There are people online who love to hate on the Epic Games Store. They consider it as being unnecessary and separating them from their gaming friends with exclusives. They even talk about boycotting the store and not purchasing games that are only available there. However, Borderlands 3 and other games are showing the reality isn’t so cut and dry.
Actual Borderlands 3 data hasn’t come in yet, so all we have to go by is Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford’s word. He said on Twitter, “Fun Fact: On PC, the data is that the launch day peak concurrent players of Borderlands 3 is about *twice-as-high* as the all time peak concurrent players of Borderlands 2. WOW! You guys are great!” Could this be true? Probably. Borderlands 2 came out in 2012, when Steam and digital gaming wasn’t as big as it is now. This installment was very much anticipated. Let’s go ahead and just stick with yes. Borderlands 3 is an unquestionable success.
But, Borderlands 3 isn’t an outlier. This is happening with other games that are exclusive to the PC retailer. Metro Exodus is an example. It was an Epic Games Store exclusive on the platform. At GDC 2019, Deep Silver and Epic confirmed it sold two and a half times as many copies on Epic Games Store compared to the number of copies of Metro: Last Light on Steam. This was for the same launch period.
Yes, there are other factors to consider. Metro Exodus benefited from being the third game in a series. It was established. There was a lot of hype leading up to its release. Also, it was getting a lot of attention for being an Epic Games Store title, and most publicity is good publicity. We also have to consider that digital gaming is far more prevalent in 2019, when Metro Exodus was released, than in 2013 when Metro Last Light debuted. (You could even still buy that PC game on a DVD!) But, sales are sales.
This is even applying to indie games. Given the size of Steam and lack of curation, things can get lost. Coffee Stain Studios is a rather big name indie developer, thanks to Goat Simulator. It made Satisfactory an Epic Games Store exclusive. As a result, it had the best launch out of all of its games. In three months, 507,374 copies were sold. Maybe that’s because it stood out more in a less populated store. Perhaps it is because Coffee Stain Studios is a bigger name now. Or, it could just be that the idea of Epic Games Store boycotts and outrage is all bluster.
People like to act indignant about change. They’ll claim that they are boycotting things. But, we’ve been seeing the opposite. Actions are speaking louder than words. Borderlands 3 had a hugely successful launch. Metro Exodus didn’t suffer from being an exclusive. Indies like Satisfactory are performing well. There could be other factors, sure. But, it could also be that all that boycott talk is just that: talk. Competition is out there. And now, maybe we’ll see better prices and incentives for consumers since it seems people are still buying.