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Epic Games Takes a Stand Against Developer Abuse Due to Exclusivity Deals

It goes without saying that there’s a lot of hate from certain gamers about the Epic Games Store and a lot of that is because of the exclusivity deals that Epic Games have implemented so that a title makes its way onto their digital storefront first. Not only is Epic getting some flack for their exclusivity deals, but even indie developers are coming under fire. Enter Ooblets developers Rebecca Cordingley and Ben Wasser, who have reportedly been getting a lot of harassment from some gamers.

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Last week, Wasser revealed that their farming life sim, Ooblets, would be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Wasser did say that threatening to pirate a game because it doesn’t appear on a particular storefront is the epitome of “immature, toxic gamers” but the post was meant to be lighthearted, as he added that this is “low-stakes” and nothing to get worked up about.

Since then, the developer has been under fire by certain gamers, from threatening messages to spreading fake news about this indie developer and even sending them wildly inappropriate images from gore to pornography. The developer explained that:

We’ve been getting thousands if not tens of thousands of hateful, threatening messages across every possible platform nonstop. It’s especially hurtful since we’ve had such a positive, supportive relationship with our audience throughout development.

An example of fake news can be read below.

Epic Games has now had enough of this and has taken a stand against developer abuse who choose Epic Games Store exclusivity. Epic has posted a serious “Statement of misinformation and abuse” to the public, which you can read in full below.

We at Epic Games have often shared our views about the game business and companies in it, and we support the entire game community’s right to speak freely and critically about these topics, including the topic of Epic, our products, and our store. When everyone shares their earnest views, the best ideas ultimately prevail.

The announcement of Ooblets highlighted a disturbing trend which is growing and undermining healthy public discourse, and that’s the coordinated and deliberate creation and promotion of false information, including fake screenshots, videos, and technical analysis, accompanied by harassment of partners, promotion of hateful themes, and intimidation of those with opposing views.

Epic is working together with many game developers and other partners to build what we believe will be a healthier and more competitive multi-store world for the future. We remain fully committed, and we will steadfastly support our partners throughout these challenges. Many thanks to all of you that continue to promote and advocate for healthy, truthful discussion about the games business and stand up to all manners of abuse.

Should developers receive so much abuse simply for choosing to safeguard their own futures with an Epic Games Store exclusivity deal? I personally don’t think so.

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What do you think about this whole debacle? Let us know in the comment section below.

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