25 votes

Metro Developer threatens to drop future PC support in response to boycott

44 comments

  1. [29]
    heady Link
    Background; some PC gamers are considering boycotting Metro Exodus due to it being available exclusively on the Epic store. PC gaming has long been considered a open platform with competing...

    Background; some PC gamers are considering boycotting Metro Exodus due to it being available exclusively on the Epic store. PC gaming has long been considered a open platform with competing stores, hardware vendors etc that have rarely used the exclusivity tactics common in the console market (big exception for operating systems).

    Metro Exodus being pulled from Steam, now only on Epic Store

    It's great that Epic is trying to compete with Steam, but they're going about it in the worst way

    20 votes
    1. [2]
      Grzmot Link Parent
      It's not only about exclusivity, Metro: Exodus preorders were being sold on Steam already, until you suddenly couldn't anymore. The announcement came in, and quite literally a few hours later the...

      It's not only about exclusivity, Metro: Exodus preorders were being sold on Steam already, until you suddenly couldn't anymore. The announcement came in, and quite literally a few hours later the preorders were disabled. On their special edition website the Steam logo was still being advertised a day later after the purchases had been disabled on Steam. Considering what a rash decision this has been, the negative reaction is justified, and the devs should go and apologize instead of angering their consumers more.

      22 votes
      1. Gaywallet Link Parent
        They should, but this happens time and time again and the typical response is the same response our president gives to bad coverage and fuckups - accusation and deflection.

        the devs should go and apologize instead of angering their consumers more.

        They should, but this happens time and time again and the typical response is the same response our president gives to bad coverage and fuckups - accusation and deflection.

        3 votes
    2. [4]
      pleure Link Parent
      Aren't most games exclusive to Steam anyway? Don't get me wrong I yearn for a world without DRM at all but it seems like people are mad it's not on the client they primarily use more than anything...

      Aren't most games exclusive to Steam anyway? Don't get me wrong I yearn for a world without DRM at all but it seems like people are mad it's not on the client they primarily use more than anything else.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Diff Link Parent
        To be fair there's a bit of a difference between "exclusive because that's all the devs care to put the effort into" and "forced exclusive because the platform paid the devs to use it when it's...

        To be fair there's a bit of a difference between "exclusive because that's all the devs care to put the effort into" and "forced exclusive because the platform paid the devs to use it when it's actually inferior in pretty much every single way."

        7 votes
        1. pleure Link Parent
          Oh is it actually contractually mandated? That's worse then I agree.

          Oh is it actually contractually mandated? That's worse then I agree.

          3 votes
      2. TheJorro Link Parent
        Steam has never enforced exclusivity deals for its platform. The closest is that Valve didn't sell their own games digitally elsewhere but they have never mandated third-party exclusivity.

        Steam has never enforced exclusivity deals for its platform. The closest is that Valve didn't sell their own games digitally elsewhere but they have never mandated third-party exclusivity.

        6 votes
    3. [22]
      papasquat Link Parent
      Am I missing something? Last I checked, steam had tens of thousands of games on it that aren't available anywhere else.

      hardware vendors etc that have rarely used the exclusivity tactics common in the console market

      Am I missing something? Last I checked, steam had tens of thousands of games on it that aren't available anywhere else.

      1. [19]
        loto Link Parent
        But not as a hardware marketing tactics (I.e. game x will only run on this prebuilt PC) - the closest is some games that run better on certain brands (I.e. Nvidia hairworks/physx stuff)

        But not as a hardware marketing tactics (I.e. game x will only run on this prebuilt PC) - the closest is some games that run better on certain brands (I.e. Nvidia hairworks/physx stuff)

        5 votes
        1. [18]
          papasquat Link Parent
          No, I mean that Steam is the only digital distribution platform that you can buy the game on. You can't buy it right from the publisher or developer, you can't buy a physical copy, and you can't...

          No, I mean that Steam is the only digital distribution platform that you can buy the game on. You can't buy it right from the publisher or developer, you can't buy a physical copy, and you can't buy it on the Epic game store or Origin or Uplay. There already is exclusivity on games on PC stores.

          3 votes
          1. [13]
            vektor Link Parent
            The important part here is that afaik, Steam doesn't coerce or bribe them into being exclusively on their platform. All of these devs could go and bring their business to any other distributor...

            The important part here is that afaik, Steam doesn't coerce or bribe them into being exclusively on their platform. All of these devs could go and bring their business to any other distributor additionally and valve wouldn't throw a fit. Epic however is "buying" the right to exclusivity.

            Basically, think of epicStore-exclusive(or whatever platform) as "only on epicStore, at the (contractual) exclusion of any other platform".

            I presume it's clear how that is a problem and anti-consumer.

            13 votes
            1. [12]
              papasquat Link Parent
              I don't think Epic has bribed or coerced anyone here either. They simply have a better cut for developers so the developer decided to go there. It's kind of strange and a puzzling decision that...

              I don't think Epic has bribed or coerced anyone here either. They simply have a better cut for developers so the developer decided to go there. It's kind of strange and a puzzling decision that the developer decided to do that a few weeks before launch, but it's not like epic threatened them or offered them a bunch of cash. Steam just got out-competed. I'm sure as the Epic games store's install base grows, more developers will start making the same decision if Valve doesn't respond somehow.

              I honestly don't really get the backlash and the intensity of it. I get that installing another game launcher on your PC is kind of a hassle if you don't already have it, but it's not like you have to buy separate hardware to play it or anything. I also don't understand why people don't get pissed off because a game is for sale on Steam but not GOG or Origin. It seems like a lot of people want steam to be the sole, one stop shop for games that doesn't have any significant other competition. That attitude is what's kept valve virtually stagnant on the platform for the past decade.

              3 votes
              1. [10]
                Diff Link Parent
                The only way Epic is competitive though is towards the publisher's wallets, and even then it's questionable. It's universally worse for consumers. The Metro series has been a shining example as...

                The only way Epic is competitive though is towards the publisher's wallets, and even then it's questionable. It's universally worse for consumers. The Metro series has been a shining example as far as Linux ports of games go. And so has Steam, especially with massive Proton improvements. It's not uncommon for Proton-powered Windows games to be running better than either the Linux native ports or the Windows native versions. That's competitive. That makes me want to rush out and throw my support all over all of that.

                And now that previously Linux-friendly series is moving to a platform that doesn't support Linux in the slightest. There's a few images that've been floating around comparing Epic vs Steam. Epic is pretty barebones. You can buy games and chat with friends, and that's it. It's universally worse for everyone in every way except the publishers get a bigger cut of a smaller audience.

                9 votes
                1. [9]
                  papasquat Link Parent
                  That's enough. Obviously, long term, the strategy of throwing tons of cash at developers won't work. I don't think there's been confirmation that Deep Silver got money for exclusivity or not, but...

                  The only way Epic is competitive though is towards the publisher's wallets

                  That's enough. Obviously, long term, the strategy of throwing tons of cash at developers won't work. I don't think there's been confirmation that Deep Silver got money for exclusivity or not, but regardless, the fact that these deals are going on forces Valve on their toes. Obviously, Epic doesn't have unlimited money. One day, Fortnite will wane in popularity, and I very much doubt they're anywhere close to breaking even on this store yet, so it's really an all out race for them right now to gobble up as many exclusives as they can. After that period, if they can't at least achieve feature parity with Steam, they're finished. I think Epic knows this so I very expect their launcher to get a ton of features, very quickly.

                  As far as Valve goes, publishers jumping ship is something they very much want to avoid. They're going to either be pushed to offering a more generous cut to those publishers, which can potentially drive the quality of the games on the store up or the prices down, or they're going to have to innovate with Steam in some other way, which is something that they've barely done in the past 15 years. Either way, this type of competition long term is a good move for consumers. Once you put the hassle of installing a new launcher into perspective (it's really not that big of a deal), the fact that Valve actually has to do something for a living now is a good thing.

                  1 vote
                  1. [8]
                    Luna Link Parent
                    What? Just because they haven't overhauled the UI every other year (which does need some work IMO) doesn't mean Valve has been sitting on their laurels. Off the top of my head, Steam has...

                    they're going to have to innovate with Steam in some other way, which is something that they've barely done in the past 15 years.

                    What? Just because they haven't overhauled the UI every other year (which does need some work IMO) doesn't mean Valve has been sitting on their laurels. Off the top of my head, Steam has no-questions-asked refunds, amazing controller support (with community keybinding layouts easily viewable and installable), beta release opt-ins for games, early access (though the quality can certainly vary widely), family sharing, updating games in the background being set on a per-game basis, and their chat has made leaps and bounds (albeit in response to Discord). And let's not forget Linux support: many games that will not run with any amount of Wine tweaks or custom patches can run flawlessly with Proton; Valve is doing the heavy lifting to enable many Windows-only titles (both in name and in compatibility with Wine/CrossOver/PlayOnLinux) to run under Linux.

                    You can only say Valve hasn't innovated when you ignore all the things they've done over the years.

                    Either way, this type of competition long term is a good move for consumers.

                    Competition is good, but Epic using their $1.25 billion in VC funding to buy exclusivity (because otherwise people wouldn't use their store) is not good. They're not even trying to compete in a fair manner, this would be like Walmart paying farmers to not sell to any other grocers. Giving publishers a larger cut is competitive, paying companies to not sell elsewhere is not.

                    6 votes
                    1. [7]
                      papasquat Link Parent
                      Yeah, but all of those innovations took place over the course of over 15 years. There have been large periods of time where the client and store have just completely stagnated. There are still...

                      Yeah, but all of those innovations took place over the course of over 15 years. There have been large periods of time where the client and store have just completely stagnated. There are still huge issues with tags, discovery, their voice chat is abysmal, memory leaks and crashes are still way too common, adding non steam games is a chore, there's no automatic detection of non steam games, their browser is crap, friend streaming is not even worth using, along with dozens of other issues.

                      Most of the actual improvements you've pointed out have only happened in the past five years as other games stores started becoming more and more viable. Their chat client only improved after discord took off and started angling to start selling games, and it's still garbage.

                      For most of Steam's life, Valve has lived a comfortable, leisurely existence regarding the product, content for it to just serve as an endless money making machine for them. Thankfully it looks like those days are coming to an end. I much prefer Valve being concerned and staying on their toes than just treating Steam as good enough.

                      1 vote
                      1. [4]
                        Diff Link Parent
                        Kind of a nitpick but I have no idea how you're even digging into them for non-Steam games not being autodetected. You expect them to keep a list of every game name and just hope that nobody...

                        Kind of a nitpick but I have no idea how you're even digging into them for non-Steam games not being autodetected. You expect them to keep a list of every game name and just hope that nobody renamed their shortcuts or that none of them share names with non-game programs or what? Being able to pick out the games (or programs) you want to add is already better than any other client can handle.

                        3 votes
                        1. [3]
                          papasquat Link Parent
                          I'm just saying, discord has that functionality and it works way better than it does in steam. 99% of the time if I'm playing a game, it knows what game it is and it will show my friends, so that...

                          I'm just saying, discord has that functionality and it works way better than it does in steam. 99% of the time if I'm playing a game, it knows what game it is and it will show my friends, so that they don't have to open up origin, uplay, steam, gog, and the blizzard launcher just to figure out if I'm playing a game. It also autodetects those executable and lets me launch from discord if I want to very easily.
                          Steam's non-steam game support isn't even close.

                          2 votes
                          1. [2]
                            Diff (edited ) Link Parent
                            Ah, fair. Totally forgot about Discord there. Although Discord only attempts to show titles, and at least in my experience gets it wrong fairly often once you stray from the big mainstream titles....

                            Ah, fair. Totally forgot about Discord there. Although Discord only attempts to show titles, and at least in my experience gets it wrong fairly often once you stray from the big mainstream titles. Since Proton became a thing, 90% of the time my girlfriend shows up playing "wine-preloader" instead of "Clicker Heroes" or whatever. Or even with native games, it'll be something like "StardewValley.x86_64." I wonder how Discord manages that though, it must have some trick beyond names since it's able to detect "wine-preloader" as anything special at all.

                            2 votes
                            1. papasquat Link Parent
                              I imagine there's a bunch of hacky workarounds they have to do with matching process names and memory locations to a set of definitions they constantly tweak, but for me at least it's always...

                              I imagine there's a bunch of hacky workarounds they have to do with matching process names and memory locations to a set of definitions they constantly tweak, but for me at least it's always worked almost flawlessly. Their overlay is also very good and I don't think I've seen it screw up on any game I've attempted using it with.

                              1 vote
                      2. [2]
                        Luna Link Parent
                        Really? Everything just seems nebulously in the past at this point, it all just sorta merges together. If Valve continues to innovate, I'll certainly be happy, though I worry that if another...

                        Most of the actual improvements you've pointed out have only happened in the past five years

                        Really? Everything just seems nebulously in the past at this point, it all just sorta merges together. If Valve continues to innovate, I'll certainly be happy, though I worry that if another Fortnite comes around we'll see another launcher/store that appeals not by being a decent piece of software but because of its paid exclusives.

                        1 vote
                        1. papasquat Link Parent
                          Yeah, for most of steam's life it was just there. They released little things like achievements, badges, trading cards, but most of the major improvements to long standing issues have only been...

                          Yeah, for most of steam's life it was just there. They released little things like achievements, badges, trading cards, but most of the major improvements to long standing issues have only been recently added.

              2. Deimos (edited ) Link Parent
                Epic absolutely pays for the exclusivity (in addition to the higher revenue cut). Here's a Satisfactory developer explaining why they decided to switch to being Epic-exclusive, I linked to the...

                Epic absolutely pays for the exclusivity (in addition to the higher revenue cut). Here's a Satisfactory developer explaining why they decided to switch to being Epic-exclusive, I linked to the time when he talks about being paid to be an exclusive: https://youtu.be/7V4UPiBOshY?t=88

                9 votes
          2. [3]
            Weldawadyathink Link Parent
            You are correct, but the difference is steam is an open (not Foss open) platform in that you can install steam on almost any computer and play your games. You cannot install the PlayStation...

            You are correct, but the difference is steam is an open (not Foss open) platform in that you can install steam on almost any computer and play your games. You cannot install the PlayStation marketplace on an Xbox or PC and play good of war and spider Man on any system.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              papasquat Link Parent
              Isn't that the case with the Epic Game launcher also though? I don't really see how the two are different in that respect.

              Isn't that the case with the Epic Game launcher also though? I don't really see how the two are different in that respect.

              1. Diff Link Parent
                Not particularly. You can load up Steam on macOS, Linux, Windows, one of the BSDs, I hear they have some sort of Linux compatibility layer that works with Steam. Epic launcher, you get Windows. If...

                Not particularly. You can load up Steam on macOS, Linux, Windows, one of the BSDs, I hear they have some sort of Linux compatibility layer that works with Steam.

                Epic launcher, you get Windows. If you don't run Windows, you're out of luck.

                When it comes to Linux support, Valve just kinda blows everyone else out of the water at the moment. Not only do they support Linux but they have worked on and funded technology to make Windows games work better on Linux with just a click.

                1 vote
          3. loto Link Parent
            Ah, gotchya - I misunderstood the original comment. That's definitely a good point. I'd argue that (at least some) of these games wouldn't have been able to be released anywhere if not steam...

            Ah, gotchya - I misunderstood the original comment. That's definitely a good point. I'd argue that (at least some) of these games wouldn't have been able to be released anywhere if not steam though (but as I type that, maybe gog's also an option? Not too well versed in how these things work) - physical distribution is a pretty huge cost, especially to smaller devs who wouldn't necessarily have the capital they need, and as I understood it uplay and origin weren't really trying to compete with steam, they were more for the company's own games (correct me if I'm wrong here) and still sold their stuff through steam (usually they launch their platform from steam though, i.e. launch farcry 3 on steam opens uplay which opens the game)

      2. [2]
        instantiatedObject Link Parent
        in addition to what the other commenter stated, steam allows developers to generate steam keys that can be sold elsewhere. this allows you to buy steam games on humble bundle, greenmangaming, etc,...

        in addition to what the other commenter stated, steam allows developers to generate steam keys that can be sold elsewhere. this allows you to buy steam games on humble bundle, greenmangaming, etc, which allows for some more competition in price.

        even better than that, valve has increased the market for linux games substantially, which has reduced the exclusivity of gaming on windows.

        2 votes
        1. Diff Link Parent
          Even more now with Proton. 2 days ago I fired up Metal Gear Solid V for the first time since I migrated fully away from Windows. A big, juicy DX11 title and it just worked by hitting "Play" in my...

          Even more now with Proton. 2 days ago I fired up Metal Gear Solid V for the first time since I migrated fully away from Windows. A big, juicy DX11 title and it just worked by hitting "Play" in my Steam client. When I migrated, DX10 support was just getting barely passable on a few basic games and demos. Crazy to think how far things have come in such a short period of time.

          2 votes
  2. [4]
    DrewDru Link
    I haven't been able to log into my Epic launcher to play Subnautica since yesterday. Their platform is obviously quite shit & that's a major reason for the reaction.

    I haven't been able to log into my Epic launcher to play Subnautica since yesterday. Their platform is obviously quite shit & that's a major reason for the reaction.

    11 votes
    1. SunSpotter Link Parent
      Kind of funny, the gall these devs have. I'd sooner buy the book and support the ACTUAL creator than buy into this anti consumer bs. I'm 100% their market too, I like post apocalyptic settings and...

      Kind of funny, the gall these devs have. I'd sooner buy the book and support the ACTUAL creator than buy into this anti consumer bs.

      I'm 100% their market too, I like post apocalyptic settings and RPGs, even played the first two games. But it's not like my life will be over if I don't play the upcoming games. And honestly I'd rather not.

      I too got submautica on epic and have had problems with it. It just don't have it in me to care about their poor decisions when there are other games to play.

      7 votes
    2. [2]
      Hypersapien Link Parent
      I don't think that's the whole reason. I think a good number of the boycotters aren't even aware of Epic's technical glitches and would be boycotting it even if there weren't any noticable bugs at...

      I don't think that's the whole reason. I think a good number of the boycotters aren't even aware of Epic's technical glitches and would be boycotting it even if there weren't any noticable bugs at all and had all the same features that Steam does.

      6 votes
      1. loto Link Parent
        Fair point, but fact is right now it just isn't as good a platform. I'm all for competition, as I think steam'll benefit as well from another major player to compete with - but forcing people over...

        Fair point, but fact is right now it just isn't as good a platform. I'm all for competition, as I think steam'll benefit as well from another major player to compete with - but forcing people over with exclusive games isn't the way to become serious competition

        2 votes
  3. [4]
    vakieh Link
    The splintering that is happening on a few fronts, with Steam-Origin-Uplay and now Epic, as well as the Netflix breakup, screams dinosaurs in charge of modern e-commerce. When are these people...

    The splintering that is happening on a few fronts, with Steam-Origin-Uplay and now Epic, as well as the Netflix breakup, screams dinosaurs in charge of modern e-commerce.

    When are these people going to work out that not even big corporate interests stand a chance against the unbelievable ease of piracy? Go with the flow or get drowned.

    7 votes
    1. Octofox Link Parent
      I think the corps have had things too good in the last ~5 years and now want to push profits even higher with tactics like this which will likely cripple all streaming/steam like services and push...

      I think the corps have had things too good in the last ~5 years and now want to push profits even higher with tactics like this which will likely cripple all streaming/steam like services and push many people back to piracy when the bullshit becomes too much to deal with.

      There are far too many rent seekers in the content distribution world you have all these companies like paypal, visa/mastercard, steam, app stores that suck the profits out of your sales and are very difficult to avoid so now everyone wants to be that middle man which just makes things a huge pain for everyone.

      11 votes
    2. [2]
      Staross Link Parent
      I think the only way to avoid this fragmentation is a law that makes it impossible. Otherwise in a competitive environment with greedy companies, they'll never agree to work together.

      I think the only way to avoid this fragmentation is a law that makes it impossible. Otherwise in a competitive environment with greedy companies, they'll never agree to work together.

      1. diode Link Parent
        Well all these platforms seem to be in industries that form natural monopolies, so eventually you'll just have one greedy company abusing their market power.

        Well all these platforms seem to be in industries that form natural monopolies, so eventually you'll just have one greedy company abusing their market power.

  4. [2]
    Hypersapien Link
    Does anyone remember the hate and bile and distrust that were aimed at Steam when it first came out?

    Does anyone remember the hate and bile and distrust that were aimed at Steam when it first came out?

    6 votes
    1. TheJorro Link Parent
      Indeed, but it was of a different nature. I remember people simply did not see the need for it. Honestly, it took Steam becoming a marketplace for the ire to retire, and people could suddenly see...

      Indeed, but it was of a different nature. I remember people simply did not see the need for it. Honestly, it took Steam becoming a marketplace for the ire to retire, and people could suddenly see the benefit to having a program like it around as a digital marketplace.

      Forced marketplace exclusivity is another ball game, and one nobody wants to play.

      3 votes
  5. [4]
    Diff Link
    This is Metro as in Metro Last Light, right? If so this is such a shame, they had a place in my heart for doing everything right in the past. Their games were some of the most peeformant Linux...

    This is Metro as in Metro Last Light, right? If so this is such a shame, they had a place in my heart for doing everything right in the past. Their games were some of the most peeformant Linux ports we had, often running better on Linux than Windows. What in the world are they doing now?

    3 votes
    1. [3]
      loto Link Parent
      It is that metro, and it is kinda sucky - so far as I know the epic launcher doesn't have a Linux port, so if it's exclusive it looks like no Linux port this time :(

      It is that metro, and it is kinda sucky - so far as I know the epic launcher doesn't have a Linux port, so if it's exclusive it looks like no Linux port this time :(

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Diff Link Parent
        Yeah, even on their Steam page (that's still up for now I guess) they only list Windows system requirements. Not even macOS. Wonder what happened to make them pull that kinda 180 after being a...

        Yeah, even on their Steam page (that's still up for now I guess) they only list Windows system requirements. Not even macOS. Wonder what happened to make them pull that kinda 180 after being a fantastic example of a cross platform dev.

        4 votes
        1. loto Link Parent
          I'd wager money, but maybe some higher-up made the decision to switch to Epic's launcher without taking into account that the launcher isn't cross platform

          I'd wager money, but maybe some higher-up made the decision to switch to Epic's launcher without taking into account that the launcher isn't cross platform

          4 votes
  6. moocow1452 Link
    My brother and I went back and forth on this yesterday, he's at the conclusion that Deep Silver is allowed to sell wherever and make exclusive deals, and it's not that big a deal if the only buy...

    My brother and I went back and forth on this yesterday, he's at the conclusion that Deep Silver is allowed to sell wherever and make exclusive deals, and it's not that big a deal if the only buy in is downloading another launcher and you can cancel your pre-order if it really rubs you the wrong way. I'd agree, but at the same time, it was kind of short sighted to do this weeks before the game release, on top of moving the cheese in the first place. And if they don't want to release for PC anymore, that's their decision, but it seems kind of counter intuitive. Maybe the press will make sales go up, maybe this was a last second decision, maybe Epic offered a deal that didn't give them any wiggle, but I think there would have been less issue if their next iteration of the game was an Epic exclusive and they just eat the Steam Fee to honor what was offered.

    2 votes