Recently we had the opportunity to interview Pawel Miechowski, partnership manager at11 Bit Studios and get some insightful information on their next projects and their take on the industry.
Indie developers have strong opinions when it comes to digital stores and especially the Epic Store exclusivity and what they choose as their launch model, so we were eager to know what the Frostpunk developers think. Interestingly, 11 bit developers has compared compared Epic Store Exclusivity to Netflix and console stores.
According to the developer, Epic Games Store and every other game selling platform is nothing more than a store. Much like you’ll get God of War only on Sony’s digital store, Epic Games does the same. As much as fans want to rage about it, Epic Store exclusivity is nothing more than what Netflix or consoles do. Pawel said:
Some consumers are surely angry as we can see in social media, but I guess it’s like in every business. You can go and get whatever product in store A or choose store B over the other, but some products are limited just to selected stores and nobody is yelling about it. Look at Netflix. They pay to produce content and you can watch the content only on their channel. So if Epic is paying the devs for exclusivity of games, that’s just a business model. In general I think it is just a strategy of building user base. It won’t last long and I’m not convinced it’s super efficient when it comes spendings. But there’s battle.net, there’s game launcher announced by Rockstar, there’s Uplay and there’s Origin. We should just get used to the fact, that some games are on all of those stores and some are exclusives. It works on consoles and no one is really crying about it.
As for 11 Bit Studios, they want to release their games to as many platforms as possible. They don’t really care about Epic Store exclusivity and with the marketing campaigns of an indie studio, going exclusive is a big risk.
Especially with games like Frostpunk and This War of Mine, which deliver something greater than an intriguing story, it’s a miss not to have as many players in it as possible, claims the development studio:
I guess there are different business models, but we want to reach as big audience as possible. It’s great to have a game on all consoles and PC and offer games to different gaming communities. Ideally is to sim-launch a game and give it to all audiences at the same time, but sometimes it’s just hard to make, because manpower is limited.
In related news, Techland, the developers of Arise: A Simple Story have their own take on the Epic Store exclusivity to share. They recently released their own game as an Epic Store exclusive for a year and they believe competition is a great thing for the industry. Undeniably, with games like Journey and Heavy Rain becoming available on PC due to Epic Games, we can’t deny that we are mad about exclusivity.