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Epic to continue signing exclusivity deals regardless of Steam plans

Tim Sweeney: Calls to switch exclusivity between stores "must be up to developers and publishers"

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has clarified that the company will continue signing exclusivity deals with developers and publishers regardless of whether or not they have previous agreements with Steam.

In a tweet earlier this week, Sweeney responded to a question regarding the game Observation, which previously had a Steam store page but recently signed a deal with Epic for one-year exclusivity on the storefront.

"We've had a lot of discussions about this since GDC," Sweeney said. "Epic is open to continuing to sign funding / exclusivity deals with willing developers and publishers regardless of their previous plans or announcements around Steam."

As the thread continued, some replies brought up a talk at GDC where Epic Games store head Steve Allison said the company didn't want a repeat of what happened with Metro Exodus, where the game had already been taking pre-orders on Steam before it was announced as an Epic exclusive.

"This prompted further discussions at Epic," Sweeney replied, "leading to the realization that these calls must be up to developers and publishers, and Epic wouldn't tell them 'no' on account of existing statements made about Steam."

Epic has continued to sign a series of big-name exclusives and timed exclusives over the past few months, including Remedy's Control, several Ubisoft games, and most recently, Borderlands 3.

Following GDC at the PAX East GamesIndustry.biz investment summit, Sergey Galyonkin suggested that with time, the company would taper off its focus on PC exclusivity deals.

"I believe in the future, we'll rely less on one-to-one deals, and more on developers naturally coming here," he said.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.

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