Shortly after the reveal that Borderlands 3 would release as an Epic Games Store exclusive, members of the PC gaming community began review bombing titles like Borderlands and Borderlands 2 on Steam in protest. This already solicited a response from Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford who insisted the protests only proved his point about Steam, but in a separate occurrence, it seems the CEO went a step further, fervently defending the Epic Game Store Borderlands 3 exclusivity deal in a rant on Twitter.
Unlike the tongue-in-cheek manner of his previous Borderlands 3-related response, Pitchford was clearly very serious in these tweets, tackling a wide variety of complaints and comments about both Steam and the Epic Games Store. He began by stating that these were his opinions but the Epic Games Store exclusivity deal has already been settled, with it having been the decision of 2K publishing and therefore out of his hands. Then, he tackled the idea of features in the competing platforms.
For Pitchford, the idea of longevity seems to be at play. He admitted that Steam had more features than the Epic Game Stores, but given the latter platform's near term roadmap, he would bet on more features in the coming months. This seems to be reliant on the fact that Borderlands 3 is a huge title and Epic will benefit from this partnership because of how huge Borderlands 3 is (and put more into the store as a result). And the Epic Games Store not living up to his expectation is a risk that Pitchford is willing to take.
He is hedging this bet on the idea that Steam will look like a "dying store" in the coming years, and that the market leader may not be the Epic Game Store but it is less likely to be Steam. Competition, Pitchford notes, is going to be the best for the PC community, as Steam did not have any real competition (while taking an "absurd cut" of the profits) prior to the Epic Game Store.
Pitchford would go on to mention that this competition will force Steam to give up, lose, or adapt to the competition and "because Valve is pretty damn good with some awesome talent, [he does] not expect them to give up or to lose. They'll fight for it. And they'll hang on. There's even a chance they'll come out on top." He also talks about Epic's initiative in the gaming world and how, while there will be setbacks, it is a historical moment because Borderlands 3 was there to see the PC gaming world become unmonopolized.
Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) wrote a great tweetstorm on the Epic Games store and Borderlands, which Redditor u/Slawrfp assembled below. Sort comments by "controversial" to see both points of view.https://t.co/5pn5Scyf8n— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 13, 2019
In the end, Pitchford says some will not be happy about this and he expects to catch flak for years, but he stands by the decision. He ends on the note that, on September 13, tons of people will be playing Borderlands 3 on whatever platform of their choosing, and that's a good thing.
Borderlands 3 is currently scheduled to release on September 13, 2019, for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.