Epic Games is continuing to throw its weight around in an effort to kick Valve's Steam off the digital distribution platform throne, this time securing a timed exclusive on upcoming shooter Metro Exodus - despite the game having been available for pre-order via Steam.

That Epic Games is taking its entry into the digital distribution sector, announced back in December, seriously, is becoming rapidly clear: As well as offering gamers a free title every two weeks to tempt them into registering and developers a Steam-beating revenue share, Epic has been splashing the cash to ensure that the Epic Games Store has at least a smattering of exclusives. Earlier this month it confirmed it had snatched The Division 2, and future Ubisoft titles, from Steam, and now it's done the same for upcoming shooter Metro Exodus from Deep Silver.

'Metro Exodus is amazing and is deservedly one of the most anticipated PC titles of 2019,' crows Tim Sweeney, founder and chief executive of Epic, in the announcement. 'We are partnering with Deep Silver to launch Metro Exodus, underpinned by Epic's marketing support and commitment to offering an 88 percent revenue split, enabling game creators to further reinvest in building great games and improving the economics of game stores for everybody.'

'We are delighted to partner with Epic to bring the digital PC version of Metro Exodus to market,' adds Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, Deep Silver chief executive. 'Epic's generous revenue terms are a game changer that will allow publishers to invest more into content creation, or pass on savings to the players. By teaming up with Epic we will be able to invest more into the future of Metro and our ongoing partnership with series developer 4A Games, to the benefit of our Metro fans.'

Those who had previously pre-ordered via Steam will still be able to download the title on launch date, Epic has confirmed, along with any expansion pack content and pre-order bonuses; from today, though, new buyers will only be able to pick the title up on the Epic Games Store.

Valve, naturally, is unimpressed at what is clear to see is a raid on its business by an increasingly aggressive Epic. 'Later today, sales of Metro Exodus will be discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store,' the company posted to the game's official Steam listing. 'The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.

'We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologise to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.'

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October 14 2021 | 15:04