Mobius’ crowdfunded space exploration game Outer Wilds is the latest title to have been snapped up by Epic for an exclusivity period with the Epic Games Store.
In an update (thanks, ResetEra) to backers and investors who supported the game via Fig, the statement said that the team “welcomed helpful partnerships with Annapurna Interactive, XBox, and Epic” in order to “keep our small studio running long enough to ship the game at the level of quality that it is today”.
Initially, the developer expected the game to be ready for Q2 2016 and had been “planning” to release the game on Mac, Linux and PC via Steam. While it says its goal remains to “bring the game to your preferred platform as quickly as possible”, some supporters are disappointed that it will first be released only on Xbox One and the Epic Games Store.
“Outer Wilds will first be released on XBox One and on PC via the Epic Games Store, with additional platforms coming later,” the statement from Mobius said. “Rest assured that we read all of your comments and our goal is to bring the game to your preferred platform as quickly as possible.
“Throughout the development of the game, we’ve welcomed helpful partnerships with Annapurna Interactive, XBox, and Epic to support us and keep our small studio running long enough to ship the game at the level of quality that it is today. Each of these partnerships has enabled us to make the game better and more accessible for everyone who will play it.”
“I understand the publisher made this deal and not the dev team, and I understand money is a driving force behind the decision,” said one unhappy backer on reddit. “However, I feel this is unethical for crowdfunding campaigns. I didn’t want to support the game so I could play it months after release on the platform the campaign originally promoted. If I was told my contribution meant I could play the game “eventually”, I would not have pledged.”
“I really do not want to refund. Honestly, I would of (sic) preferred them asking for more money, rather then (sic) timed exclusivity,” added another. “Which, by the way, they didn’t even specify how long it would be either. I can’t believe I have to wait another six months or year. To me, this feels like a real kick in the teeth to backers. I was promised a steam key when I backed the game and will have to wait even longer to get what I was promised during the campaign.”
As others have said, however, “we’re planning to” doesn’t automatically translate to “we are going to”, and “EGS barely existed if not was inexistant (sic) at the time, no wonder plans can change. Game dev is expensive, is (sic) that is what they needed to get enough money to pay their devs and release the game, no problem here.”
We’ve reached out to both Epic and Mobius for comment and will update as and when we hear back.