Steam players have shifted gears from bombing Metro Exodus with negative reviews attacking Epic and Deep Silver to praising the game - while still lambasting Epic. Back in January, publisher Deep Silver abruptly yanked its much-anticipated Metro Exodus from Steam despite originally taking pre-orders for that platform. The company opted instead to release the game exclusively for PC through the Epic Game Store. Unhappy Steam users responded by bombing the game with negative reviews prior to its release. Now the game is out and earning rave reviews (including from us).
Metro Exodus released Feb. 15 and is the third installment in the Metro series developed by 4A Games. The games take inspiration from the novels of the same name by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Set in a post-apocalyptic Russia ravaged by nuclear war, the country’s surviving population are forced to live in the underground metro train tunnels. Players once again control protagonist Artyom who leads a team of rangers outside of Moscow in search of other survivors. Along the way they’ll have to combat hostile mutated creatures, unpredictable human factions, and the deadly radiation.
Eurogamer originally reported this bittersweet tactic by disgruntled Steam players. Despite the store no longer offering Metro Exodus for purchase, users can still leave reviews on its store page. Surprisingly, many have acknowledged the game’s high quality by leaving genuinely positive reactions or constructive criticism. However, most have used these reviews as thinly veiled Trojan horses to lob more bombs at the Epic Store and Deep Silver. One review reads: “Great job 4A Games, again! But get rid of your publisher for the next one, as they give you a bad name.” Another bluntly states: "I would say the game is a fps masterpiece. **** EPIC STORE!”
It’s almost the inverse of review bombing, a practice where angry gamers bury a title with negative reviews, generally out of calculated spite for reasons independent of the product’s actual quality. Although Deep Silver honored Steam pre-orders for Metro Exodus purchased before it got pulled down, it will be a full year before it returns to the storefront. This is due to their exclusivity deal with Epic.
The Epic Store made waves when it launched in late 2018 by establishing an 88 percent revenue share with developers (meaning Epic takes 12 percent). That’s significantly higher than Steam’s longtime 70/30 split, which Valve amended last December to offer increased revenue share to high-selling games. Despite Valve’s efforts, more developers have been flocking to Epic. Ubisoft announced The Division 2 will skip Steam for an exclusive PC release on the Epic Store. The same holds true for the final two episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season.
It’s refreshing to see Metro fans give Exodus and 4A Games their props despite unpopular publisher decisions. Steam fans have every right to complain about getting shafted, but they’re targeting the entities responsible rather than dragging down the game itself.