Epic has scored another major coup for its storefront, snagging the eagerly anticipated Phoenix Point is a year-long Epic Games Store exclusive.
Phoenix Point is the upcoming tactical strategy game from XCOM creator Julian Gollop and was originally crowd-funded to the tune of $765,000 through Fig.
The original campaign promised Steam keys to backers. These keys are still coming but backers will have to wait until the one-year Epic Store exclusivity period is up. They can choose to have an Epic Store key if they wish. Failing that, refunds can be requested from here, although any requests must be done before April. Developer Snapshot Games has said the Epic funding can cover the costs of refunding each and every backer if needs be.
Any pre-orders for Phoenix Point through other storefronts will not be honoured. These will instead be converted into Epic Store keys.
“Releasing a video game in today’s market is highly risky - our partnership with Epic Games greatly reduces this,” says Snapshot Games. “After spending a lot of time considering all the possibilities, we came to an agreement with Epic Games to distribute Phoenix Point through their platform.
“While we are unable to go into details on the specifics of our agreement with Epic Games, we really do believe that it is in the best interests of our studio, Phoenix Point and our future titles. It gives us the security not only to continue to support Phoenix Point long into the future but also to bring you other exciting titles once Phoenix Point is completed. In addition, it gives us the freedom to commit to more Phoenix Point content once the game has been released, which will be free for the first year to our backers up to this point.”
There’s a whole mess of issues at play here that puts Snapshot Games in an unenviable position. First and foremost, there’s the obvious immediate backlash to any game that goes Epic Store exclusive. Opinions are going to vary on this, naturally, but there’s a vocal segment that is vehemently opposed to paid store exclusives. Snapshot saw the reaction to Metro Exodus but the cash payout was clearly still tempting enough to override the potential community backlash.
The second issue is with the backers themselves, who will feel they’ve been duped somewhat. A lot of money was spent by XCOM and Gollop fans in getting this project off the ground. This investment was to be repaid in kind with a Steam key. It still will be, but one year after Phoenix Point has launched and that’s not going to sit well with some.
Phoenix Point is currently due to launch on PC and Xbox One in September 2019, and, well, on Steam in September 2020.
Thoughts on this one? Does this dampen your plans to buy Phoenix Point? Or are you just going to wait for the eventual Steam version?