Rebellion: Epic "paying through the nose to build their store"
Jason Kingsley spoke about striking a deal with the company for Zombie Army 4 after saying they'd need a "bloody good deal" to do so.
Back in May Rebellion's co-founder Jason Kingsley talked to MCV about the idea of striking a deal with the Epic Games Store for exclusive games, and the answer wasn't exactly positive.
"I'm not really a big believer in exclusives," he explained. "For me the relationship I have with the consumer is important and it matters to me how many people buy and play my games... We listen to our fans as best we can."
"It's not just compensating us for lost sales on platform X or Y. Fine, that might de-risk the project, but you also have to factor in the cost of the negative reaction from people who are upset by that decision."
"There's a kind of fairness aspect to this, and I want to be fair to the fans who want to buy it on the platform they want. So that's sort of my feeling at the moment. I guess that could change but there would have to be a bloody good reason."
It turns out that he may have found a "bloody good reason" though, as he revealed during Develop:Brighton that the studio has reached a deal with the Epic Games Store for Zombie Army 4, although he does reiterate his general aversion to exclusives.
"Generally I think I would prefer not to do exclusives but I understand Epic's position with it, and quite frankly they are paying through the nose to build their store," he explained, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz. "All credit to them, it's fantastic, and we'll take some of their money, thank you very much."
He goes on to say that Epic's arrival is a "bit of a kick up the backside" for competitors like Steam. "It makes you reflect. I mean, developers turn up with a brilliant game and... it makes you focus on your game as well. It's exactly the same for multinationals."
Kingsley also says that he didn't expect to be approached by Epic for an exclusivity deal, as Epic has been going for bigger games like Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus. That said, he was "quite impressed by the numbers they offered," and Epic is also "keen to help support the game."
"Sometimes, as an independent developer, you've gotta take your chances," he continued. "When something like that is offered... you sort of share the risk and share the reward."
Epic has certainly been making waves in the PC space ever since the arrival of the Epic Games Store, but this hasn't gone down well with everyone. Several exclusivity deals have seen reactionary measures like review-bombing taking place (forcing Steam to change their review policy). Shenmue fans have also been upset, although Epic is refunding Kickstarter pledges after this exclusivity deal was made.