When 4A Games confirmed that Metro Exodus is coming to Epic Store, Valve quickly commented that this was unfair to players. However, today, Valve developer and designer Nathaniel Blue claims this refers to the timing of the announcement.
A couple of months ago, 4A Games and the publisher Deep Silver confirmed that Metro Exodus is ditching Steam for Epic Games Store. The controversial decision caused a huge backlash from many players who wanted to play the game on Valve's launcher.
Valve released a statement in which they said that the decision to remove the game from Steam is not fair to players since the game was available for pre-order on Steam for quite some time.
"We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know," Valve said at the time.
Today, Steam business developer and designer Nathaniel Blue explained what exactly he meant by these comments. According to Blue, the "unfair" part refers only to the timing of Deep Silver's announcement, not the entire concept of Epic Games Stores exclusives. "It was about the timing. The game was about to launch, and then it was [exclusive to the Epic Games Store]. So that was the only goal of that. What came out of that was not what we expected," Blue explained.
Furthermore, he said that Valve did not want to upset people and that their comment wasn't meant to be a lightning rod. However, it indeed served as a fuel to a huge backlash and review bombing campaigns against the Metro franchise.
"Our goal is not to upset the community or light anyone’s hair on fire,” Blue said. "Our goal is to get developers close to customers, have a really valuable place for people to play games, and stay focused on that."
All in all, hopefully, these comments will bring some calm to the storm that started with Epic Games' aggressive exclusives strategy. You can read the interview with Nathaniel Blue on Kotaku.