Satisfactory was announced on Steam and had Steam store page for months. Then suddenly few days ago store page was removed. And today it was announced as Epic Store game. That is how competition looks like to Epic.
It seems like Epic money-hatted it away to be a full exclusive, or at the very least a timed exclusive. Whilst it is entirely possible that the developers decided the 88/12 split was better than a concurrent Steam/Epic store release, it raises questions about how "competition" will work in this. On another thread, I posted this:
Competing on games is not competing. It requires the consumer to make a choice, but making a choice is not equal to choice itself.
Example: Sony and MS are are competitors, but they're not competing,. There is no game on the XBone I want. I love Bloodborne. So, to me, they aren't competing, I've just made a choice to buy a PS4, because it has Bloodborne. But if Bloodborne were on the XBone, I would have to make a choice about which system to get, based on controller preference, UI/UX, 4K BR support, Backwards Compatibilty, etc.
But, since Bloodborne isn't on the XBone, I'm forced to buy a PS4, regardless of if I want anything else related to it.
Now apply that to Epic/BNet/MSStore/Origin. See how they're not really competing with Valve, they're just vying for the consumer's wallet.
I have absolutely no problem with a competing store, but I do have a problem with dragging in console-style tactics to the wider PC market. I fear that a diverse range of third-party games being exclusive to this store or that store will harm discoverability - as customers won't be able to find certain titles without a tremendous amount of effort - confuse customers - for the same reason - and ultimately hurt developers and publishers. Exclusives just about work on console because of the limited selection of competitors - Sony, MS, Nintendo - but on PC, there is now:
A fragmentation which I feel will just confuse the customer, and incline them to just hedge towards one store more than the other even more than they are now. Few people are truly "Steam or bust", but having a dizzying array of stores/client with a number of titles being unavailable on their competitors is, I feel, going to push people into choosing a favourite and shrugging their shoulders at the titles they know they're going to miss.
Finally, a simple question: If a game that had until two days ago been set for release on XBone and PS4 was suddenly moneyhatted by one or the other for some unknown amount of time, would it be okay?
It's pretty offputting and makes me not want to use their platform. I'm pretty understanding of publisher's making their own games exclusive like on Origin and Blizzard but Epic moneyhatting all these indie devs to not use other launchers and/or cancel their games on them is not what I expected to see on PC.
I'm entitled because I want to buy my games on the store that actually thinks about me? The store that has often pushed for fair regional pricing so I don't have to pay crazy amounts of cash for games?