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Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:41 pm

I don't usually post in the forums much, but now I am pissed. Phoenix Point (from X-COM creator Julian Gollop) suddenly goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG. I'm not going to debate the Epic Store's merits or demerits here, but basically... you don't do this. Good thing they have a refund option, they're going to need it, and I'm using it as we speak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmjFZMEoEZ0
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:57 pm

Methinks Epic is feeling the pressure of Fortnite is not doing so hot in recent weeks in light of new competition in the battle royale circle. They pretty much abandoned UT4 and hardly any studios are picking up UE4 and onward.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:59 pm

Suck it Ice Lake!!


Oh wait, wrong spelling of Epyc.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:21 pm

So I preordered Phoenix Point, but I'm not familiar with the Epic game store. Can someone please explain to me what this means?

I mean, I know that the Epic game store is similar to Steam and GoG. But I don't know anything else about it. So can someone please explain to me why this is so bad? Thanks.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:24 pm

"Bad" as all things is relative.

To simplify, Epic's Store gives developers an 88% cut (good for developers) but barely has any features that we're accustomed to with Steam -- forums, achievements, client chat, etc. The bigger thing here is that Epic is apparently buying exclusivity. In this specific instance, I crowd-funded the game with the expectation that I would get a key for the service I use most (Steam), and now "the deal has been altered, pray [they] do not alter it further."
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:26 pm

mikewinddale wrote:
So I preordered Phoenix Point, but I'm not familiar with the Epic game store. Can someone please explain to me what this means?


You basically buy the game on Steam. So you already have Steam. You're cool with Steam.

(Epic Game store is another application, essentially just like Steam[but in only in the sense of download/update---nothing else], that has a different [much smaller] set of games on it. Some are exclusive, or timed exclusive [like this one, now]).

mikewinddale wrote:
I mean, I know that the Epic game store is similar to Steam and GoG. But I don't know anything else about it. So can someone please explain to me why this is so bad? Thanks.


You paid for the game on Steam, but now you have to get a different "launcher" (I'm up to *FIVE* now, thanks industry!) that you've never used before and maybe don't want to use.


Why should I do that? I bought it for Steam. I was going to play it via Steam.

Why do I have to download another distribution platform, with different authentications etc..., just to play the game I *BOUGHT* on a different platform. (oh, because Epic paid them... wait, didn't I pay them to USE IT ON STEAM?!?)


Boo!!
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:33 pm

mikewinddale wrote:
So I preordered Phoenix Point, but I'm not familiar with the Epic game store. Can someone please explain to me what this means?

I mean, I know that the Epic game store is similar to Steam and GoG. But I don't know anything else about it. So can someone please explain to me why this is so bad? Thanks.

Most people who object to using "game stores that are not Steam" do so for a few reasons, combined. The biggest reason for a lot of folks, and probably the most practical one, is simply one of convenience; it's really convenient to have all your games in one place. Steam also has the second-best refund policy (after Origin), functional-if-slow support staff, and generally the application and the store are very reliable.

There are other objections to using other storefronts, though. For me, the biggest one is that the Epic store simply isn't feature-complete, and I'm not even talking about in comparison to the Steam client; just the storefront. There's no reviews, and even just finding information about the game is more difficult than it is on Steam. There are also no game-specific discussion boards as there are on Steam, so you'll have to go somewhere else to discuss the game or engage with the developer.

While this isn't a major point of concern for me personally, I feel like I would be remiss (as some people feel very strongly about it) if I didn't mention that Chinese firm Tencent has a significant stake in Epic Games. I'll leave judgement of any implications of that to you. Note however that Tim Sweeney (founder of Epic [Mega]Games) still has a controlling interest in the company contrary to what you might have read or heard elsewhere. Note also that Tencent adamantly denies that it has any relationship beyond the necessary with the PRC government.

Josh just wrote an article for the site talking about the various game stores that would be a good read for someone like you.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:23 pm

Thanks everyone!
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:34 pm

Lack of dev-manipulated forums and rage filled user reviews sounds like a feature, not a shortcoming.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:44 pm

Oh and don't forget the best part of the Epic store, NO REFUNDS.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:07 pm

Oh goddammit. I guess I'm trying to get my money back. This is really starting to piss me off.

EDIT: The refund link if anyone needs it: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIp ... A/viewform
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:41 pm

Good to know. My preorder was contingent on there being a DRM free option, so if that's going away so too is my preorder. Though I'll give Gollop and co. a chance to 'splain themselves first, at least.

edit: So apparently the Epic version can run without the launcher, may be portable, and I'd get a GOG key after a year (unless/until Epic bribes them again). Eh...this arrangement is going to be complicated and I'll sleep on it, but I really don't like where it's going.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:36 am

NovusBogus wrote:
...I'd get a GOG key after a year...

Wow, not only did they sell to the highest bidder, they know it. That would leave a really bad taste in my mouth.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:15 am

NTMBK wrote:
Lack of dev-manipulated forums and rage filled user reviews sounds like a feature, not a shortcoming.

I definitely don't mind not having some of the extra fluff Steam adds and definitely don't want some of it, so Epic exclusivity is a plus to me. If they can avoid all the traps Steams fallen into as they grow that'll be nice.

Right now people are just mad because it's not Steam, not because they actually need the features it's missing.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:15 am

LostCat wrote:
NTMBK wrote:
Lack of dev-manipulated forums and rage filled user reviews sounds like a feature, not a shortcoming.

I definitely don't mind not having some of the extra fluff Steam adds and definitely don't want some of it, so Epic exclusivity is a plus to me. If they can avoid all the traps Steams fallen into as they grow that'll be nice.

Right now people are just mad because it's not Steam, not because they actually need the features it's missing.

I don't think it's unreasonable to be upset that it's being pulled from the platform they literally spent their money on.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:09 am

Bait and switch. You're right to be pissed and boycott them.

You can't promise A to get funding and then deliver B once you have the money - that's breach of contract, even if in the case of crowdfunding it's only an implied contract.

I don't understand the need to tie yourself to a store and give the store owner a cut of your profits. Sure, it gives you exposure but only if the store is huge and successful (GoG + Steam, basically). Companies like GGG (Path of Exile) and Frontier (Jurassic World, Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster) have their own game client and content/patch servers as well as Steam access. What's wrong with that?
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:24 am

morphine wrote:
I don't usually post in the forums much, but now I am pissed. Phoenix Point (from X-COM creator Julian Gollop) suddenly goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG. I'm not going to debate the Epic Store's merits or demerits here, but basically... you don't do this. Good thing they have a refund option, they're going to need it, and I'm using it as we speak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmjFZMEoEZ0


Is this a big deal to you because there will not be DRM free version available on GOG-which I can see why you might be upset. Or, is it a big deal that is just changing digital stores--that doesn't seem like a very big deal to me. You can't blame the guy for taking a better deal on his work--we would all do the same if we were in his position.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:36 am

cjcerny wrote:
Is this a big deal to you because there will not be DRM free version available on GOG-which I can see why you might be upset. Or, is it a big deal that is just changing digital stores--that doesn't seem like a very big deal to me. You can't blame the guy for taking a better deal on his work--we would all do the same if we were in his position.

It's a big deal for me because:

a) I backed the game with the expectation that I'd get a key for the service that I use the most and has the most features, Steam. I don't use the Epic Store for anything at all yet. The game was entirely funded by people expecting Steam or GOG keys -- without them, there would be no game.

b) In a similar recent situation with another game, IIRC with Metro Exodus, Steam preorders will still be honored even though the game will be otherwise moving to Epic. There's no such option here. It's Epic or nothing, and the game will be *exclusively* there for one year. That really rubs it in.

c) It's bait-and-switch as far as I'm concerned. Promise A, backers think that A is a very nice thing, then all of a sudden "forget A, we're gonna ship B instead." It feels doubly sour (to me anyway) because, again, without us Steam/GOG backers, there wouldn't be a game, nor an opportunity to move to Epic. Doesn't feel nice to know that I funded the studio's ability to change the deal on me.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:53 am

I can see adding Epic as a storefront (and even selling for less, if that's what Epic wants to pay them to do), but I agree that pulling the game from Steam and GoG is a bad move. People had expectations of getting a DRM-free copy and now that's not going to happen.

Guess it's just another strike against crowdfunding and not buying games until they're released. We've all either learned those hard mistakes ourselves or known someone who has.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:59 am

To be fair, this is the first time that crowdfunded games have gone "wrong" for me. Having said that, I only tend to pick games whose makers have a proven track record. In this specific instance, even that didn't help :)
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:13 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
People had expectations of getting a DRM-free copy and now that's not going to happen.

Exactly. Well, not for a whole year (they're honoring the Steam/GOG keys 1 year after launch on Epic).

The point is of principle for me. I'm not funding bait and switch tactics like this. I'm certainly not going to fund anything that lets Epic continue this **** tactic.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:19 am

I'm not really going to place blame on Epic. It's a business, and it's free to cut a standard-issue deal with any studio it chooses. This deal may fly into the face of a presumed positive attitude toward gamer freedom, but hey.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:30 am

morphine wrote:
I'm not really going to place blame on Epic. It's a business, and it's free to cut a standard-issue deal with any studio it chooses. This deal may fly into the face of a presumed positive attitude toward gamer freedom, but hey.

I blame them for the tactic. They can claim to be "for gamers" all they want, but cutting deals like this close to launch of multiple games and changing the terms of the product is not going to fly with me.

Maybe I'm fickle. Perhaps I'm getting old and cranky.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:32 am

IMO ultimately it's on the publisher whether to accept the deal or not. It's not like Epic put a gun to Gollop's head.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:38 am

RAGEPRO wrote:
mikewinddale wrote:
So I preordered Phoenix Point, but I'm not familiar with the Epic game store. Can someone please explain to me what this means?

I mean, I know that the Epic game store is similar to Steam and GoG. But I don't know anything else about it. So can someone please explain to me why this is so bad? Thanks.

Most people who object to using "game stores that are not Steam" do so for a few reasons, combined. The biggest reason for a lot of folks, and probably the most practical one, is simply one of convenience; it's really convenient to have all your games in one place. Steam also has the second-best refund policy (after Origin), functional-if-slow support staff, and generally the application and the store are very reliable.

There are other objections to using other storefronts, though. For me, the biggest one is that the Epic store simply isn't feature-complete, and I'm not even talking about in comparison to the Steam client; just the storefront. There's no reviews, and even just finding information about the game is more difficult than it is on Steam. There are also no game-specific discussion boards as there are on Steam, so you'll have to go somewhere else to discuss the game or engage with the developer.


My objection to EGS is that they are buying up exclusivity deals to build up marketshare.

Exclusivity deals are harmful for competition, because users end up with fewer options, not more.

I already have EGS, but have stopped buying anything from them because I think their actions are harmful to the industry. If they had simply made themselves available as an alternative to Steam and allowed publishers and developers to sell their games on their store in addition to any other store their existing customers are on, I would have had no problem with them.

Now I'm no Steam fanboy, Valve needs a shot in the arm to wake up and start working for their money for a change. But EGS is not an improvement, and they sure as hell aren't the lesser of two evils here.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:50 am

NTMBK wrote:
Lack of dev-manipulated forums and rage filled user reviews sounds like a feature, not a shortcoming.

You're... not ... serious, are you?
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:13 pm

morphine wrote:
IMO ultimately it's on the publisher whether to accept the deal or not. It's not like Epic put a gun to Gollop's head.

Oh, I lay blame on both sides. Epic for offering the deals, publishers for taking them. I'll give neither my money.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:51 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
RAGEPRO wrote:
mikewinddale wrote:
So I preordered Phoenix Point, but I'm not familiar with the Epic game store. Can someone please explain to me what this means?

I mean, I know that the Epic game store is similar to Steam and GoG. But I don't know anything else about it. So can someone please explain to me why this is so bad? Thanks.

Most people who object to using "game stores that are not Steam" do so for a few reasons, combined. The biggest reason for a lot of folks, and probably the most practical one, is simply one of convenience; it's really convenient to have all your games in one place. Steam also has the second-best refund policy (after Origin), functional-if-slow support staff, and generally the application and the store are very reliable.

There are other objections to using other storefronts, though. For me, the biggest one is that the Epic store simply isn't feature-complete, and I'm not even talking about in comparison to the Steam client; just the storefront. There's no reviews, and even just finding information about the game is more difficult than it is on Steam. There are also no game-specific discussion boards as there are on Steam, so you'll have to go somewhere else to discuss the game or engage with the developer.


My objection to EGS is that they are buying up exclusivity deals to build up marketshare.

Exclusivity deals are harmful for competition, because users end up with fewer options, not more.

I already have EGS, but have stopped buying anything from them because I think their actions are harmful to the industry. If they had simply made themselves available as an alternative to Steam and allowed publishers and developers to sell their games on their store in addition to any other store their existing customers are on, I would have had no problem with them.

Now I'm no Steam fanboy, Valve needs a shot in the arm to wake up and start working for their money for a change. But EGS is not an improvement, and they sure as hell aren't the lesser of two evils here.


I guess I'd make the counter point that they won't really ever get a shot at being a competitor with Steam until they have a reason for people to make the leap. EVEN if they provided literally everything Steam already does, there's still no incentive to use it. It's not necessarily bad to snag a few exclusive titles. It's only bad if they had primarily exclusive titles, right? So if they continued to provide a substandard product and only floated on exclusivity, that's bad.

I think people are right that Epic is probably painfully aware that fortnite is a very limited cash cow. I don't think they were even remotely expecting this kind of windfall, so they know they have to seize the moment and elbow in hard and fast, then try to improve as they go. Steam was in a similar situation, they just didn't have any competition.

I wish they would have been a bit more of a good guy about it though, and cleaned up their storefront and added some basic functionality BEFORE all the shenanigans. That would have gone a long way for PR. That being said, people have always been salty about using another platform, and it's understandable. Epic has to fight multiple uphill battles with this storefront, which likely means using some ugly tactics.

If Epic is still pulling this crap when EGS has a solid foothold, then I think it's time to get your pitchforks. I don't know how this will pan out in the long run. Designing a game thats integrated with steam and EGS isn't simple. You can make a game thats compatible with the two, but not one that will take advantage of achievements and the steam marketplace, then turn around and work with any future EGS marketplace. Steam provides an awful lot (VOIP, Achievements, cloud saving, cloud screenshot sharing, marketplace, friends integration etc) that EGS has *no* chance of replacing in the next year or so. However, if EGS can get a few of those in place, specifically a better VOIP and marketplace, I think they can naturally draw more folks. A lot of the games we play have homebaked or crappy VOIP solutions (or none at all!) in an age where it's basically second nature to hop on discord.
 
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:32 pm

shaq_mobile wrote:
I wish they would have been a bit more of a good guy about it though, and cleaned up their storefront and added some basic functionality BEFORE all the shenanigans. That would have gone a long way for PR. That being said, people have always been salty about using another platform, and it's understandable. Epic has to fight multiple uphill battles with this storefront, which likely means using some ugly tactics.

If Epic is still pulling this crap when EGS has a solid foothold, then I think it's time to get your pitchforks. I don't know how this will pan out in the long run.


Here's the thing: typically, digital startups start out idealistic, then turn into evil money grubbers over time. Or they start out evil money grubbers and progressively grow more evil as they get bigger.

I am unaware of any digital startup starting out as evil money grubbers then morphing into good guys once they get established.
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Re: Phoenix Point goes Epic-exclusive after Fig crowdfunding based on Steam/GOG

Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:35 pm

Regarding the original point of the post, frankly this is why I don't contribute to kick starters of any kind. "Buy something now, and maybe one day we'll finish it and maybe it will be what you thought it would be. Maybe. Possibly. Ok, almost definitely not, but giving us money gives you the right to hope in the meantime."

The poster child for this is Star Citizen, which has to be approaching HL3 and Duke Nukem 4Evah levels of delay.
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