It seems like Epic Games is ready to wage war on Steam, or at the very least introduce some competition into what has been a mostly monopolized PC gaming market. Epic has been aggressively wooing developers and publishers alike with exclusivity deals thanks to the platform's superior revenue split that allows companies to charge less for their games and still make more money, like with Metro Exodus. However, it appears that some developers aren't given much notice before their games are declared exclusive.
An image has surfaced on the Metro Exodus subreddit that shows an "activate on Epic" sticker placed over the Steam logo, confirming suspicions that developer Deep Silver hadn't been given much notice about its game being an Epic launcher exclusive, a move that had been decided by Koch Media.
This means that by the time the boxed copies of the PC version were being manufactured, the exclusivity deal likely hadn't been finalized. This news probably won't come as a surprise to many fans, as the announcement of timed Epic exclusivity came just a few short weeks before the game actually launched, at which point games are usually in full printed production.
There's been a vocal minority of fans upset by Metro Exodus' timed exclusivity agreement, decrying the move away from the more fully-featured platform, Steam, and leading to the prior entries being review-bombed. However, it does make sense for Deep Silver and publisher Koch Media from a business standpoint. The revenue split works out well for the developers, Epic, and gamers themselves. Epic attracts more users for their growing platform, the developers make more money, and gamers pay less. The fact that it requires an additional launcher is a bit inconvenient, but arguably worth the money saved.
So far, critical reception to Metro Exodus has been pretty positive. In our review of the game, we praised the well-paced story, despite some bland characters. It's hard to say how much of an effect the move to Epic will have on the game's sales, but there's a decent chance that the better revenue split will help offset the cost of any fans that skip the game due to the launcher it's on.
Metro Exodus is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One