Division 2 Not Coming to Steam, Exclusive to Epic Store (and Uplay of Course)

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#1 Posted by deckard (302 posts) -

https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2019-01-09-ubisoft-forgoes-steam-in-favour-of-the-epic-games-store-for-the-division-2

I don't know how I feel about this. On one hand I'm glad Steam seems to have true competition. On the other hand, the cynical side of me thinks Ubisoft is doing this not only to earn more money, but to avoid refunds and review bombs. The Division 2 is probably my most anticipated game of the year (one with a concrete release date, anyway) so this is going to be weird.

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#2 Posted by cmblasko (2883 posts) -

Anything that pressures Steam into giving more money to developers is fine with me. Healthy competition.

And really, "review bombing" is not a thing that should exist in the first place. So getting to avoid dealing with that nonsense is just a bonus.

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#3 Posted by Pudge (1249 posts) -

I'm all for it. Steam desperately needs the competition and Epic is pushing things in the right direction.

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#4 Posted by nnickers (465 posts) -

I've been thinking that I'm all for the Epic Store as they seem more developer-friendly, but I hadn't dug deep enough to realize that it doesn't have refunds. That a huge disappointment.

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#5 Edited by mellotronrules (2497 posts) -

this is a complicated one.

on the one side- it's good someone is lighting a fire under valve, because it might make a more favourable deal and shift more money in the direction of devs (which you would similarly hope would then get put back into games). however- the reality is there are so many layers of AAA business and people to be paid between me clicking 'buy' and a fund transfer to the devs- so much so that i'm not super confident a better split equals instantly better-quality-of-life for devs in the trenches and/or more value or quality in games.

and frankly i don't think there's much of anything in this for the consumer (aside from the satisfaction that maybe your money is going more directly to the devs- probably the smaller the game the likelier this is). the exclusivity really only exists to drive the herd to the platform. it's not like epic's store has a feature set that provides value to the consumer above and beyond valve's. and i might be mistaken, but i can't recall a time where valve pushed for exclusives on steam (aside from their in-house games, cuz duh). i think devs have mostly been free to sell on whatever digital PC storefront they please, which in turn means the consumer could buy on whatever digital PC storefront they want. the fact that a game will only be available from one storefront removes some choice.

tl;dr- this modestly appeals to my 'patron of the art' side (under the most optimistic of readings)- but as a consumer i'm not sure how this provides value to me personally. it being a AAA game has lot to do with this.

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#6 Posted by ConfusedOwl (1207 posts) -

I'm not touching the Epic Store so if I do get The Division 2 down the line it will probably be on Uplay (Which is probably the end goal of this move anyway).

@nnickers said:

I've been thinking that I'm all for the Epic Store as they seem more developer-friendly, but I hadn't dug deep enough to realize that it doesn't have refunds. That a huge disappointment.

That's not the only feature it's lacking. Their launcher is as bare bones as they come. Locking up exclusives is the only way they can get people to bother with it.

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#7 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4038 posts) -

When i think about healthy competition, i think about customers having the choice between multiple services and choosing for the one that satisfies the desires of the customer the best. This is not that. Maybe eventually Epic will end up having a better store, but i'm not really into the way they start things out so far. The ability to throw fortnite money around doesn't automatically translate into the ability to create a fantastic platform.

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#8 Posted by deckard (302 posts) -
@nnickers said:

I've been thinking that I'm all for the Epic Store as they seem more developer-friendly, but I hadn't dug deep enough to realize that it doesn't have refunds. That a huge disappointment.

They do have refunds, it's just 10x harder. I tried to get a refund on Ashen because after playing it for 10 minutes I realized it wasn't my thing. You have to email Epic, then after they reply you have to send them your profile information, IP address, why you want a refund, etc. etc. It's really a hassle.

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#9 Edited by soulcake (2512 posts) -

Uplay it is then, i still think the epic store is subpar, when it comes to UI & searching in general.

man all these launchers, GOG, Steam, Bethesda, Origin, Uplay, Epic, Who's next?

Online
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#10 Posted by OMGFather (1000 posts) -
@soulcake said:

man all these launchers, GOG, Steam, Bethesda, Origin, Uplay, Epic, Who's next?

Rockstar's Social Club probably. Can totally see Red Dead Redemption 2 being exclusive to that.

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#11 Posted by Big_Denim (802 posts) -

@deckard: The ip address part is just mind boggling to me. Why on earth do they need/want that?

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#12 Posted by bmccann42 (367 posts) -

Any advanced word on The Division 2? It's been extremely quiet around that game...

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#13 Posted by Forrester90 (968 posts) -

I'm cool with it, just about anything to put some pressure on Steam sounds good to me.

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#14 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3740 posts) -

That's not the only feature it's lacking. Their launcher is as bare bones as they come. Locking up exclusives is the only way they can get people to bother with it.

Giving away free games helps them too, but you're right, their launcher is incredibly bad. Their store pages are awful. For example, go onto any page and tell me if the game is multiplayer or singleplayer. At least Steam has a bunch of common symbols on every store page to say what the features of the game are (keyboard/mouse, controller support, single player, multiplayer etc etc). There's no standardization of the Epic store pages. Go look at the difference between the Fortnite one (incredibly long advert for their own game) and anything else.

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#15 Edited by Fezrock (688 posts) -

Anything to force Steam to improve itself; especially its browsing functions, which are an absolute mess.

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#16 Posted by burncoat (537 posts) -

Their store might be bad right now, but Epic's developer friendly practices will guarantee more developers want to be on Epic over Steam. Two things will happen if more and more developers choose Epic:

  • Epic focuses on making the store more user friendly and easy to use.
  • Steam starts giving developers more support and reduces their cut

I highly doubt Steam will just start willingly giving up more potential money any time soon. Epic's storefront getting better is way more likely.

This is probably Epic's biggest get right now?

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#17 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2923 posts) -

Nothing of value was lost

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#18 Posted by Humanity (18404 posts) -

You know things must be bad if people are actually willing to get anything on UPLAY as an actual alternative. Personally I never really had that many issues with Uplay as far as just installing and launching games, but for years now it has been Steam or bust with most folk.

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#19 Posted by ShaggE (9158 posts) -

I just want a launcher consolidator in which you sign in once to all of your launchers, then get a combined launcher that lists everything and is all ready to go without further nonsense. I know a million things will keep that from ever existing, but as someone who always forgets that I even have games on Uplay or Origin or whatever (I know I can mark them on Steam, but I still have to deal with launcher BS then), I'd love something like that.

The competition is good, given what Steam has become, but as an end user I can't help being a little annoyed.

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#20 Posted by ConfusedOwl (1207 posts) -

@humanity said:

You know things must be bad if people are actually willing to get anything on UPLAY as an actual alternative. Personally I never really had that many issues with Uplay as far as just installing and launching games, but for years now it has been Steam or bust with most folk.

The thing with Uplay is that Ubisoft at least attempts to have a good user experience. I can't say the same for Epic launcher. It appeals to developers and publishers and no one else and many people are rightfully not on board for that. I totally was a Steam or bust kinda person but that just isn't realistic anymore. I wouldn't even be opposed to giving Epic a chance if they were more consumer friendly.

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#21 Posted by Humanity (18404 posts) -

@confusedowl: To be fair, it took Uplay a long time before their launcher became O-K. I mean they all do the basic function of installing and launching your game fine, but it took Uplay a while before it felt half decent to use it.

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#22 Posted by ConfusedOwl (1207 posts) -

@shagge: I believe Discord has a feature like that. I haven't used it personally so I can't speak for its quality.

@humanity: I actually avoided using Uplay for a long time for that very reason. I only bought Ubisoft games on consoles up until recently. I just think Epic needs to do a lot more out of the gate to be a true competitor to Steam. I won't use a launcher in the hopes it might get better in the future. It's perfectly okay if someone doesn't mind what Epic offers right now and uses it but it isn't swaying me and a lot of other people right now. I am open to having my mind changed if they do improve the launcher, but I am starting to reach launcher saturation so they should probably get on it soon :P.

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#23 Edited by NTM (11505 posts) -

It's definitely weird to see. It doesn't really affect me since I'll be getting it on the One X, but still. Every company is going to start doing their own thing. Valve better start making Half-Life 3 because Steam isn't going to be making them much money in the future. Ha, just kidding.

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#25 Edited by cmblasko (2883 posts) -

FWIW seems like Epic store refund policy is better now:

Also, if you have an idea for an application that helps bind together the usability of these various launchers into something cohesive, now is the time to start working on that. Discord has communication down, but there is absolutely room for an application that collects a list of your games from all of these launchers and allows you to launch them is a streamlined, graceful manner.

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#26 Edited by FarleysLundgren (136 posts) -

It’s interesting seeing the difference in response to the Epic Store exclusivity deals on here and compared to other forums like ResetEra for example. Here people generally seem fine with it and think it’s a good thing for competition while on Era I see a ton of people up in arms about it, saying it’s anti-consumer.

I totally understand what Epic is doing and it’s pretty much the only thing you can do if you want to seriously compete with Steam. Even if the Epic Store had all the consumer friendly features of Steam, that is still not guaranteed to bring people to your platform when an already established one like Steam exists. You pretty much have to make these exclusive deals in order to have people migrate to your store or use it at all.

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#27 Posted by cikame (2611 posts) -

Everybody wins, Ubi gets money, Epic gets what i assume is a temporary exclusive, then it eventually comes to Steam anyway which is where i'll be waiting.

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#28 Posted by the_devoid (70 posts) -

@farleyslundgren: The internet loves overreacting about things. I'm of the opinion of while there might be growing pains in the long run this will benefit both developers and gamers. Having Steam as a near monopoly isn't the healthiest thing for pc gaming.

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#29 Posted by Humanity (18404 posts) -

@farleyslundgren: The internet loves overreacting about things. I'm of the opinion of while there might be growing pains in the long run this will benefit both developers and gamers. Having Steam as a near monopoly isn't the healthiest thing for pc gaming.

I got to play What Remains of Edith Finch (which was really wonderful, the Jeff Bakalar praise is on-point) for free thanks to Epic promoting their storefront so I'm already benefiting from it.

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#30 Posted by OurSin_360 (6094 posts) -

Buying ubisoft games off steam always seemed silly to me since you need uplay anyway, feel the same about this new epic store.

I don't think anything will knock steam off any time soon, manly because there isnt really a need for these separate stores. They only serve to make the companies more money, as consumers we see no real benefit and more burden by having nore programs to run in the background.

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#31 Posted by Undeadpool (6805 posts) -

Steam is operating like if Trader Joe's allowed anyone to come in off the street and sell rancid ground beef under the banner of "free market choices."

They've been coasting on this illusion that the community will police itself and that the best and brightest will float to the surface, essentially the same way Youtube has been because they can't be bothered to actually introduce a gate to block unmitigated trash. Because that would cost money and cost them sales. SO, I see more upsides than down of them getting some real competition.

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