Has Fortnite sounded the death knell for Valve? Yesterday publisher Deep Silver made the decision to pull Metro Exodus from Steam, giving exclusivity in its entirety to the Epic Games Store instead. The AAA title has been available on the Epic Store for some time, and came packing an additional 16% saving to entice customers over to the new platform. However it was still available for purchase on Steam, albeit for roughly $10/£10 more, at least until yesterday.
Valve came out earlier today, with a statement (that you can find on the Metro Exodus store page), stating that the decision to pull the game from Steam was “unfair to Steam customers”. The game will of course still be accessible to those that pre-ordered it on Valve’s platform come the 15th of February, however it won’t return for sale on Steam until February 2020, a year later.
Despite the decision, THQ Nordic, parent company to Koch Media, which owns both Deep Silver and the Metro Exodus IP, has stated that this has nothing to do with them, and that Koch Media is in fact a “sister company”, and therefore they “can and will not comment on this matter”. You can read the full statement reported by Tweaktown here.
So why the decision? Well it all comes down to revenue cuts. In short (and no doubt in part to the gargantuan success of Fortnite), the Epic Store only takes a 12% revenue cut from any and all purchases, versus Valve’s 30% (or 25% if the game makes over $10/£7.64 million in revenue). On top of that Epic will also cover the cost of utilizing the Unreal Engine 4 as well, making the platform far more attractive to indie developers and clearly AAA publishers alike. Is this the beginning of the end for Valve? Or the start of a much needed battle royale in the industry? Only time, will tell.