Steam Shields Borderlands Games from Review Bombing

A tweet from Steam Database notes that Borderlands 2 is the first game to benefit from Valve's recently announced plan to prevent malicious review bombing of titles on Steam. Word is: "Borderlands 2 is the first game on Steam to make use of the 'off-topic reviews' marking. Over 4000 reviews are excluded from the rating calculation." Similarly, off-topic reviews for the original Borderlands are also being filtered from the main results. The bombings in question stems from the recent announcement that Borderlands 3 will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for the first six months following the release of the shooter sequel. An interesting aside here is that although Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford placed responsibility for the store exclusivity on publisher 2K Games, he tweeted about bitterness over Valve's disinterest in addressing the review bombing before they ultimately did just that. Ironically (especially since he characterized his complaint as ironic), he said it makes him "kind of happy about 2k’s decision" and that this motivated him to "want to reconsider Gearbox Publishing’s current posture on the platform."
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Re: Steam Shields Borderlands Games from Review Bombing
Apr 8, 2019, 03:05
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Re: Steam Shields Borderlands Games from Review Bombing Apr 8, 2019, 03:05
Apr 8, 2019, 03:05
 
saluk wrote on Apr 8, 2019, 01:48:
Surely the developers of these exclusive games have done the analysis of how well they will do. Epic probably has spent some on exclusives (though I expect it's in some form of a better pecentage up to a certain number of sales or something to that effect), but there are plenty of other incentives. Like we saw with origin, if the game is good, most people still buy it even if it is being sold on a store that no one likes. (Origin has got to be the worst one imo - epic may be pretty bare on features, but it makes up for that in being really unobtrusive, fast to launch etc)

If most of your audience is going to buy it anyway, you are going to charge 60$ either way (because of course), and you make 88% from one store and 70% from another, you are actually limiting your income by selling it on both marketplaces. In fact, it may be that the more people dislike the Epic storefront THE MORE TRUE THIS IS. In a world where everyone just buys the steam version and not the EGS version, the dev makes less money. If the steam version is not an option - and a high enough amount of your audience follows you - you could very well do better.

Whether there are extra kickbacks from epic or not, the 12% is already a huge kickback to go exclusive.

You're making the flawed assumption that people are automatically going to buy games that interest them. That's only true if they know the games exist. Big IPs with established fan-bases don't have that problem. Games like Battlefield may sell well enough on Origin but the lesser known games like Unravel or A Way Out probably sell like shit. Smaller, lower-profile games need all the exposure they can get and you accomplish that by selling them on as many platforms as possible. That's why everything is multiplatform these days.

Honestly, it's kind of amazing that people are unaware of the payments Epic offers for these timed exclusivity deals. I don't know if it's willful ignorance or just a lack of research. In addition, there are already games that are on both EGS and Steam. Subnautica, My Time in Portia, Darksiders 3, The Witness, Bloodlines 2, etc. Your argument that selling on Steam makes no sense when EGS offers a lower cut is demonstrably inaccurate.

Also, to restate what should already be obvious: these are TIMED exclusives. Timed. Exactly one year (six months in the case of Borderlands 3). If devs and pubs were abandoning Steam because of Epic's lower cut, then why aren't these all permanent exclusives? After all, if the larger cut is more valuable than Steam's user base, why go back to Steam at all? According to your logic, the larger cut overrides all other benefits and is the primary reason for timed EGS exclusivity.
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