August 28, 2019 | 11:32
French publisher Bigben has become the latest to sign up to a timed exclusivity deal with Epic Games, conforming that three of its upcoming titles will be available exclusively through the Epic Games Store: WRC 8, Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory, and Bee Simulator.
Buoyed by $1.25 billion in external investment, Epic Games announced the Epic Games Store late last year in an effort to knock Valve's Steam platform off the top PC game digital distribution spot. Initially, the company pledged to support developers with a larger revenue share than Steam while supporting gamers with a free game every fortnight - since boosted to one-a-week; it quickly, however, turned to exclusivity deals to bolster its library. The company raised eyebrows - fairly or otherwise - when it snatched The Division 2 away from Steam, and since then has splashed out for timed exclusivity deals on games including Metro Exodus, Phoenix Point, Borderlands 3, and Shenmue III.
Now, the company has tempted another publisher across, with Bigben confirming that it has signed a deal that will see the Windows releases of three upcoming games launch exclusively on the Epic Games Store.
'We are very pleased to be reinforcing our Epic Games store offer with a variety of unique games from our catalogue,' claims Benoit Clerc, head of publishing at the French company. 'Our latest offer is comprised of three games that are very different from each other: Bee Simulator, a superb family game; Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory, a tactical CRPG [computer role-playing game] brimming with dark humour; and WRC 8, the official simulation of the FIA World Rally Championship, which will also be the first rally game available on the Epic Games Store.'
As with previous deals, for which Epic is believed to pay millions of dollars, the exclusivity agreements are on a timed basis: Each game will be available exclusively on the Epic Games Store for Windows gamers until one year after launch, at which point Bigben will be free to list them elsewhere. The deals also have no effect on the games' console launches, with the Epic Games Store remaining a Windows exclusive offering.
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