DARQ Dev: Why I turned down exclusivity deal from the Epic Store

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Blah

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,015
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
A gaming journalist that only cares about one side of the narrative, especially when it comes to EGS.

Shocking.
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,348
From no on devs are just going to have to announce their game with no PC store logo or name, just the [PC] logo, or windows/MAC/Linux and let the pieces fall where they may.
 

Arsenekinz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,847
Canada
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
Are developers like not allowed to criticize Epic without being accused of using it for marketing or throwing other developers under the bus?

He's been getting grilled on reddit for months about EGS, I can't blame him for wanting to address it all in a single blog post instead of repeating the same comment on reddit over and over again.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,776
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
I'm fine with him using it as a "campaign", still a better way to make money than annoying your customers.
 

AJ_Wings

Member
Oct 31, 2017
731
So much for Timmy’s “Multi-store future” shit.

Good on the dev for speaking out on this.
 

TioChuck

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
368
São Paulo, Brazil
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
I don´t know the intention of the person, but I understand where they is coming from, they is giving context after they post on the Reddit AMA got attention.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,638
User Banned (1 Day) - Thread Whining and Generalizations
Epic's policy of offering to pay for exclusivity, and then refusing to put the game on the store at all if they don't take that deal, is not quite common knowledge at this point.

I still occasionally see people find out there's no shopping cart, and that's been discussed to death. This is a bigger deal than that, and it's going to last a while.
I uh, frankly don't buy this. I bet if we went into the Skatebird thread we'd find at least a few of the people wailing and gnashing their teeth in here doing it in that thread too.

This thread will soon just be another circlejerk session that will be sub r/fuckepic in coherence. Already starting above this post with some of the responses to bluexy, suggesting he's in on some Gamejournopros conspiracy to be in on the take from Epic.
 

Unknownhero

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,082
If "Not encouraging ongoing harassment campaigns against developers" is a one-sided view, I'm guilty as charged.
he never did, in fact he acknowledge that they have to do what they need to

Before I get into this, I would like to emphasize that I’m not speaking on behalf of other developers. Every indie studio has a unique story and has to deal with unique set of obstacles. The following reasons are mine and mine only. Rejecting such offer happened to be right for my game, but might not be right for other games / studios, as their goals and long-term plans might differ from mine.

 

lorddarkflare

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,828
He knows what he is doing, and this decision is clearly a calculated risk.

And I don't care. I still support him here.

Sometimes doing the 'right' thing is also the extremely profitable.
 

SteveWinwood

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,875
USA USA USA
Why is this part of Epics MO? Isn't expanding their library with a game that people want worthwhile even if that game isn't exclusive to their store? This doesn't seem like a way to become an alternative to steam when they lock themselves out of games.
to answer your question

they literally can't without bumping another scheduled game off

their backend is such a mess they can't just add things willy nilly


competition
 

Blah

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,015
If "Not encouraging ongoing harassment campaigns against developers" is a one-sided view, I'm guilty as charged.
It's interesting your slant is that the devs comments are fanning the flames and not Epic's practices.

Even when a dev explains his position without throwing Epic under the bus and is careful about not slinging mud at fellow devs.

You're arguing against less information because it makes one side look poor (Epic), despite it giving more context to the reasons people have issues with EGS.
 
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Spyware

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,267
Sweden
Seen this game for a long time around Reddit and Imgur, and had it wishlisted pretty much since the page popped up on Steam. Was happy to get an email about the release of it and thinking that I gotta get it as soon as I have the money to spare. This excellent writeup pushes it to the very top of my priority list because I feel like he really, really gets it and it makes me so happy.

One thing that made this feel really icky was the timing of Epic's email. Seriously trying to snag the game from Steam right after a trailer with a Steam release date came out? We know they grab games based on popularity and it has been up there on the Steam Wishlist List for a long time. Now a date is posted and they go "Hey, want a lot of cash to go back on what you just promised?". At least do it a bit sooner...

Definitely not faulting anyone for taking or seeking out the Epic deal or anything. If they think it's best for them then go for it. But these devs that let me get the game where it is best for me (cost and features like family sharing) are the ones I will personally try to support financially.
 

Shengar

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,052
If "Not encouraging ongoing harassment campaigns against developers" is a one-sided view, I'm guilty as charged.
That's massive jump of logic. So denying EGS exclusivity deal and make a clarification post about since he's inadvertently pulled into the vortex is encouraging harrasment campaign aganst developers now? Do you even read what his writing?

Before I get into this, I would like to emphasize that I’m not speaking on behalf of other developers. Every indie studio has a unique story and has to deal with unique set of obstacles. The following reasons are mine and mine only. Rejecting such offer happened to be right for my game, but might not be right for other games / studios, as their goals and long-term plans might differ from mine.
Ever since Schreier tries to spin Valve's treatment of their employee by giving them day off and paid vacation as something heinous or a bad thing, I already lost respect to the laughable gaming 'journalists', but JFC you are all managed to break my low expectation even down under.
 

EllipsisBreak

Member
Aug 6, 2019
103
to answer your question

they literally can't without bumping another scheduled game off

their backend is such a mess they can't just add things willy nilly


competition
I don't think that applies to this situation. They were offering an exclusivity deal, so clearly they must have had room in their schedule for this game. I don't see how that open space would just evaporate when the deal doesn't get taken, unless this somehow resulted in another deal getting made.
 

YaBish

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,986
I realize it is probably a genuine sentiment, but what a smart pr move to post about this.
 

eddy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
992
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
This is a ridiculous position. He's under no obligation to treat this offer as confidential. You're suggesting only devs who TAKE the Epic offer are (together with Epic) allowed to talk about it and make an advertising campaign around it?! C'mon. Horse. Shit.

I guess a lot of posters here are pro-secrecy as long as the secrecy works in Epic's favor. I guess then they can sit around and call out people in discussions for not "knowing all the facts", which of course is very convenient.

I applaud this dev for stating the facts openly. If there's some amount of Judo involved, I'm fine with that.
 
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sheaaaa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
838
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
This is a really gross post from someone who should know better; but maybe I shouldn't be surprised by "journalists" at this point. The developer is nothing but understanding, polite and respectful to both Epic and the developers who do take the deals. The allegations you're throwing around are insulting.
 

Shengar

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,052
I get you, but we need to be able to have nuanced discussions. Reducing complex situations like this does no one any good.
I have given up nuanced discussion ever Schreier dumb spin on Valve's treatment of their employee. If you had to spin a company with good track record of employee treatment and in turn take a side to others who just had revealed they crunched their employee to hell, then clearly nothing of nuance could be gained.

The only gaming journalist that have more level headed approach in mainstream outlet is Alice O'Connor from RPS.
 

Breqesk

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,237
Consider Amazon’s history — the company remained unproffitable for many years by ALWAYS putting their customers first. They had made many decisions in the past that were extremely pro-customer, even if it meant leaving money on the table (for which they got a lot of criticism from Wall Street). Now, Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world, and it’s because customers know Amazon will always be on their side. Their refund policy has always been the industry standard, and their delivery promise was always fulfilled to the best of their ability. Will I make less money on Steam than I would have by accepting the financial guarantee from the Epic Store? Probably. But it’s a fair price to pay for establishing an ongoing trust between my studio and its customers. Unfold Games (my studio) is here to stay, and DARQ is just the beginning.
Amazon are a blight on the world.
 

ShinUltramanJ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,445
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
So is it also an advertising campaign when a developer admits that they’re taking Epic’s money? I certainly never heard of some of these developers, or their games until they make an announcement that they’re Epic exclusive. They’re hoping to use Epic controversy as a tool to get people talking about their game. They’re looking to profit just as much.

As for fanning the flames of controversy, I’m all for some light shining on Epic’s scummy motives. They’re not doing PC customers any favors with their actions.
 

Dave.

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,413
Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.

I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.
Every dev that has taken the moneyhat has turned it in to an advertising campaign, why shouldn't he? Every Epic-deal taking dev throws other indies under the bus, fans the flames of controversy, tries to make Vavle, GOG and other devs out to be mosnter villains stealing from innocent hard-working salt of the earth indie devs and other such nonsense.

Mostly these devs spin a full of shit advertising campaign about how their choice will be better for the customer when customers know it clearly isn't. This dev can say his choice will lead to a better game experience for the buyer, and have it actually be true for the first time in nearly a year.

Massive respect to him.

And fuck Epic for this blatant hypocrisy.
 

Mechaplum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,955
I like it that he shared the emails. He wasn't being vitriolic about it and seems understanding about why other devs would take the bribe. Don't see anything wrong with it, kudos on him.
 

scottstephan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
265
What’s the controversy here? This is how exclusivity deals have always worked. If Sony funds your game they get an exclusivity window. If EGS is going to pay for your title (and they offer very competitive rates) then it won’t go up on Steam. That’s not sneaky. Devs have been inking deals like this for decades.

I think part of the Developer/Fan friction here is that what EGS is doing is just... the games business. Usually this stuff happens over the course of a couple meetings, everyone shakes hands and that’s that. Because of the public nature of the EGS friction y’all are seeing the sausage getting made and having a negative reaction.

Every business has some version of this. White label exclusives are literally like 90% of Trader Joe’s business. Brands pay slotting fees on retail shelves. Designer X only sells at store Y. Remember when Prince only sold at Virgin Megastore? (That one actually did make everyone mad).

It’s up to a developer to decide if the deal makes sense or not, but pretending that this shines a light on some previously unseen evil is ridiculous. It’s how business, and marketing work.
 

SteveWinwood

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,875
USA USA USA
I don't think that applies to this situation. They were offering an exclusivity deal, so clearly they must have had room in their schedule for this game. I don't see how that open space would just evaporate when the deal doesn't get taken, unless this somehow resulted in another deal getting made.
no the spot is still there most likely, but the point is they're not going to "waste" a valuable spot on something they don't get exclusively to their store

if the spot is still there then they can just put it on their non exclusively right?
 

Mechaplum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,955
What’s the controversy here? This is how exclusivity deals have always worked. If Sony funds your game they get an exclusivity window. If EGS is going to pay for your title (and they offer very competitive rates) then it won’t go up on Steam. That’s not sneaky. Devs have been inking deals like this for decades.

I think part of the Developer/Fan friction here is that what EGS is doing is just... the games business. Usually this stuff happens over the course of a couple meetings, everyone shakes hands and that’s that. Because of the public nature of the EGS friction y’all are seeing the sausage getting made and having a negative reaction.

Every business has some version of this. White label exclusives are literally like 90% of Trader Joe’s business. Brands pay slotting fees on retail shelves. Designer X only sells at store Y. Remember when Prince only sold at Virgin Megastore? (That one actually did make everyone mad).

It’s up to a developer to decide if the deal makes sense or not, but pretending that this shines a light on some previously unseen evil is ridiculous. It’s how business, and marketing work.
The issue is that EGS wouldn't even sell your game if it's not exclusive to EGS. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

thediamondage

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,326
I wonder why Epic just doesn't take a month to let a small team redo their entire launcher and backend from the ground up and they just feature and release freeze until thats done. The launcher has been out nine months now, its getting a bit ridiculous with how broken everything about their backend sounds.

They can only release a few games a week on the epic store? Did they do ZERO planning on how they thought their store would work a year or 2 years out?
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
5,776
What’s the controversy here? This is how exclusivity deals have always worked. If Sony funds your game they get an exclusivity window. If EGS is going to pay for your title (and they offer very competitive rates) then it won’t go up on Steam. That’s not sneaky. Devs have been inking deals like this for decades.
They don't fund games, they pay for timed exclusivity when the game is already made.
 

Arsenekinz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,847
Canada
What’s the controversy here? This is how exclusivity deals have always worked. If Sony funds your game they get an exclusivity window. If EGS is going to pay for your title (and they offer very competitive rates) then it won’t go up on Steam. That’s not sneaky. Devs have been inking deals like this for decades.

I think part of the Developer/Fan friction here is that what EGS is doing is just... the games business. Usually this stuff happens over the course of a couple meetings, everyone shakes hands and that’s that. Because of the public nature of the EGS friction y’all are seeing the sausage getting made and having a negative reaction.

Every business has some version of this. White label exclusives are literally like 90% of Trader Joe’s business. Brands pay slotting fees on retail shelves. Designer X only sells at store Y. Remember when Prince only sold at Virgin Megastore? (That one actually did make everyone mad).

It’s up to a developer to decide if the deal makes sense or not, but pretending that this shines a light on some previously unseen evil is ridiculous. It’s how business, and marketing work.
Sony doesn't moneyhat exclusives that are already announced for other platforms 2 weeks away from release. Also a lot of the games Sony funds wouldnt exist without their funding.

Meanwhile a lot of the games Epic funds are either late in development or finished. Only a handful of games Epic has funded actually benefit the product.
 

SteveWinwood

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,875
USA USA USA
I wonder why Epic just doesn't take a month to let a small team redo their entire launcher and backend from the ground up and they just feature and release freeze until thats done. The launcher has been out nine months now, its getting a bit ridiculous with how broken everything about their backend sounds.

They can only release a few games a week on the epic store? Did they do ZERO planning on how they thought their store would work a year or 2 years out?
they hit a giant money spout by accident and they're not going to let this opportunity pass them by

it's not about the future or even the near future

it's the now now now
 

poklane

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,926
the Netherlands
What’s the controversy here? This is how exclusivity deals have always worked. If Sony funds your game they get an exclusivity window. If EGS is going to pay for your title (and they offer very competitive rates) then it won’t go up on Steam. That’s not sneaky. Devs have been inking deals like this for decades.

I think part of the Developer/Fan friction here is that what EGS is doing is just... the games business. Usually this stuff happens over the course of a couple meetings, everyone shakes hands and that’s that. Because of the public nature of the EGS friction y’all are seeing the sausage getting made and having a negative reaction.

Every business has some version of this. White label exclusives are literally like 90% of Trader Joe’s business. Brands pay slotting fees on retail shelves. Designer X only sells at store Y. Remember when Prince only sold at Virgin Megastore? (That one actually did make everyone mad).

It’s up to a developer to decide if the deal makes sense or not, but pretending that this shines a light on some previously unseen evil is ridiculous. It’s how business, and marketing work.
There's 2 issues here:
  1. Epic isn't funding these games, they're paying money to publishers who've already finished or are about to finish development to keep their games temporarily off Steam. Games which are (timed) exclusive to PlayStation, Xbox/W10 and Nintendo platforms are more often than not (timed) exclusive because those platforms holders paid for the game's development costs and also are involved in publishing and marketing
  2. Epic not allowing games on the Epic Store unless the publisher ditches their Steam version is just nothing but a scumbag move.
 

Lothars

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,923
Does it? He did it for customer trust over actually making money. Sure you can be credible but that means nothing if you are broke and can't put anything out.
Well ideally he will be more successful and make more money than going exclusive.

Mostly because devs don't turn it into an advertising campaign.



I don't like this. While I do support his decision and the reason for his decision, him publicizing this is effectively -- and likely intentionally -- fanning the flames of controversy towards Epic and devs who've gone to the Epic store. And he's likely to profit off of it as a result. That's not cool. Genuinely curious whether he went into this conversation knowing this would be the result, whether he went into the conversation planning to release the emails.



Edit: To answer my own questions, Unfold Games was reached out to by Epic. He very clearly didn't pursue this. He did make it part of his AMA on Reddit, where he asked fans to ask about him rejecting Epic. He also explicitly mentions the Ooblets controversy at the same time.







i think what's not cool is you running to the defense of the epic game store. That's pretty telling.
 
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