I'm really not a fan of exclusive releases for games. I understand the rational behind it, the platform gets some "exclusive" game to brag about, the developers get sudden injection of cash from the deal... and the users get screwed if they aren't already on the platform. For the consoles, this means that some games will never appear on rival consoles, and you will be left out... unless you want so splash out on a new console, just for a single game! It is consumerism at it's worst...
Thankfully, most of the PC gaming sphere was not really involved in this idiotic behaviour. Mostly because the power differences between a PC and a console, along with the different audience base, meant that we were rarely the direct target of these shenanigans! That said, we would often get releases on the PC that were too complex for the control scheme of the console, and we would miss out on some of the big console releases.
However, I would have to say that the biggest contributor to this situation was the absolute dominance of the Steam platform as THE distributor of choice for PC games. Sure, GOG, Blizzard, Origin and others existed... but the numbers were just so different, and Steam was by and far away the effective monopoly.
Enter into the picture, Epic Games of Fortnite fame. They had the clout and the deep pockets to try and chip into the Steam dominance (in the same way that they have slapped Apple with a gauntlet in recent times...). To this fight, they brought two tools... free games and timed exclusives!
Now, I have a huge collection of games on Steam... and I rarely venture out of there to get other games. I pick up games on Humble Bundle and Kickstarter, but I always opt for a Steam key. I have a couple of games on other PC platforms like GOG, Blizzard and Microsoft... but they are generally a matter of circumstance (I had no choice in the platform due to a free key being offered) or exclusives like Starcraft 2.
Needless to say, I really wasn't keen to have a new store to split my game collection up... but who can resist the allure of free game every week... even if you only just claim them and never play them on that platform, just as a hedge in case things go really south on Steam. Or if my kids want to play something that I haven't bought yet.
However, I have to say that the 1 year timed exclusives were a bit of a unpleasant move from Epic. In the end, I have more than enough games in my backlog to not have to worry about missing out on the latest and greatest game. I have made a commitment to NEVER (ALMOST never....) buy games at launch, as I don't have the time to chew through my backlog and appreciate the games I have already. By the time I get around to the new game, it would be on a steep discount anyway (or I will have picked it up in a Humble drop).
So, no FOMO purchases on the cards for me anyway. The Epic timed exclusives only served to reinforce that behaviour for me.
However, we are starting to see some pretty awesome games starting to shed their year long Epic exclusivity. Which means that they have already been heavily Beta-tested by the Epic crowd, had a decent amount of DLC released AND are launching on Steam at a huge discount to the launch day pricing!
WIN WIN WIN!
So, when Outer Worlds dropped yesterday on the Steam store at a 50% discount.... I was there straight away! 30 euros for one of the most anticipated games of 2019... plus, I have a new laptop that is just waiting to stretch it's RTX 2070 legs out!
So far, I've only played about 30 minutes of the game... but it is pretty awesome! Stay tuned for a review in the near future... within the year!
Splinterlands (aka the best blockchain game out there!)
Have you heard of Humble Bundle? It's a place to get some really great deals on Games, e-books and comic bundles. However, if you sign up for a Humble Bundle Subscription (12 USD per month) you get some really nice bonuses!
- A 100+ USD bundle of games delivered direct to you each month, redeemable on Steam, Uplay or direct download (depending on the game). This includes recent Triple A games!
- Access to the Humble Bundle "Trove", a list of 60 games (and growing...) which are free to play as long as you remain a subscriber!
- Additional Discounts on the Humble Bundle store, with the choice of supporting charities, Humble Bundle or developers in whatever percentage that you wish!
Humble Bundle Subscriptions, it's a no brainer for the dedicated gamer!
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