One of the hottest topics in PC gaming, and also one of the most controversial, is the Epic Games Store and its ongoing efforts to snatch as many AAA exclusive deals as possible.
Since bringing up this issue is a guaranteed way to attract hordes of incensed enthusiasts it has been exploited to this end occasionally, and that's exactly what happened just recently when a supposed leak suggested that Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC will be Epic Games Store (EGS) exclusive.
The leak apparently revealed the release date of Red Dead Redemption 2's as-of-yet unannounced and unconfirmed PC port. Based on a leak from 4chan - which, really, should have been clear enough indication that this is a hoax - the PC port was to be announced on the 22nd of April at 9 AM PST. The game would then be launched as an Epic Game Store exclusive on the 9th of July.
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In a rather bizarre move of self-outing however, the same leaker then went on to claim that Super Mario Odyssey would also be coming to PC via the Epic Games Store. Given that Nintendo has not released any of its first-party games to PC full-stop, this seems like a case of one "leak" too far and we are calling any and all claims by this person fake.
That won't stop us dissecting the fake leak further though (we've come all this way).
So with that said, according to the leaker, the exclusivity supposedly wouldn't be timed either. One of the most controversial recent exclusives, Borderlands 3, will only be exclusive to the EGS for 6 months before hitting Steam. The leaker reported that Epic would allow Take-Two to retain 100% of profits from the game and all additional content. Valve takes a 30% cut from all profits made by games that are on Steam.
4Chan is a common source of game leaks, with arguably the majority of leaks - both fake and legitimate - originating on the site. Most leaks that end up being true, especially related to Nintendo titles, appear on 4Chan first, but for every legit leak the site produces, there are hundreds of fake ones.
This is just one of these hoaxes.
The poster no doubt banked on the current furor over the Epic Games Store giving this particular rumor a large audience. That said, while this particular leak was fake, we wouldn't be too surprised if an eventual Red Dead Redemption 2 PC port does end up being an Epic Games Store exclusive, following the likes of Metro: Exodus, the aforementioned Borderlands 3, The Outer Worlds and more.
Many gamers are angry about Epic's aggressive exclusive-oriented strategy. Metro Exodus had been on sale, with pre-orders available for a long time, when Epic swooped in and gained exclusivity rights. Fans who bought their copies on Steam already would get the game there, but it was no longer for sale on the storefront. Epic has been gaining both AAA and Indie games by taking less of a cut than Valve.
While Valve finally having true competition in the digital market is ultimately good for consumers, Epic's aggressive strategy isn't winning them any goodwill, especially considering how feature-bare their platform is compared to Steam, lacking many functions that gamers have come to consider base. However, based on the sales of Metro Exodus, the majority of players are willing to use the Epic platform regardless of any misgivings.
We hope that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be available on a wide selection of stores if it launches on PC in the future, giving customers a choice where they purchase it, however games being Epic exclusive isn't the tragedy many critics make it out to be. We'll see how things turn out should a PC port ever be announced.
A pretty convincing leak showing off a possible PC version's menus made the rounds online some time ago.