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Epic Claims They Will Stop Pursuing Exclusives If Steam Gives Developers A Bigger Cut

The CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney, has given Steam an ultimatum. If Valve offers the same compensation that Epic does for their titles, then they will stop signing exclusivity deals that keep games off of Steam.


"If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam," Sweeney wrote. "Such a move would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming, and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come."

Epic Store Pays Better

Recently, many developers have been leaving Steam and signing exclusivity deals with Epic Games. One of the first games to make this move was the hit indie game, Ashen, which was then followed by AAA titles Metro Exodus and Borderlands 3. Ubisoft has almost completely left Steam and entered into a partnership with the Epic Games Store, moving its major PC releases to the platform starting with The Division 2.

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Chart and data source (Dec. 2018): https://bit.ly/2Gu2oKw

Fans have certainly shown their discontent for this practice, particularly when games are moved from one store to another during the pre-order phase. Many have taken to various social media platforms to show their discontent while others have taken to "review bombing" games that have previous titles in the series such as Metro: Last Light and Metro 2033.


The brutal reactions from Steam users and Valve's slow response to the review bombings have led to criticism from the developers themselves. "Ironically, that this misuse is possible and that Steam has no interest in correcting this misuse makes me kind of happy about 2K's decision and makes me want to reconsider Gearbox Publishing's current posture on the platform," Gearbox studio head Randy Pitchford wrote.

Competition breeds innovation. Epic Games Store is offering creators better deals and Steam and its community is losing out on some key titles. Only time will tell if Steam decides to revisit their revenue sharing structure but until then, Epic Games will continue working on accumulating as many exclusives as they see fit. Be sure to stick and check back on GigamaxGames.com. for all the latest gaming news and video game industry updates!

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New Tool Will Help Valve Address Steam Review Bombing

Valve has revealed that it's going to reassess user reviews on its digital game market, Steam, in order to ensure developers products are not being review bombed. In a post on the Steam blog, Valve stated that it will now "identify off-topic review bombs, and remove them from the Review Score."

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"We define an off-topic review bomb as one where the focus of those reviews is on a topic that we consider unrelated to the likelihood that future purchasers will be happy if they buy the game, and hence not something that should be added to the Review Score," Valve continued. The company admits there's still a bit of a grey area with this definition, so it's developed a tool that "identifies any anomalous review activity on all games on Steam in as close to real-time as possible."

After the new tool finds reviews that pose a problem, it will alert Valve who then will launch their own investigation into the matter. If Valve then finds the user reviews are malicious and not real, the developer of the title will be notified that every review within the time period of the review bomb will be removed from the game's overall score on Steam. After all of this, the developer will have to go through the reviews and decide which ones will be deleted.

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Unfortunately, the new tool is unable to make the distinction between a good and bad review so even the real ones will be deleted in this new process. "But as we mentioned back in our first User Review post, our data shows us that review bombs tend to be temporary distortions, so we believe the Review Score will still be accurate, and other players will still be able to find and read your review within the period," Valve wrote on the blog. Negative comments that pertain to DRM or EULA changes will be considered off-topic review bombings.

If developers don't want their game included in the new algorithm, they are able to opt out of the process when putting their game on the Steam Store. The company is also working on a number of new updates for User Reviews but those won't be revealed until a later date.

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Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Firewatch Developer Campo Santo Acquired by Valve

Valve purchased the indie studio Campo Santo, the critically acclaimed developer of the game Firewatch. This news comes from a blog post on Campo Santo's website, where the studio said it would be continuing work on its current project, In the Valley of the Gods. However, now the small studio has all the power of Valve behind them.

"In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn't happen every day. In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match," explained the blog post.

"We had a series of long conversations with the people at Valve and everyone shared the satisfaction we take in working with people whose talents dwarf our own to make things we never thought possible. Both sides spoke about our values and how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in. They asked us if we'd all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes." https://bit.ly/2F70YDd

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All Eyes on Valve

This move caught the attention of many in the industry due to Valve having recently taken on a reduced presence in game development and production. Instead, the company has been focusing on refining Steam as a video game delivery platform and maintaining DoTA 2. Recently, they expressed interest in returning to game development and publishing, with Gabe Newell saying that his company will start shipping games again soon. The first new game to be released by the developer is the upcoming DoTA card game, Artifact, with more titles coming soon according to Newell.

There's no telling what could come of their purchase of Campo Santo. Rumors have been circulating that Microsoft showed interest in purchasing Valve but their recent activity would suggest the Gabe Newell might have other plans.

Be sure to keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com for more of the latest gaming news. The crew will be keeping a close eye on Campo Santo and their upcoming project as well as any more breaking Valve news.

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