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‘Close to the Sun’ Confirmed as Epic-Store-Only for PC Gamers

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One of the most appealing aspects of PC gaming when compared to consoles is the lack of exclusive titles. While console gamers’ access to certain games is often limited by which platform they possess, PC gamers enjoy the freedom of their technology without this artificially imposed limitation. But certain developers are seeking to remove this freedom by forcing would-be buyers to adopt specific digital platforms in order to access their games.

In a press release today, Wired Productions announced that if you want to play Close to the Sun on PC, you’ll have to do so through the Epic Store, regardless of whether or not you want to use that software. Carlo Ivo Alimo Bianchi, the CEO & Founder of Storm in a Teacup said “To launch on the Epic games store feels like the perfect next step and we are delighted that our partnerships with both Wired Productions and Epic Games will help propel Close to the Sun to achieve our ambitions.”

This decision comes just one month after the blowback against Deep Silver’s decision to move Metro Exodus exclusively to the Epic Store resulted in a heated back-and-forth between gamers and developer that led to an official apology from Deep Silver.

Mainstream games media outlets and their readers predictably pissed on gamers that expressed dissent against the Epic Store, calling them toxic, among other things. But more honest writers have outlined the legitimacy of the anger against being forced into using this platform, saying “it is side stepping everything that a customer has enjoyed from their own preferred stores on PC.”

So while Mr. Bianchi may be brimming with delight with his decision at the moment, he may also be very surprised to find that delight unrequited from PC gamers in the coming months. Console gamers, of course, will remain unaffected by any of this; business for them will continue as usual. PC gamers, however, will have a choice to make: the forcible adoption of the Epic Store, simply not purchasing the game, or the nearly infinite workarounds that are accessible through the vastly superior technology of PC.

 

 

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  1. Hope it will fail.

  2. Quite possibly I’m alone in this, but I don’t care what launcher a game uses. It just seems like pretty weak news.

    • It’s anti-consumer. The Metro situation was much worse because it was on Steam then pulled off near release. More buying choices is never a bad thing for consumers.

    • Resident Antagonist on February 23, 2019 at 8:48 am said

      You’re not alone, a lot of people with whom I’ve spoken don’t mind exclusivity deals. I don’t have any statistics, obviously, but it should be ok to speculate a bit from anecdotes… I suspect that gamers who aren’t invested in this are either a) new-ish to PC gaming, maybe a converted console vet? or b) on the casual side of the gaming spectrum. It’s cool in any any event… We were all noobs once, and some of us have lives outside of gaming. From the perspective of an early 90s PC gamer, though, this type of business model is scary to me.

      Many of us old PC gamers feel that the console wars destroyed the golden age of gaming. Many innovative PC titles were buried under console franchises that seemed new and great to a console gamer… but were 10 years stale to a PC gamer. It shifted the industry away from “make the best game” and towards “make the game that will reach the most devices”.

      Many old school gamers also complained when Steam became big, we saw the advantages but we speculated it would become a monopoly. If any launcher/download service gains a monopolizing interest in PC games distribution, I fear that the quality of titles will nose dive.

  3. earthmanbrick on February 23, 2019 at 8:53 am said

    Platform exclusivity is nothing new or something to be outraged by, consoles have been doing it since their inception. Ubisoft, EA & Rockstar already have their own launchers too.

    I support this idea mainly because it’s another means of creating competition between these various parties, all of whom are releasing exclusive deals & free games (Epic Games is currently giving away Thimblewood Park for a limited time)

    Ultimately, it may be annoying having several launching stores/platforms installed on your PC but I’ve lost count of the freebies I’ve gotten from Humble-Bundle.

    If you’re broke as hell, then getting these freebies can be ideal

  4. That’s pretty biased.
    “Exclusivity” in consoles means you need to pay extra $400 to own a separate device, in order to get its exclusive games.
    “Exclusivity” in PC means you have to click a slightly differently colored “Download” button.
    Not comparable at all, and definitely not ruining the PC experience, as some may claim.
    Furthermore, I wouldn’t say lack of exclusivity is anywhere near the top of “most appealing aspects of PC gaming”. Better graphics, higher framerate, more controller options, more genres, more games overall, and lower price per game – those are the most appealing aspects of PC gaming, and store exclusivity doesn’t subvert any of them.

    • Resident Antagonist on February 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm said

      It’s open for debate, obviously, but completely subjective. The author isn’t biased in his opening statement, he’s simply stating his opinion.

      It seems clear from the community pushback that some people agree with the author. I, personally, agree with the author. It’s ok to disagree with the author, too.

    • Obviously it’s not as bad as console exclusivity but Steam offers many features that Epic Games doesn’t, so it’s not just a different launcher.

  5. Andy Schryvers on February 23, 2019 at 2:41 pm said

    That is their choice. But I’m done with none steam launchers so they won’t have me as a customer.

  6. Uninstalled epic games store a few months back when I lost all interest in fortnite. While newer pc gamers might ultimately side with the epic games store, anyone that’s been around for any amount of time in the last decade will struggle with it. I have over 500 games in my steam library, steams always treated me well, helped guide me with purchases by having a review section and generally been a fair platform (as far as I can see).

    I have absolutely no interest in the epic games store or whatever offers they toss my way. Developers should let the free market decide where to buy their games.

  7. That first paragraph is a ridiculous statement that reeks of PC elitism and bias. Maybe you can make a case for X-Box games, but there are plenty of console-exclusive titles on the Playstation, and pretty much the entire Nintendo first-party lineup is exclusive to their hardware. Unless you are advocating for user to illegally acquire console-exclusive software, the PC certainly has its own share of issues when it comes to games not being available on the platform.

    And as others have already pointed out, comparing exclusivity on a physical platform that costs money to a digital, free platform just comes off as petty. Rumor has it the Switch is getting what’s essentially a Microsoft app to get access to X-Box Game Pass titles, and I highly doubt you can find many gamers willing to complain about the agony of having to use a separate launcher to play Halo on Switch.

    At the end of the day, running a second launcher for certain games is a small inconvenience at best. If anything, I think this “controversy” has highlighted a concerning glorification of the Steam platform in the PC crowd. Just because it has enjoyed near monopoly status for such a long period of time, many seem unwilling to let that change. Sure, it would be ideal if the games were available on all platforms, but that’s sadly not how competition works.

    There are legit concerns with the Epic Store platform, but the ones raised in this article feel exaggerated. Until the day you have to buy a separate Epic Computer in order to play these games, these concerns seem like much ado about nothing.

  8. That first paragraph is a ridiculous statement that reeks of PC elitism and bias. Maybe you can make a case for X-Box games, but there are plenty of console-exclusive titles on the Playstation, and pretty much the entire Nintendo first-party lineup is exclusive to their hardware. Unless you are advocating for user to illegally acquire console-exclusive software, the PC certainly has its own share of issues when it comes to games not being available on the platform.

    And as others have already pointed out, comparing exclusivity on a physical platform that costs money to a digital, free platform just comes off as petty. Rumor has it the Switch is getting what’s essentially a Microsoft app to get access to X-Box Game Pass titles, and I highly doubt you can find many gamers willing to complain about the agony of having to use a separate launcher to play Halo on Switch.

    At the end of the day, running a second launcher for certain games is a small inconvenience at best. If anything, I think this “controversy” has highlighted a concerning glorification of the Steam platform in the PC crowd. Just because it has enjoyed near monopoly status for such a long period of time, many seem unwilling to let that change. Sure, it would be ideal if the games were available on all platforms, but that’s sadly not how competition works.

    There are legit concerns with the Epic Store platform, but the ones raised in this article feel exaggerated. Until the day you have to buy a separate Epic Computer in order to play these games, these concerns seem like much ado about nothing.

  9. The_Mad_Pirate on February 24, 2019 at 3:52 am said

    I hope the Epic Store crashes and burns.
    Its anti-consumer practices shouldn’t be tolerated by the PC Gaming crowd under no circumstance.

  10. I hope Epic Succeeds. It will 1. Make all the Elitist Steam Shills cry out in terror and 2. Be actually good for the PC Market to have real competition when it comes to digital storefronts. I used to be one of them, a shill for a corporation because I sank in hundreds of dollars into a product only hosted on said platform (League of Legends) But I realized that there are other great games out there and that I am not really losing anything by sampling other markets when it comes to games. Steam may currently provide a superior service, but that may change in the future. What happens if Steam or any other platform start injecting Cultural politics into the games they host? If you give any one corporation too much power, they WILL abuse it. Now before you cry slippery slope, it is already happening in the form of Sony censoring certain Japanese titles for the sake of “localization.”

  11. No Steam, no sale.

  12. Competition is great, exclusivity is not for me…

  13. perochialjoe on February 25, 2019 at 8:59 pm said

    I’ve never heard of that game before and I really doubt I will now. Definitely won’t be playing it that’s for sure.

  14. ChemicalSerenity on February 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm said

    I’m torn by this.

    On one hand, I’m a big fan of competition. I encourage the idea of Steam getting a legitimate competitor, or even several. It keeps companies from getting to fat and lazy when customers have legitimate alternatives.

    On the other hand, explicitly *anti-*competitive practices like exclusives are pure cancer. At that point we may be better off with a largely benevolent if somewhat bloated effective monopoly like Steam than a series of cutthroat, balkanized “exclusives” zones.

    If Epic can ditch that practice of exclusives, I’d likely patronize them… especially if they can get me some solid discounts and support publishers I like. Do that, and Epic’s entry into the space would be pretty much an unvarnished good. Keep going down the road of exclusives and I’ll shun Epic and anyone on it just on general principles.

  15. Interesting article, but dies it really matter if it’s exclusive to a free launcher? Steam needs competition anyway. We should also keep in mind Epic Games offers more of the profit shares to the developer than Steam last I checked (profit margins of 80:20 vs. 70:30 with Epic and Steam respectively).

  16. Epic Games tries to lure me in with free games, I’ve checked them out, they’re all shit.
    I hate it when I need to use something else than my Steam library with over 400 games.
    It’s also vastly inferior to Steam, and they are forcing us on a few levels which I really cant stand

    they can F right off in my book 🙂

  17. shit. I just found out about this. I was about to buy it, full price, on release day. they already had me. I never buy games on console if I can buy them on pc. but if this game doesn’t come to any other pc store, then will buy it on ps4 the moment it gets a 50% discount or more. or if i can’t wait, then i will pirate it. i haven’t pirated games in years. way to screw things up and lose the loyalty of their potential customers.

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