Deep Silver dumps Steam, makes an exclusive Metro Exodus launch deal with Epic instead, starts controversy

Valve must be getting a little fidgety. Steam, once the automatic go-to option when it comes to digital distribution of PC games, has started taking losses at the hands of a new kid on the block, and it’s probably only going to escalate from here on. Just the other day, Ubisoft surprised many by announcing that The Division 2 would be launched via the Epic Games Store, and now we have news that the eagerly awaited Metro Exodus is going the same route, kicking Steam to the curb.

Let’s get the facts out of the way first. Okay, so publisher Deep Silver has gone with Epic Games to get Metro Exodus into the hands of PC gamers, as opposed to current market leader Steam, even though Valve’s platform had already been offering the post-apocalyptic shooter for pre-order for some time now. Predictably, Valve has declared this decision “unfair” in an update on the game’s product page, although previous pre-orders will be filled.

But now we have to start looking at the other underlying stories at play here.

First of all, Epic Game Store is a weak name. They need to fix that. Secondly, was anyone else surprised that a one-trick pony like Epic was suddenly trying to hustle for power in the space where Steam is the only player of any worth? “Epic Games, but they’re the Fortnite people, aren’t they?” we exclaimed. “What the hell are they doing taking on Valve?”

But Valve was just them who made Half-Life, weren’t they. And now Steam is like the Amazon of PC game distribution. There are kids out there who don’t even know what a Gordon Freeman is, but they have a Steam account. And now the once-infallible Steam faces proper competition for the first time, and it’s come out of nowhere.

Of course it all comes down to cash money, and Epic is asking for a smaller part of the pie than Valve is trying to slice. So we’re stuck at a juncture where Valve will be hoping to keep ties strong with sheer historical loyalty alone, in the face of a rival who is cutting costs hard and fast. The bottom line, though, and the only part that is of any real relevance to the man on the street is that if you’re keen to play Metro Exodus – and you should be, because it’s shaping up the be quite fantastic – you’ll have to move over to Epic Games to get hold of it on PC.

And so, here we are… a “console war” for the “master race”.

Metro Exodus is out on 15 February in Xbox One, PS4, and EPIC GAMES STORE ON PC. Yeah, Steam, how’d you like the sound of that? Stings, huh?

StarCraft II DeepMind
DeepMind’s AlphaStar AI requires more worthy opponents if it’s to truly dominate humanity