After Epic Store Deal, Steam Users Review Bomb Metro Games
It’s been a heck of a week for everyone involved with post-apocalyptic survival shooter series Metro. On Monday, the latest game in the series, Metro Exodus, became an Epic Games Store exclusive, prompting Valve to call the sudden departure “unfair to Steam customers.” For some Steam users, that’s served as a rallying cry.
While Epic plans to honour all Steam pre-orders, and Deep Silver is selling the game at a lower price point than it would’ve on Steam for North Americans (thanks to Epic’s more favourable 88/12 revenue split), this does mean fans will have to play Metro Exodus on another PC game launcher that is, for now, barebones bordering on straight-up bad—a wrinkle they weren’t expecting just a couple weeks from the game’s February 15 release date.
Physical Copies Of Metro Exodus Won’t Come With A Steam Key
Deep Silver’s decision to leave Steam in the post-apocalyptic marketplace wasteland is about to ramp up even further. After surprising users and the industry with its announcement that Metro Exodus would be a timed exclusive for the Epic Games Store, the official Metro Exodus account has confirmed that those buying physical copies won’t even get Steam keys with their purchase.
This has led to sustained outcry in the form of everything from review bombs of previous series entries Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light to irate comments on every possible social media post associated with the game.
The Steam review bombs, especially, have been vicious, with over 3,000 negative reviews being posted to the Steam store pages of 2033 and Last Light in the past two days.
“This game is actually good, but f**k Deep Silver for their [censored by Steam] actions regarding Metro Exodus,” says one of the most highly upvoted.
“Let me just rate this game negatively while Deep Silver sucks Epic’s [censored by Steam] in the next room,” says another.
“Am gonna buy the game next week, but greedy publishers don’t want me to buy it, so am gonna pirate it,” says a third.
It is, unfortunately, not a surprising response given the audience Steam has cultivated over the years by implicitly and explicitly advocating an irresponsible hands-off approach, allowing a pervasive player-vs-developer atmosphere to develop, and failing to consistently safeguard against review bombs and other forms of toxicity. What’s surprising here is that Valve chose to make a public statement that would, almost without a doubt, rile these people up.
The company either chose to play dirty by kicking the hornet’s nest and then chucking it out the door alongside Metro Exodus, or it’s woefully naive about its audience’s behavioural tendencies.
Metro fans also took to blaming publisher THQ Nordic for things suddenly going off-rails, but it clarified that Koch Media, a subsidiary whose gaming division is Metro publisher Deep Silver, made the call. Yesterday on Twitter, THQ Nordic said it won’t rule out future exclusives, but that it wants to “have the players choose the platform of their liking and make our portfolio available to as many outlets as possible.”
However, CEO Lars Wingefors later walked that back in a statement on THQ’s investor site, saying that he “fully” supports “our sub-groups’ autonomy to run their respective businesses” and is in “full” support of this decision in particular.
Kotaku reached out to Deep Silver and Epic for more information on why the deal got made when it did and what the companies plan to do about the backlash, if anything, but the former didn’t reply, and the latter declined to comment.
“I think Epic will [do] everything to help, and I did not have an impression that Steam gives shit.”