The latest of the Epic Store’s free games is Axiom Verge. This is a 2D, retro-inspired platformer not unlike the classic Metroid games. Anyone can download and play it. However, some users are experiencing a game-breaking bug due to the title not being on Steam, which is hilariously ironic considering Epic Games has been trying to take exclusivity for certain games.
In this version, when players enter a specific room, the game crashes. That’s it. No warning or anything. It just goes to the desktop. Apparently, this isn’t because of anything Epic did. This is only because developer Tom Happ decided to remove all files with the word “Steam” in it when creating the Epic Store distribution, he reveals in a tweet:
For anyone missing Steam.xnb from the Epic store, please go to AV in your library, click the gear icon, Verify, then Update.
I was thinking it being Epic and all, I shouldn't include valve's dlls and such, so I excluded all files with "Steam" in the name… oops.
— Tom Happ (@AxiomVerge) February 7, 2019
Put clearly; he deleted a sound file that needs to play when inside that room. The missing sound was one of a steaming pipe. Thankfully, the Epic Store features a quick fix for the title – all gamers need to do is update.
Axiom Verge is a brilliant game, so it would have been awful if players couldn’t progress through it for a while. Fortunately, the online-focused modern world saved the day. That said, this isn’t the first of the drama between Epic and Steam.
Some days ago, Epic swiped the highly-anticipated Metro Exodus from Valve’s platform mere weeks before its release. This happened out of nowhere, with not even Valve knowing until the day beforehand. The company put out a message on the Exodus Steam page detailing what happened, and stating that the situation was “unfair to customers:”
“Sales of Metro Exodus have been discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.
The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.
We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.”
Swept Out From Underneath
Fortunately for Steam gamers, the title is still playable on Valve’s platform for anyone who pre-ordered it. That, and any updates or DLC will make their way there as well. However, Epic’s exclusivity isn’t permanent. On February 14th, 2020 – 364 days after the game’s release, Exodus will be available again on Steam.
Despite it coming back to the platform eventually, some gamers are unhappy about the situation. As of now, the Epic Store lacks a ton of features the Steam store has. Examples include cloud saving, built-in streaming, and more. This has caused some players to claim the move is “anti-consumer,” and others are attempting to boycott Exodus entirely.
Developer 4A Games along with Publisher Deep Silver made a joint statement on the matter, claiming that they would move away from PC entirely if gamers treated them poorly.
Regarding other games, Epic Games has also secured distribution rights to the final episodes of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, and Ubisoft’s The Division 2 – both major titles who’s previous entries have impacted millions of users.