Here’s an interesting one: Metro Exodus is going to launch exclusively (for PC digital download, at least) on the Epic Store.
Why is that interesting? We’ll tell you.
First, it’s the first major, AAA release that has opted for the Epic Store as its sole delivery method. Yes, The Division 2 has also dropped Steam in favour of Epic’s offering, but you can still buy The Division 2 via Ubisoft’s Uplay launcher (and indeed, still need Uplay to actually play the game). Metro Exodus is the first big game that has gone properly exclusive with the Epic Store.
Second, Metro Exodus has been listed on Steam since the game was first announced. That means there has been a stack of pre-purchases before Deep Silver and 4A Games made the decision to switch to the Epic Store.
— Tom Baines (@TomThumbsticks) January 28, 2019
The Steam entry for the game has updated with a notification, which confirms that the game will be delisted, but all pre-purchases of Metro Exodus via Steam will be honoured. They’ve also popped a little dig in there at both Deep Silver and Epic Games.
And third, given the 11th-hour nature of the announcement (and the snippy response from Steam), it’s yet another sign that Epic Games is throwing its considerable weight (read: huge amounts of Fortnite cash) to try and prise developers, publishers, and ultimately players away from Steam and onto the Epic Store. It’s not too dissimilar to the timeframe of Ubisoft’s announcement. And speaking of Epic throwing money around, look at how quickly the developer-and-engine-maker-turned-mega-publisher jumped onto the Unity/SpatialOS kerfuffle with a $25m fund to transition to “more open engines, services, and ecosystems”.
If you’re desperate for a Steam key – and given the notification on the game’s Steam page – you could probably pick up a Metro Exodus key before it’s formally delisted, as the press release confirms: “Any customer with an outstanding pre-order for Metro Exodus on PC through any digital retailer will receive their game as expected.”
According to PC Gamer, this is a timed exclusive, and Metro Exodus will “return to Steam and on other storefronts after 14 February 2020.”