News Epic Games Store

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
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I mean, if it's a great metroidvania I think it deserves to do well. Not that I'd blame the store or whatever if it doesn't, there's always luck involved, the stars need to align, it never was that every cool piece of software did great, plenty were great but failed to get an audience since the inception of gaming. I don't think there are too many of those great metroidvanias anyway. Even if you include genre classics, not that it's the best attitude, to say play something from 20 years ago instead. That could be said for CRPGs a while ago, hey, why care for the genre's revival, you have tons of great classics from the 90s! But then the revival happened and it was good, we got lots of worthy games out of it, and keep getting them until whatever reason makes people stop making them again. And why is the comparison between an apparently great world in conflict clone and a metroidvania where there are "plenty" way better alternatives people should play instead? If it's it's a lackluster metroidvania that was made and failed then that's part of the reason, that it was lackluster, so why not say they could/should have put more effort to make a great metroidvania rather than say they should have made a great World in Conflict instead? Why would a failure of something like La Mulana be more acceptable than the failure of something like Grey Goo (not saying either of these failed, though I don't think Grey Goo did so hot, just examples). Why shouldn't the developers of Hollow Knight have made a game like the one they succeeded with and instead made something like World in Conflict if that was their passion? Etc. Oh well, just my 2c. I guess I mainly disagree about genre saturation in that manner being a thing I suppose.
 
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Nyarlathotep

The Crawling Chaos
Apr 18, 2019
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Nyarlathotep 🙀 Someone else who has heard or even played Solium Infernum! :devilish: 💕
I know, right?
That's my go to example for "Well, maybe being on a big storefront that has some discovery tools is better than taking 100% cut on your own webstore" because it would definitely have more fans if it was on steam and getting linked to people who play Talisman or whatever
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
1,488
2,301
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I know, right?
That's my go to example for "Well, maybe being on a big storefront that has some discovery tools is better than taking 100% cut on your own webstore" because it would definitely have more fans if it was on steam and getting linked to people who play Talisman or whatever
Spiderweb used to self publish like that too but then got on Steam and profited massively from it saying it's the best thing that ever happened to them.

Also on iOS and elsewhere though.

So there's an example where they actually did go Steam.

Not that there aren't examples where self publishing leads to success (or Steam publishing not ammounting to much).

Minecraft. So, the stars need to align for a game, starting from what it is, ending to god knows what. There are no guarantees.
 

Nyarlathotep

The Crawling Chaos
Apr 18, 2019
153
422
63
Not that there aren't examples where self publishing leads to success (or Steam publishing not ammounting to much).

Minecraft. So, the stars need to align for a game, starting from what it is, ending to god knows what. There are no guarantees.
Absolutely, but nobody should be looking at Minecraft as representative of anything.

even League Of Legends was on Steam when it was initially trying to build an audience
 

Swenhir

MetaMember
Apr 18, 2019
306
935
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Nexus, the Jupiter Incident
Haegemonia
Homeworld
I am feeling many emotions right now. Seriously, Legions of Iron had such an amazing soundtrack and unbelievably good VFX. Might not have been as awesome a game as the other two, but man did it have style.

I want Imperium Galacticta III too. The real one.
 

Ruvon

Chaotic writer
May 15, 2019
414
894
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France
cabinetdechaologie.wordpress.com

Kyougar

No reviews, no Buy
Nov 2, 2018
350
870
93
I am just saying that a dev has less reason to whine about sales and discoverability if he chases the popular things (metroidvania being the go-to example currently) instead of the genres who are underrepresented.
My first phrase was, that there are NOT too many games.

I am feeling many emotions right now. Seriously, Legions of Iron had such an amazing soundtrack and unbelievably good VFX. Might not have been as awesome a game as the other two, but man did it have style.

I want Imperium Galacticta III too. The real one.
Oh man, YES! Imperium Galactica! i have the 4 CD Version and there was always a time on CD 4 when my whole game crashes and the campaign was basically over at that point :/
 

Jkm23

A Gamer posting from the brig
Jul 12, 2019
592
902
93
I am just saying that a dev has less reason to whine about sales and discoverability if he chases the popular things (metroidvania being the go-to example currently) instead of the genres who are underrepresented.
My first phrase was, that there are NOT too many games.



Oh man, YES! Imperium Galactica! i have the 4 CD Version and there was always a time on CD 4 when my whole game crashes and the campaign was basically over at that point :/
I'm quoting your last post on this but I read your other posts as well.

I agree that some genres are underserved and that some of the high profile "indie" successes have come as a result of those titles filling a void.

On the other hand, the market has been so flooded that once a void is filled, a number of games in a similar vein immediately rush in as a result or even happened to be developed concurrently but released later than the big success.


You can only be first once. And not every dev team has a workable, unique enough idea to fill an underserviced part of the market. I have huge blindspots to genres I'm unaware of and I discover new kinds of games from folks like all the great people here weekly. Sometimes it just feels like nearly everything has come back, from shemmue, to spiritual successors.... Idk.

I will say that I'd love to see a killer app rogue like fps. I've spent time in tower of guns and immortal redneck but the binding of issac of that genre is yet to be created!

I will say one thing, metrovania and point and click is basically played out. Same with "horror" games made in RPG maker.
 

Jkm23

A Gamer posting from the brig
Jul 12, 2019
592
902
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Objection! I'll play Point & Click games forever! P&C will never die! I agree about the others though.
I feel you. I love my point and click. It never died btw, it just shifted a bit in the 2000s to hidden object!

I have like 6 of them I'm playing (DOTT remastered is one lol, second time!) and if I invested $10 I'd have like three more.

Its flooded.
 
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EdwardTivrusky

See You Hyper-Toxic Computer Cowboy
Dec 8, 2018
1,601
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Yeah, i found myself with a metric shit-ton of Hidden Object games too, they're a guilty pleasure of mine but i can see where the P&C genre splintered into Adventure/VN/Hidden Object.

It's kind of why i haven't linked my Steam Profile yet, you lot don't need to see how many HOGs i play! :grimacing-face:

Back on Topic... That EGS, eh? :blobno:
 

Chudah

Just a chick who games
May 24, 2019
185
884
93
Chicago
store.steampowered.com
Yeah, i found myself with a metric shit-ton of Hidden Object games too, they're a guilty pleasure of mine but i can see where the P&C genre splintered into Adventure/VN/Hidden Object.

It's kind of why i haven't linked my Steam Profile yet, you lot don't need to see how many HOGs i play! :grimacing-face:

Back on Topic... That EGS, eh? :blobno:
Nothing wrong with HOGs. There are a couple HOGs that are up there with my favorite games of all time. Mostly the older ones though that were a little more P&C adventure. Plus, the artwork in those games can be seriously gorgeous.
 

Kyougar

No reviews, no Buy
Nov 2, 2018
350
870
93
I'm quoting your last post on this but I read your other posts as well.

I agree that some genres are underserved and that some of the high profile "indie" successes have come as a result of those titles filling a void.

On the other hand, the market has been so flooded that once a void is filled, a number of games in a similar vein immediately rush in as a result or even happened to be developed concurrently but released later than the big success.


You can only be first once. And not every dev team has a workable, unique enough idea to fill an underserviced part of the market. I have huge blindspots to genres I'm unaware of and I discover new kinds of games from folks like all the great people here weekly. Sometimes it just feels like nearly everything has come back, from shemmue, to spiritual successors.... Idk.
As long as the genre is healthy afterward, it shouldn't matter who made it big and who failed. The only thing that matters is, that the customer gets games for his beloved genre again. And that the genre expands and explores new ways. "My time at Portia" and "Graveyard Keeper" were cool variations of the Harvest Moon genre that Stardew Valley ignited. Portia and Keeper weren't great masterpieces but they found success because they filled a void.

Sucks for the devs who fail, but it comes with the industry.
But even with a failed Product, there can be success if you believe in your vision and continually work on it. That can either be through successor titles or by adding to your original game. Kenshi needed 12 Years to be in a state that it was called a success, the masses didn't hear about Stardew Valley or Factorio 4 to 5 years after the first versions were playable.
 

Jkm23

A Gamer posting from the brig
Jul 12, 2019
592
902
93
As long as the genre is healthy afterward, it shouldn't matter who made it big and who failed. The only thing that matters is, that the customer gets games for his beloved genre again. And that the genre expands and explores new ways. "My time at Portia" and "Graveyard Keeper" were cool variations of the Harvest Moon genre that Stardew Valley ignited. Portia and Keeper weren't great masterpieces but they found success because they filled a void.

Sucks for the devs who fail, but it comes with the industry.
But even with a failed Product, there can be success if you believe in your vision and continually work on it. That can either be through successor titles or by adding to your original game. Kenshi needed 12 Years to be in a state that it was called a success, the masses didn't hear about Stardew Valley or Factorio 4 to 5 years after the first versions were playable.
Portia and Graveyard Keeper aren't really the games I was highlighting, its more the upcoming games.

Part of my issue is that I play nearly every genre, bar mmo, space sim trading games and games like Victoria. So, I usually pick one or two from each genre.

RPS's front page and news is a good example of the "too many games" problem. So many games get maybe one article or announcement and then no review, no follow up, nothing. Quality games too. And RPS is, imo, the premier PC gaming site.
 

Crayon

Schizofantastic
May 25, 2019
104
225
43
38
i noticed :p and they're good threads too!
Okay then, everyone keep an eye out. This thread where we come to moan about epic (which is wonderful by the way. Notice how it's not even as big a deal when you're not being bullied by trolls from the word go) is the center mass for mc at the moment. And sometimes when we knock our brain cells together in here, we come up with interesting things to talk about in between.
 
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Rockin' Ranger

MetaMember
Nov 7, 2018
206
683
93
I know, right?
That's my go to example for "Well, maybe being on a big storefront that has some discovery tools is better than taking 100% cut on your own webstore" because it would definitely have more fans if it was on steam and getting linked to people who play Talisman or whatever
The dev thought so too and tried to get on Steam, but it was the pre-Greenlight days and Cryptic Comet games were curated out of the store
 
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rybrad

Junior Member
Apr 22, 2019
51
112
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Hey hey hey. rybrad do you think you could make it work like this?
Functionality-wise that is pretty much the same deal. The hard part is determining how to classify what a dev does as good which increases the scope dramatically. Is putting your game on all stores DRM free good? What about microtransactions? Should doing the bare minimum that customers expect qualify as a good relationship? Is the dev being a nice person enough? Do you need to satisfy X number of attributes to qualify? Should things be weighted so if you are nice to everyone but fill your game with microtransactions you don't qualify? Those are just a few examples I thought of off the top of my head.

Much like how news works these days, it is a lot easier to quantify things as bad with a decent level of objectivity compared to good which can creep in a lot of subjectivity. I'm not against it but would need to hear some ideas on how to quantify a good dev or journalist based on citable facts.
 
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Crayon

Schizofantastic
May 25, 2019
104
225
43
38
Functionality-wise that is pretty much the same deal. The hard part is determining how to classify what a dev does as good which increases the scope dramatically. Is putting your game on all stores DRM free good? What about microtransactions? Should doing the bare minimum that customers expect qualify as a good relationship? Is the dev being a nice person enough? Do you need to satisfy X number of attributes to qualify? Should things be weighted so if you are nice to everyone but fill your game with microtransactions you don't qualify? Those are just a few examples I thought of off the top of my head.

Much like how news works these days, it is a lot easier to quantify things as bad with a decent level of objectivity compared to good which can creep in a lot of subjectivity. I'm not against it but would need to hear some ideas on how to quantify a good dev or journalist based on citable facts.
Damn. I happen to disagree that it's harder to quantify positive and negative, but that's besides the point. As you detail here, it's probably hella hard either way.

And you know, trying to have some strict methodology can be difficult in itself a lot of the time because humans have to determine it. Then it will inevitably come down to hair-splitting because the method is ultimately inadequate of defining good or bad, and that introduces more human factor.

I'd rather work with subjective judgements. Like statements and arguments on how the developer is a good example of customer friendly. That's probably strays far from the app idea you have. I don't really know though, maybe it could work like that, too.
 

Maniac

As the name suggests. The OG Maniac.
I really don't want to derail the thread. I'll just say that my opinion is that while CIG has amazing artists, engineers and even system designers, their game designers have yet to prove their mettle and, in my opinion, are failing every day they let shit like Hover mode past QA. Anything else will be a PM :p.

You make a good point about the amount of game projects but do you have any hard data to go with it? It's not that I don't believe you, it's that this is the kind of thing that can be very surprising.
No hard data atm, It's anecdotal; but I do scour the game section daily (I'm a total KS fanatic in general) and it's... Very much diverse, and there's just... No high-profile projects, there's no six-digit earners, let alone seven to eight digit ones. I'll give a shout if I get off my butt and find some hard statistics :D

To get back on topic - Fuck Tim Sweeney right in his anus. With a wooden dildo that leaves splinters.
 
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lashman

Dead & Forgotten
Sep 5, 2018
12,952
25,544
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☝ this is a VERY good writeup

BUSINESS COSPLAY

What is the market? Something something marginal utility value logic circulation exchange. Any exact definition is probably less helpful on the level of everyday usage than an image or a dream. The market is something that allocates goods, rewards, and punishments. The two types of people in a market are buyers and sellers; the buyer is a sort of homespun moral authority, affirming or denying some set of values with each purchase. The seller is a less settled character, perhaps unsure themselves of what they're selling, perhaps taking some creative short-cuts on the way, but ultimately sure to succeed if they’re an earnest and worthy petitioner. The stern father rewards the striving child. There are market stories celebrating foresight, or cunning, or sometimes hardness or ruthlessness, or generosity, or sometimes just random chance. The "suffering artist becomes big hit" story, for example, can exemplify all these themes at different times. Part of the appeal is the sense that the market is outside of or adjacent to history, a mysterious realm of autonomy and accident which resists crude deterministic readings. There’s always money in there somewhere, so success can never fully be ruled out; like a slot machine, there’s always the prospect of fantastic winnings with just one more go.

As a vision this is complete and compelling even as it's deeply hard to sync with the lived experience of what 'marketization' means in practice, for example the way that this redistributive paradise somehow ends up with everything in the world is owned by the same 12 companies which are owned by the same 7 guys. Or the way the eminently commonsensical gut-driven logic of marginal utility somehow morphs into the byzantine financial transactions of Goldman Sachs et al. Or the day to day strangenesses of an investor-led economy in which large and influential companies don't actually make any money but are kept afloat as vehicles for speculation - hey, just like indie games. All this stuff might be a direct consequence of the market, it might in fact be market logic (and the logic of the freakish inequalities the market helps produce) taken to its natural conclusion - but it somehow never leads to doubt about that original market idyll, a set of images and promises that sit uneasily atop a world it has no actual resemblance to and in fact sometimes directly grinds against.

I watched Mannequin (1987) recently. It does the same thing as Gremlins 2 where the villain is not the boss of the enormous, hyperconsumerist corporate setting, but that boss's duplicitous underlings. The actual monied WASP owners are depicted as benign, maybe a little slow witted, but ultimately flexible and enthusiastic in their openness to new ideas - when those ideas can manage to get through the toadying middlemen that stand in the way. The good king and the corrupt courtiers. I think there's an element of this in the cultural imagination of the market – ‘the market’ as something which has never been officially displaced, which is still nominally in control, but which still seems mysteriously irrelevant and ineffective when it comes to life on the ground. And which must, therefore, have some obstacle which can be removed for proper functioning to occur, as long as we can just identify what it might be.

***

The response to Ooblets being financed by Epic is both gruesome and depressingly predictable, and part of that predictability is in the invocation of the market as a vengeful god. Thou hast disobeyed the ten commandments of perky salesmanship and now must be punished - either by the market itself (poor sales!! a flop!!), or by a dedicated representative ("no, see, it may look like I personally am sending you anti-semitic mail, but in fact it's the invisible hand.."), or else I guess by being exiled from the realm of market worth altogether via digital piracy, etc. The repeated lines about not aggro-ing consumers tend towards the strangely impersonal, not any specific 'consumer' or even the speaker personally but 'consumers' as a general class or caste. If part of the market fantasy of the consumer involves the ability to reward or punish then this has ability has to be demonstrated in order to prove the market's relevance and force – as ostentatiously as possible, as if the language of the individual purchase was no longer quite enough.

Which in fact it might not be. One of the recurring lines around the Epic store is that it's anti-consumer, in part because it effectively has bottomless cash reserves to throw around. Which itself demonstrates how "the market" (the brief scuffle for position in the Battle Royale format) leads to positions which are "anti-market", in the sense of having enough money to no longer have to play by those original imaginary rules. But in fact I suspect that the store, like Steam, and to an even greater extent Uber, Twitter, etc, is in fact just post-consumer: post 'consumer' as a meaningful economic category, after decades of widening income inequality gave a tiny few an ever more freakishly disproportionate amount of wealth and monopoly power. Maybe a more appropriate term now would be 'user': a basically passive entity for externally-financed platforms to hoard and gamble with en route to ubiquity. Of course the famous ability of consumers to choose in the first place has always been limited and at times purely symbolic. But as a symbolic form, as one of the ways market ideology propogates itself by establishing and celebrating a mythologised consumer-caste, the gradual irrelevance of that celebrated ability to choose must be threatening. The self-elected members of the caste assert their special status by exercising the traditional right to punish. Market cosplay - a situation where the ceremonial performance of a phantasmagoric ideal market becomes more and more important as it bears less and less relation to real economic activity. I'm excited for the next step of just imprisoning people in a giant wicker model of the New York Stock Exchange and then setting it on fire.

Well, it's nice to sneer. But aren't indie games engaged in a similar kind of market cosplay, even if it's from the other direction? Releasing commercial work online means being hit by a double imperative. Firstly - be realistic! Sell your art, pay attention to the market, learn to do PR, etc, etc. Secondly - be unrealistic, in your assessment of how much any of this makes a difference. Pretend to be a plucky small-business go-getter; pretend that the magic circle of the market is immune to wider general tendencies of precarity and monopolisation which incidentally leave everyone with much less time or money to play your artful platformer game. Of course, even for wellknown or popular contemporary developers, making games commercially seems to be less connected to producing work for an actual audience and more to do with.. producing vehicles of financial speculation for the benefit of large platforms, large publishers, or perhaps just individual HNWIs; and these roles are themselves limited and vulnerable to all the weirdnesses of private patronage. Still, though... there's always the distant possibility of a payout if you just keep hustling.

***

In the early days of indie games there was a tendency to celebrate the idea that the scene lacked internal competition; a sense that one person’s success would also help to open the doors wider for all the others. We can laugh about that now, but it's also a good example of how internalised market logic can appear as vague idealism while working towards its own ends. Firstly, even as developers are imagined as all in this together, a market framing imposes its own strict libertarian ideas of what that entails - not any kind of positive form of mutual relation, that could entail communicating or organizing, but only the negative relation of "not doing anything to directly sabotage one another". The idea of just gaining that toehold into the mass market also not only glosses over but actually valorizes whatever weird power dynamics already exist among developers.

Secondly the framing of the market as something outside, to be broken into, obscures the ways that capital itself is always searching for new spaces to enter and convert into profit centers. The games which "break out" also immediately turn into the vehicle by which capital can "break in" and begin structuring and reorganizing what's already there - everyone in indie games is familiar with the way a successful game becomes a sort of gravity well for the culture around it, that pushes everything else to adapt and frame itself in relation to its terms. The mid-00s cliche of the symbolism-laden platformer game or the minecraft clone is usually framed in terms of cynical developers trying to ride a wave. But we can also think of it in terms of capital (publishers, vencap funds, etc) equally cynically using a success as opportunity to activate and convert a "dormant" pool of talent (the ambient sludge of hobbyist development) into saleable commodities.

It may sound nostalgic to talk about, but in fact the ethos of mutually-beneficial marketization is still with us in increasingly ragged form. Every couple of years somebody with money to burn hustles up some indies to serve as a kind of tile grout plugging the gaps of a new grandiose scheme - new platforms, new consoles, new streaming services, VR, etc.. And we're encouraged to chase that while we can, get contact-high on the success of the lucky few, and not peer too closely at the miraculous gift of temporary market attention. And then, afterwards, to clean up the fallout: interesting work locked away on closed or dead systems, the limited pool of critical attention sucked up and converted into PR for platform holders and publishers, diminishment of sites and networks we own or have a say in running in favour of more walled gardens sporadically tended by cokehead billionaires.

And the truly sad thing is that even the lucky few who immediately benefit rarely seem to reap the rewards for very long, invariably emerging back into a landscape even worse than when they left it. The temporary (yet recurring) sudden influx of new money rarely if ever seems to 'trickle down' in ways which might benefit us all. Imagine some of what could be done with some collective pooling and organization - funds for translating non-anglophone work, for new spaces of independent criticism and curation, for tool production and community organization and helping to subsidize noncommercial practice, etc. As it is, it vanishes immediately into a handful of private pockets, for use at the private discretion of the owners of those pockets, who are themselves more vulnerable to harmful demands by inability to recognize or organize whatever power they do hold. The idea that the market, and the capital encrypted in it, is a neutral given which can only be accessed on its own terms annuls the prospect of any kind of organization from the get go.

***

This lack of a real, coherent response to cycles of boom and bust finally leaves us stuck in the same old tired conversation – whatever happened to the market? What mysterious obstacle prevented it from working as intended? Cheap games, expensive games, too many games, foreign games, free games, asset flip games, games of the undeserving... indie rhetoric slides backwards into the paranoid, reactionary fantasies of the market cult. And even alternative imaginations feel strangely bereft of ideas to the extent they still cycle around these terms. I like itch.io, I like zine fairs, I've written about them both a lot here... but... nice and useful as they are, isn't it a bit depressing that so much creative and critical energy goes into acting out this Potemkin image of functioning, "fair" markets, ones where all the nasty parts have temporarily been pushed under the rug?

Max Haiven, in "Art After Money, Money After Art" points out that financialisation wasn't just imposed from the top down, that it's produced and embedded in everyday life partly as a collection of opportunities which then contribute to producing financialized subjects. My own analogy for the process would be 'lifehacks', which are not imposed by some dystopian central committee so much as they emerge as small moments of creative grassroot problem-solving, which then become dystopian en masse as they gradually shift the baseline expectations of the everyday itself.

In that market arrangements are not challenged, and remain the default even in the rinky-dink small-scale spaces we create for our hobbyist projects outside the shadow of big capital, they will continue to act as the implicit limit to our sense of what's possible; will continue to act as the rake that we step on, again and again.
 

m_dorian

Junior Member
May 22, 2019
219
742
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US is where most media tools reside, the huge pylon of this industry, the most receptive to brutal business practices since they are trained from their own system so they must be the first to be swayed, And it seems like an easier task than other regions.

Tier 1 territory,
 

uraizen

Competitively anti-competitive
Oct 7, 2018
481
754
93
Can't you just let people download everything then push the executable at midnight? I'm sure they can at least do that, I'd hope.
 
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Ascheroth

Writing in the Megastructure
Nov 12, 2018
1,758
4,548
113
Oof. That one hurts even under the most charitable standards EGS could be held to. Not even good enough for 2004.
The funny thing is that this is an area where they could easily be "better" than Steam.
We all know that the unpacking process often takes longer then downloading it fresh if you have good internet.
 
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PC-Patriot

Press Any key, where the hell is it ?
Aug 5, 2019
91
280
53
what the actual fuck ........ I mean seriously this is like WOW. Epic Games Store doesn't support fucking preloading ......... and people are defending this sorry arse excuse for a digital platform that is forcing people to buy games from them and only them. Damn right I am a toxic gamer if I am expected to use a service that doesn't even do bloody pre-loading.

What is even more mindblowing is the media's complete and utter silence with regard to this oh wait they don't want to upset the hand that bribes them.
 

Ganado

¡Detrás de tí, imbécil!
Nov 6, 2018
84
101
33
The best part;

Like what or do they mean pre-load through uPlay due to The Division 2?
 
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PC-Patriot

Press Any key, where the hell is it ?
Aug 5, 2019
91
280
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Remember when Randy Pitchford said that Borderlands 3 being Epic Exclusive would force Epic to implement features into their store for it's release. Who would have thought that Randy Pitchford would turn out to be a lying sack of shit ........ and that is the nicest thing anyone said about Randy today.