I don't know if its because I'm on the recovery from a pretty rough cold but I've been thinking a lot recently. More specifically about Epic's campaign to establish the Epic Games Store as a rival to Steam and how people are getting angry about how Epic keeps buying up exclusivity rights for big releases. Most importantly, I can't stop thinking about how childish and idiotic the anger and outrage over this tactic is.
Watching the outrage over games like Metro Exodus and Borderlands 3 being exclusive to the Epic Games Store for a year or whatever has been nothing short of infuriating. I mean, there's so much more awful stuff happening in the games industry like the overwhelming need for a game developer's union or manipulative monetization tactics but no. Oh no, let's all get angry about the fact that we might have to launch a different program to play Borderlands 3. How awful! Just so terrible right? What's even more amusing is how those same childish babies seem to think that review bombing-related games on Steam is gonna somehow make a difference? You're angry that your favorite game isn't gonna be on Steam, so as a response you'll abuse one of Steam's systems to voice your disapproval?
In the meantime, they'll be launching that game on Epic Games Store, which doesn't have a reviews system that can be abused and manipulated by stupid screaming children, so maybe it's the right move after all? I can't trust any kind of user reviews section now anyway so I'm not bothered if the Epic Game Store doesn't have one. Oh, and if you want to try and bring up the spyware accusations then I'd advise you to go back and read up on that one. It's already been proven to be false.
Do you know what else is cool about the Epic Games Store? Free games, they've been handing out free games every two weeks. No-charge, no subscription, no commitment. Just log in, and claim a new free game every two weeks with no strings attached. At the time of writing this, I can get The Witness for free and I can get Transistor later this month as well. Free stuff is always great, and you have to think. This isn't like when developers randomly decide to give away their games for free on Steam. This is Epic making deals with developers so we can get these games for free.
Now a lot of people want to compare Steam vs Epic to Playstation vs Xbox. I get it, but also it's not really the same at all. You wanna know what the difference between Epic v Steam and Xbox v Playstation is? One is the choice between a piece of free to download software that works on any PC while the other is a choice between two different pieces of hardware that cost a couple of hundred Dollars/Pounds/Vietnamese Dong or whatever your local currency is.
The biggest problem with this outrage to Epic's exclusive snagging strategy is how people seem to be missing the best part of this whole deal. If Epic Games Store takes off and does become a genuine competitor to Steam then we all win. Competition is healthy. Competition is a fantastic thing. It means that Steam has to strive to be better as well. Remember how awful the Xbox One seemed at launch? Remember how the PS4 announcement pretty much trounced everything about the Xbox One? Microsoft is still working hard to catch up. Every positive move they've made is an attempt to win back everyone they lost to PlayStation. Because when there's competition, regardless of whose involved, the customer wins.
Remember Steam during its golden age? Before Direct, and even before Greenlight? When Valve moderated the store and what games could be sold through it? Y'know, when the front page wasn't drowning in crappy, cheaply made unity crap that drowns out the games that are actually worth playing? That's what the Epic Games Store is aiming to be. They've openly talked about moderating the EGS and deciding on what games get sold through it which is going to cause problems sure, but if Steam continues to allow anyone to just dump whatever garbage they've glued together after watching some YouTube tutorials then I'd rather rely on Epic Games Store as my go-to for the latest PC games.
Look, I don't want Steam to die. Not at all, I just want someone to give Steam a good kick up the arse and push it to be better. Steam has dominated the digital storefront for as long as anyone can remember so they haven't tried to innovate or improve their services because they've had no reason too since everyone's already using Steam. Origin only exists because EA didn't want Valve taking a cut anymore and uPlay is a thing but even Ubisoft doesn't seem to care about it that much. If Epic's gambit pays off, then Steam might have some real competition which is a good thing for everyone.