all [email protected] indies launching on the Microsoft Store first in the future to prevent this. Hard exclusivity clauses in contracts. So suddenly you lose Linux support, mod support, you are bound to Xbox pricing and most of all, you won't be able to play this with Windows 7, 8 or macOS.

We had the best of both worlds with Ashen. A Steam release and a Microsoft Store release. Choice for customers. Are you in the Xbox ecosystem? Get the MS Store version for Gamepass, crossplay and/or achievements. Are you a Steam user? Get the Steam version.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,483
Msk / SPb, Russia
I think I'll just ignore Epic's store while they are doing things like buying (whether directly or through a bigger revenue cut) exclusivity of 3rd party PC titles. This is just complete bullshit which I won't support, ever, on any store. 1st party I can understand but not 3rd party, sorry. This is 100% anticonsumer.
 
Nov 21, 2018
61
"Resource issue"? Yeah, do they really think gamers are so stupid? This was announced three years ago, it was known to be a Play Anywhere game, later it was revealed it was a D1 title on Game Pass too, the release date happens, XBox version releases just fine, Epic version too and guess what? The Win10 Pc version which CASUALLY could be played right now for 1€ bu subcribing to one month of Game Pass has a problem with resources...yeah. I'm 100% sure they will solve this problem in January when the 1€ deal for Game Pass will be over.

I really hope there is some kind of contract issue and this studio will need to pay Microsoft a fine, because the whole situation is just ridiculous. I was ready to sub to one month of Game Pass in order to play the game, well before Microsoft announced the 1€ deal which, in my opinion, was done to attract new people because Microsoft already new games like Ashen and Hellblade would release in December, so I presume many people when the release date leaked a couple of days before TGA subbed to Game Pass to play it, but you can't.

I think Epic just paid so much money to those devs for the timed exclusivity which they can afford to not sell copies of their titles on Epic Store or, even with minimum sales, they already recovered a big chunk if not all the development cost. Like I doubt developing something like Super Meat Boy Forever costed million dollars.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
32
Earth
What's wrong with giving your potential customers a choice where to buy your game?

Of course it makes sense for you to release your game on Epic's store as well, but f*ck store exclusivity deals on pc.
Never said I'd go exclusive personally speaking, but I can understand the point of view of those who may consider it (mainly publishers in this case), which is basically the fact they may lose money due to the considerable difference in profit margin.
 
Nov 21, 2018
61
Who cares about Win10 store anyway? Just bring it on Steam. I really wanted to play this game but not anymore.
I care, in example, because it's a way to play the game legally for 1€ or, worst case scenario, 10€ instead of 40€ of the full retail price. People don't understand the missed release on Game Pass is a problem too, expecially when you promote the thing for years.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,637
Belgium
Never said I'd go exclusive personally speaking, but I can understand the point of view of those who may consider it (mainly publishers in this case), which is basically the fact they may lose money due to the considerable difference in profit margin.
I understand that as well. But developers also should consider the wishes of their potential customers. Epic's store doesn't offer many of Steam's features: in-home streaming, universal controller support, big picture mode, regional pricing etc. Also, for some people having all games in a single ecosystem is really important.

That doesn't mean people don't care about the developers. If Coffee Stain would have ASKED me on social media to buy their game in Epic's store instead of Steam to support the lower cut, I would have done that. But FORCING people to buy it in a single store using a paid exclusivity deal is unacceptable for me, and actually turns me off to buy the game at all.

In my opinion, healthy competition should be achieved by offering each game in as many storefronts as possible. Does that makes any sense for you as a developer?
 
Nov 21, 2018
61
I understand that as well. But developers also should consider the wishes of their potential customers. Epic's store doesn't offer many of Steam's features: in-home streaming, universal controller support, big picture mode, regional pricing etc. Also, for some people having all games in a single ecosystem is really important.

That doesn't mean people don't care about the developers. If Coffee Stain would have ASKED me on social media to buy their game in Epic's store instead of Steam to support the lower cut, I would have done that. But FORCING people to buy it in a single store using a paid exclusivity deal is unacceptable for me, and actually turns me off to buy the game at all.

In my opinion, healthy competition should be achieved by offering each game in as many storefronts as possible. Does that makes any sense for you as a developer?
You should buy the game where you want to buy the game, being Epic Store, Steam, Gog or Win10 Store. You shouldn't buy a game on a specific platform just because devs ask you to do so.
 
Jan 21, 2018
5,940
So is this worth it to play solo?
Yes.

Who cares about Win10 store anyway? Just bring it on Steam. I really wanted to play this game but not anymore.
I don't care about the Microsoft Store. If it didn't release there I'd be fine. But they've announced it for Gamepass and Play Anywhere. And not offering that on day one is a bit scummy (specially only communicating this a day after launch).

If you want to play this game, go play it. Why would it matter to you if it's on Steam or on Epic? (besides the regional pricing issue).
 
Oct 27, 2017
32
Earth
I understand that as well. But developers also should consider the wishes of their potential customers. Epic's store doesn't offer many of Steam's features: in-home streaming, universal controller support, big picture mode, regional pricing etc. Also, for some people having all games in a single ecosystem is really important.

That doesn't mean people don't care about the developers. If Coffee Stain would have ASKED me on social media to buy their game in Epic's store instead of Steam to support the lower cut, I would have done that. But FORCING people to buy it in a single store using a paid exclusivity deal is unacceptable for me, and actually turns me off to buy the game at all.

In my opinion, healthy competition should be achieved by offering each game in as many storefronts as possible. Does that makes any sense for you as a developer?
Totally makes sense!
I'm sorry if it seemed like I was 100% in favor of this, I'm not, just playing devil's advocate and showing what the publishers are likely thinking.
I doubt Coffee Stain had much of a saying once annapurna said they were going with it, they likely were really only allowed to acknowledge that that was the course of action for publishing and then told what they could and could not say about the situation; their reply to the situation is literally PR speak along with them saying they couldn't help it due to "issues", whatever those are after 3 years of development.
 
Oct 27, 2017
751
Man, why so much people don't want to understand the problem?

It's not like you have to buy a new console. It's like if you have to go to a different download tab that doesn't work in rest mode. You have to enter a different PSN store to buy and track sales. You have to create a different friends list. Configure a different setup for your mic. You have a different place to search for your screenshots. You can not access you regular PS menu from those games in the different launcher. You have to configure a new user, a new password, etc. Everything you do in your console is splited in two.

Now think that this scalate to not 2, but 6 different setups for everything. And some of them doesn't have some options you want.

Steam is not only a store. Is not only a launcher. It's a HUB with A LOT of things. It's the only app that being in my tray, is accesible only pushing the home button on my controller. I can navigate everything in Steam with my 360 or XO controller. Buy, play, write... with a controller without touching a mouse. This is not possible in Epic Store. Shit, people playing Ashen from EPIC is discussing the game in the Steam forums.
The post game show quoted directly said

OH GEE GREAT COMPETITION HUH GUYS.

Now imagine if this was done on consoles...oh wait...it has...and I bet the ppl that say this is COMPETITION hated those same tactics on consoles.
The reason why people tend to dislike it on consoles is they have to put out 200$-500$ on another console plus the game. Consoles already have different programs to log into as well with Epic, Uplay, rockstar, ect. People don't complain about logging on to different streaming apps on thier console or PC. Steam needs competition. If epic is willing to cover smaller companies more money I am aok with that. Steam could have given smaller companies a bigger share instead they have it to the 1% AAA companies that are large enough to open thier own storefront.
 
Oct 28, 2017
3,637
Belgium
I doubt Coffee Stain had much of a saying once annapurna said they were going with it, they likely were really only allowed to acknowledge that that was the course of action for publishing and then told what they could and could not say about the situation; their reply to the situation is literally PR speak along with them saying they couldn't help it due to "issues", whatever those are after 3 years of development.
That's my guess as well. It seems Epic made a business deal with Annapurna. If so, it's a bit sad that the devs are getting the negative response on their address.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,676
Taiwan
Because buying in one spot with no other choices is competition.

/s

Just because people accept it on a closed system doesn't mean it should be accepted on an open platform considering - consumer side it isn't competition. Its only good for the devs (which yes because they offer something different then industry standard when it comes to a cut), consumers will see nothing. Considering some countries can't even buy it from their shop. So yea how is that "competition". One choice, where some can't even buy from their shop. Can't buy means blocked. Some countries can't afford US prices either.

I do not welcome the dark ages of PC gaming in the early 2000s and older. No thank you please.

Also playing a game is a whole different story then buying a game on PC.

Yea most games require steam to run (some games that are only on steam do not require it), but buying wise you have different places to buy a game that redeems on it. Steam doesn't see money from those third party sites FYI because keys are generated for free (wow steam doesn't charge for key generation!)

PC exclusives is just the old shirt from the dark ages in a new color.