Dev Explains Why He Turned Down Epic Games Store Exclusivity for DARQ
Earlier this week a brand new indie psychological horror side-scroller game called DARQ launched on Steam. Although it’s reception has been decent so far, with an average of 71 on Metacritic and an overwhelmingly positive reception from Steam users, the game is making news for another reason entirely. As it turns out, Unfold Games’ Wlad Marhulets has recently revealed that he turned down an Epic Games Store exclusivity proposal for his game.
As the CEO and founder of Unfold Games, Wlad Marhulets revealed that he turned down an Epic Games Store exclusivity deal and some have been wondering why. As such, he published a blog post earlier today explaining what led him to refuse the offer. He wrote that there were three reasons for this however before he explained what they were, he advised that he was speaking only about his personal experience with DARQ, and could not account for other developers and their choices regarding the Epic Games Store.
It turns out he wanted options for DARQ players. Instead of only being able to purchase the game through the Epic Games Store, he wanted players to be able to purchase it on GOG and Steam as well. “I wish the Epic Store would allow indie games to be sold there non-exclusively, as they do with larger, still unreleased games (Cyberpunk 2077), so players can enjoy what they want: a choice.” Additionally, since the game had been on Steam since late 2018 he thought it would be a disservice to fans who had already purchased the game there if he was to suddenly pull the game off there and instead have it exclusively on the Epic Games Store. “DARQ was listed on Steam since late 2018. A lot of Steam users added DARQ to their wishlist and patiently waited for its release date for almost a year. Pulling the game off Steam, especially so close to the release date, would surely make a lot of DARQ fans unhappy.”
At the end of the day, Wlad Marhulets says he;s very serious about the industry and hopes to be able to work within it for a long time to come. As such, he explained a big reason for turning down the proposal from Epic Games: “I like money, and getting some upfront payment on top of guaranteed revenue sounds great. But although I’m a first time developer, I’m very serious about working in this industry for a very long time. I had just announced DARQ release date on Steam – pulling the game off Steam a few days after Steam release date announcement would forever ruin the credibility of my studio. I would like for my customers to have confidence that my word means something, especially when making announcement as crucial as release date / platform. Turning down the Epic exclusivity offer might have been a foolish decision in the short term, considering the amount of money that might have been involved. When thinking long term, however, this was an easy & obvious decision to make (in my case).”
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