Epic Exclusives vs Steam Exclusives Saturday 11th of May 2019

A number of recurring complaints I have read on various websites regarding Epic's new store is the exclusivity, how some games can only be purchased on Epic's store for the first 6 months or 1 year. And I confess, I do not understand why people are complaining about Epic when Valve does the exact same thing, has done for years, and remain exclusive to the "platform".

I used to buy games pretty much exclusively from Steam - at the time of writing I have over 600. However, as time progressed I realised I was pretty much at Valve's mercy. If Steam disappears, so does my library. If Valve chooses to delete my account, or otherwise has a snafu, my library disappears. As I watch service after service switch from "pay once, and then pay again for major upgrades" to "pay monthly and loose access if you stop paying", I have changed my purchasing habits. Aside from Humble Bundles (which I am also stepping away from when they are purely Steam based), I haven't bought a game from Steam for the last couple of years.

Instead, I've been buying them almost exclusively from GoG instead (331 332 at time of writing). Why? DRM free. I am no longer locked into a walled garden without (legal) recourse; I can download the games, install them on my computer and not have to worry about archaic activation counts (and heaven forbid you don't deactivate before wiping a machine) or draconian DRM.

So to get back to my point regarding Epic exclusives versus Steam... a massive chunk of those 600+ Steam purchases are "exclusive" to Steam. While some of them I do own on GoG as well, either thanks to the GoG Connect program (which is awesome incidentally) or by buying them again, the vast majority are only available on Steam. Do I want to play the later Deus Ex's (exes?). Only on Steam (or consoles, but I'm leaving them out of the equation for now). What about the best tower defence game bar none (I'm talking Defense Grid if that's not obvious)? Steam only. Two examples out of the hundreds of games I own, most of which can only be purchased through Valve and played via Steam. I paved my machine a couple of months ago and I haven't either bothered reloading Steam, nor have I felt a need to (although in fairness picking up another dozen or so older titles from GoG might have something to do with that).

The modern world is getting very monopoly-like on a global scale - Amazon, Valve, Facebook etc. We need options and I am happy that there is an alternative to Steam. In fact I immediately put my money where my mouth is and purchased Subnautica Below Zero from the store instead of on Steam*.

* OK, I did when the Epic Store actually let me. It wasn't a great launch and the client is still bad. But as with many things - it's a start

This post was first published Saturday 11th of May 2019 and was last modified Saturday 11th of May 2019 at 14:13:02.

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