You probably didn't need a crystal ball to see this one coming - the news of Gearbox launching their looter shooter Borderlands 3 as an Epic Games Store timed exclusive resulted in prompt review bombing of Borderlands 1's Steam page.
We must admit, it's not exactly the worst Steam bombing in history as they're more like occasional artsy ASCII reminders of what they think of Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney, while almost advertising Borderlands 3 as a timed, six-month exclusive on the Epic Games Store (EGS).
In absence of forums on the EGS, which ironically stems from Sweeney's disdain for mechanisms that allow review bombing, making Valve's platform just a bit worse seems to count as a proper punishment of big bad Epic in the eyes of some.
To make matters even worse for the bombers, they can't seem to get the ball rolling en masse, for a proper spectacle.
First of all, actual fans of the game are running in like Counter-Terrorists, defusing left and right while reiterating their support for Gearbox wherever they launch Borderlands 3.
As for EGS' vocal opponents, the narrative of Sweeney as the absolute Darth Vader, whose glance turns beloved studios into elitist, exclusive-loving, anti-gaming snobs, is getting really old really quick.
We're perfectly aware games are not getting to Steam, and we all wish we had a single launcher. Heck, Even Sweeney wants that, hinting that making a unified solution could be a clever step to a completely free ecosystem one day.
Developers are the ones ultimately making the call though, so we're not sure why they're even being mentioned here. By the way, Pitchford and Gearbox played their hand magnificently, ensuring no outrage during the Borderlands 3
What we don't seem to hear enough of is just how much money developers make by going with Epic, and Sweeney's 12 per cent cut even covers Unreal Engine 4 royalties should you choose to use it.
Just for kicks, let's say the new Borderlands sells roughly like the old - 13 million copies. Let's say each cost one dollar, so $13 million in the bank. Valve's, Apple's and Google's share is $3.9 million, plus 650 thousand in Unreal Engine royalties. Going with Epic means you only pay $1.56 million. Feel free to upscale the equation yourself.
It seems that when it comes to declarative support, gaming communities are pretty quick to write essays on the horrors of crunch, blasting companies for their lack of humanity. When it comes to actual practical help, such as allowing companies to make a lot more money, they're quick to start waxing ethical. Very exciting branch, launcher ethics.
Ultimately, the loudest ones want Epic to quit the exclusive-reliant policy, which in their mind splits communities and isn't good for gaming.
The long term reality of EGS means games will continue to get bigger and better across the board. Unreal Engine 4 and easy access to free game-making tools means more indies too, which ensures fresh blood.