What just happened? Epic generated quite a bit of controversy throughout the PC gaming community when it announced that Deep Silver's highly-anticipated Metro Exodus would be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Many Metro series fans were disappointed by this decision, and some even felt that Exodus' sales would suffer due to the move. However, Epic wants you to believe the opposite is true now.
Despite how impressive that number looks on the surface, it omits quite a bit of important information.
For example, Metro Exodus' marketing budget was likely significantly higher than Last Light's, and the PC gaming community is much larger now than it was back in 2013 (which was when Last Light launched).
Furthermore, it's not surprising for an ambitious sequel in a well-known franchise to outsell previous titles. The Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Grand Theft Auto V's excellent sales numbers are proof of that.
As such, whereas Epic may feel that Exodus' success hasn't been hampered at all by its exclusivity, the company's sales comparison alone doesn't really provide enough concrete information to support that hypothesis.
Had the game launched on both Steam and the Epic Games Store, perhaps Exodus would have sold even better. For now, it's impossible to make a firm conclusion.
In other news, the controversy surrounding Epic's alleged Steam data mining continues to heat up.
For the unaware, users recently discovered that Epic's Game Store client had been quietly copying their Steam localconfig.vdf file behind the scenes for the purpose of friends list importing.
Epic said this was a bug, and the process was only meant to happen after users explicitly agreed to it (the issue has been fixed as of writing; now you have to opt-in for the copying process to begin).
Valve was quick to respond to the situation, claiming that the localconfig.vdf file is "private user data," and "not intended" to be used by other software or 3rd party services at all.
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has somewhat-amusingly fired back now, noting that since -- by Valve's own admission -- the data is indeed owned by users, they can "do with it as they please."
"[Users] own the data on their hard drive, and if they choose to import it into other programs it's their right," Sweeney said to PC Gamer. "And I think that's the fundamental principle that's at stake."
Regardless of where you stand in the Epic vs. Steam debate, it's clear that the Epic Games Store isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As such, PC gamers should brace for more exclusive games, and perhaps a competitive response from Valve, over the coming months.