It's not a secret to anyone who has been following the suddenly competitive digital distribution market - big games are skipping Steam and heading straight for the Epic Games Store on timed exclusivity deals. The result has been a nasty divide in the gaming community between those who support a healthy, competitive market that drives distributors to offer developers better deals and those who really don't want to download a second game launcher for some reason.
In all seriousness, those who have argued against the Epic Games Store aren't typically doing it because they don't want competition - it's because they feel the competition is negatively affecting their ability to play games and enjoy them, and to that extent, they might be onto something. The Epic Games Store has courted away several high-profile games releases who were previously pre-ordering on Steam - most notably Metro: Exodus - which caused an unnecessary few steps for fans who really just wanted to support the developer and have the game paid for. It's not the end of the world, but it's certainly inconvenient, and it's caused some fans to look at developers as greedy for chasing the money that Epic Games Store promises them.
That is unfair, though, because there's a major reason big games are skipping Steam - the difference in money is massive. Steam's revenue cut can be as high as 30%, whereas Epic's is a paltry 12% instead. That's a huge gap to cross for many developers and the exposure that Steam promises isn't necessarily worth taking up to an 18% hit on profits, especially for games like the aforementioned Metro: Exodus and The Division 2, neither of which really needs extra advertising. The same can be said for Borderlands 3, the game that Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford believes could change the gaming industry through its decision to support the Epic Games Store as a timed exclusive.
It's not just the money. There's also the encouraging notion that the Epic Games Store has been relatively untouched by controversy in its brief existence, something that can't be said for Valve and its Steam platform. Steam routinely finds itself embroiled in discussions over community moderation, particularly when it comes to highly offensive game content that is designed to shock and anger rather than offer a good play experience. The company's unwillingness to address these issues and deliberate, hands-off approach to most of its issues has certainly caused some developers to worry about their game being advertised beside a sexual assault simulator. Steam controversy is nothing new, but having an alternative is, and it seems like some developers are happy to depart the platform in order to skip out on any potential trouble.
Big games keep skipping Steam because they finally can. That might not always be the case, especially if Valve begins to clean up some of the procedural problems that have emerged from having a monopoly on digital distribution for over a decade. None of this is to say that Steam is inherently bad - a lot of the platform's features are great, and the community there will take years for Epic to build up a similar contingent. All the current direction digital distribution is heading says is that there's a few clear reasons big games are skipping Steam for the Epic Games Store, and that should cause some exciting innovations and developments from both parties in the near future.