Epic Games has done it again, sniped an exclusivity deal from a developer while attempting to frame the massive middle-finger to long-time fans on Steam as ‘consumer-friendly’ while they’re chasing Apple with a lawsuit (to save every developer) after breaking the terms of service within the App Store.
IO Interactive, the developer who opted to take the allegedly massive payout from Epic Games in exchange for (empirically) selling fewer during the length of the exclusivity agreement (twelve months as IO Interactive outlines) until the title eventually meanders over to the Steam platform.
Effectively for most, this means that Hitman 3 will release a full year after what was originally promised unless you find yourself willing to sacrifice function and features in exchange to reward Epic Games for consistently sniping titles in an attempt to force users to download the new storefront.
Some note that this could be a sign of concern regarding how the title has formed thus far; Epic does not allow users to comment on their purchases, which has resulted in many unknowingly purchasing broken titles that were prominently featured after Epic Games, and it’s a pattern we’re noticing here, purchased exclusivity for.
One year of Epic Games exclusivity? Epic Games has blocked my country and I am not going to spend $100 on a platform that requires me to turn on a VPN.
I've been a fan since 2004 but this is just way too much.
The least you could do is reactivate ETs when it launches on Steam.
— Drone (@Behdad47) August 20, 2020
It’s worth noting that this frankly bodes well for IO Interactive, even if it’s an unpleasant feeling for everyone else; they state in the announcement of Epic Games exclusivity that this is allowing them to finally self-publish instead of being beholden to Square Enix whims.
For fans of the series no matter where it releases on, IO Interactive has stated that progress will ‘seamlessly’ carry over from Hitman on Steam onto the Epic Games SAtore; for anti-Epic PC gamers, take heart in the fact that it will arrive in an additional twelve months onto Steam, be far cheaper, and the bugs should have been completely ironed out.
In some way, everyone wins.
Yet Hitman 2 is beginning to see an influx of negative reviews on Steam from users that feel betrayed by IO Interactive, and the sentiment is spreading across Twitter and Reddit in a flash fire that began moments after the announcement.
Ultimately, it doesn’t appear the users are frustrated about the lack of features on the Epic Games Store that Steam easily holds down with consistent development: it’s becoming the sniping of Epic Games of every title to create this pseudo-competition from Epic Games Store that becomes the only reason to download EGS in the first place.
Epic Games could easily work on making EGS a more consumer-friendly store to attract more users; Steam lacks in many areas where more scrutinizing is absolutely needed, yet EGS isn’t concerned with actually needing to compete when they can simply purchase exclusive deals.