Steam introduces feature to combat Borderlands review bombings, Gearbox CEO responds to situation

DooKey

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Seems like a lot of people are review bombing Borderlands on Steam. As a result the Steam folks have added a filter to get rid of OT posts. The snake pitchford responds and doubles down on his Epic choice.

It appears the controversy has made at least one person involved in the Borderlands franchise happy that publisher 2K decided to pick Epic over Steam. Responding to a tweet from Gearbox developer Scott Velasquez, company CEO Randy Pitchford wrote: “this misuse makes me kind of happy about 2k’s decision,” adding that the experience “makes me want to reconsider Gearbox Publishing’s current posture on the platform.”
 
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Delicieuxz

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Randy's being a baby. 'People are angry at my company for being part of EGS' anti-competitive practices' *takes ball and goes home*.

Yeah, they're angry, legitimately.

Since the review bombing isn't an argument in favour of EGS or one against Steam, I wouldn't be surprised if he was looking for an excuse all along to back EGS because he was on-board with it. A previous Twitter post he made feigned cluelessness over people having an issue with EGS and openly wondered what issues people have with it. He's not very in touch with the consumer interests of the matter.
 

NickJames

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Randy's being a baby. 'People are angry at my company for being part of EGS' anti-competitive practices' *takes ball and goes home*.

Yeah, they're angry, legitimately.

Since the review bombing isn't an argument in favour of EGS or one against Steam, I wouldn't be surprised if he was looking for an excuse all along to back EGS because he was on-board with it. A previous Twitter post he made feigned cluelessness over people having an issue with EGS and openly wondered what issues people have with it. He's not very in touch with the consumer interests of the matter.

He's completely aware, he's a self centered douche and manipulates every argument to fit his views. He's entirely two-faced and will try to appeal to his audience as much as possible but it just comes off as fake.
 

Jagger100

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So Steam allows at least some limited customer feedback and I would imagine Epic is non-existent or considerably more limited. So, no need to leave steam.

When did we become a generation of corporate muppets that corporations can take for granted? I guess when they started using their products to push ideology and the press will give them a free ride on everything they do.
 

RanceJustice

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Note: May I suggest to edit the blurb - people aren't review bombing Borderlands 3 as if it had a listing on Steam, but rather earlier Borderlands titles in order to show their displeasure for this course of action

There's a tweet somewhere being passed around that talked about this essentially saying "Review bombing is evidence that gamers have no better way to get into a meaningful dialog over decisions like these where they feel they're heard" and I think this is definitely true.

While I personally didn't review bomb, I imagine that many that are aren't doing it because they hate Borderlands, Borderlands 2, or The Pre:Sequel - conversely, they probably own and really enjoy those games. They have ever right to be angry that, despite those games being supported near entirely by Steam users for years and remaining profitable to this day (not to mention things like the Aspyr and Feral ports allowing Mac and Linux support!), Borderlands 3 going Epic exclusive for such a long period of time really feels like an insult. This was a game that many were willing to buy on reputation and the good memories they had of previous installments. Pitchford's behavior and the overall pathology of the Epic Store and those behind it seem to make things even worse.

I should mention that Steam's tech here (if I'm correct) may be updated but it isn't new - since the idea of "review bombing" came onto the scene, Steam has been refining a system whereas when they detect a "bomb period" of offtopic reviews en masse, they won't necessarily be removed but they wont' "count" towards the game's overall positive/negative score during that period. I figure that's a pretty good compromise so that Steam can continue to offer players unfettered review access, but also control for behavior like this when there is enough evidence - something that is demonstrated in public (ie it mentions on the review bar graph that there was a bombing period or whatnot during this time and they won't count etc) which is neat.

This tech on Steam's behalf is just more evidence of the benefits of their store/platform/community, but the real issue here continues to be Epic's business practices and those that make the Faustian bargain with them; efforts to frame the possibility of 'review bombing' as some sort of negative towards Steam are not in good faith, simply being exploited to showcase the benefits of repressive measures to open discourse, such as Epic's lack of player reviews at all (and plans to only allow "optional, controlled" review content down the road).
 

PeaKr

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The devs should allocate their energy on developing a great game rather than picking fights with their customers, which btw is unbelievably stupid. Its a gamble to force distribution though egs, wiser to distribute it from all platforms. Epic must've made them a great deal, doesn't seem like a profitable strategy. Gamers can vote with their wallets, buy it on steam 6 months later for a 30% discount after its out of beta. If epic is successful steam will have to reduce its cut to compete and egs will have to develop its platform because right now it sux. Competition is a good thing.
 

Comixbooks

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I don't see this Epic exclusive thing going away anytime soon. Epic is here to stay and Borderlands 3 basically nailed it for any developer in doubt except maybe Bethesda.
 

modi123

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Super to hear Valve was finally prodded enough to do something about the abuse of their rating system by petulant adult-children who feel compelled to act out on their own misplaced sense of entitlement.

I can only imagine the mental connections those bombing the reviews of past Borderlands iterations must make.

Grrrr!! Game studio doesn't immediately support my platform! How dare they! This really cheeses me off! Let me blast them on the social medias.

*twenty posts, on five platforms, later*

Well that's done. I lashed out and ripped into those continuing a franchise I love so much to show them how much I would love the game on platform X.

*one sleep later*

I am still really really angry about this, and I don't have proper impulse control! I know.. to show them who is boss let's burn down the reviews of the games in the franchise I love so dearly that I am getting this upset over it! Yeah! That'll show them.


It's almost like a rioter's mentality that burn down their own area in retaliation to some issue mixed with victim blaming.

I can very well understand Pitchford's response last week about how a platform that let review bombing happen would color their choice for release.

The review bombers really need to get a clue... then again everyone spewing vitriol and vile comments at the social media accounts of Pitchford and Gearbox need to get a bigger clue and step back from the edge. :rolleyes:
 

Domingo

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Another week, another gaming outrage. We're due for a wave of best game ever candidates as people have been nothing but mad lately.
 

Mode13

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Steam allows user reviews and takes steps to keep the review score fair by removing large unusual review bombs

...And Pitchford and co tweet about how it makes them strongly reconsider using steam? So we can use a platform that doesn't allow reviews at all?

I'm picturing Tim Sweeney in his new overpriced Fortnite tuxedo stuffing $100 bills in these guys undergarments like strippers so as to keep them moronically dancing and shilling.

I didn't have an issue waiting for bl3 to arrive on steam, but they keep running their mouths and ensuring people boycott the game permanently. The content of the game is probably more pre sequel political drivel again anyway. Getting tired of thinking about it.
 

NickJames

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Super to hear Valve was finally prodded enough to do something about the abuse of their rating system by petulant adult-children who feel compelled to act out on their own misplaced sense of entitlement.

I can only imagine the mental connections those bombing the reviews of past Borderlands iterations must make.




It's almost like a rioter's mentality that burn down their own area in retaliation to some issue mixed with victim blaming.

I can very well understand Pitchford's response last week about how a platform that let review bombing happen would color their choice for release.

The review bombers really need to get a clue... then again everyone spewing vitriol and vile comments at the social media accounts of Pitchford and Gearbox need to get a bigger clue and step back from the edge. :rolleyes:

Eh, it got Randys attention didn't it? Review bombing accomplishes exactly what the users are intending it to do so technically it's a success for the consumer. Are we not allowed to voice our opinions and concerns? Sure there's a select few who decide they have to use hate words to get their point across but you can't suppress public opinion, that's the beginnings of a bad society. It should be up to me to decide if those concerns are valid.
 

Litfod

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So instead of buying their game the day it hit steam at full pop. I'm going to warez it and and do what I can so others can do the same.

I fully intend to grab the cracked version, perhaps even help if I can and make sure its on my seed boxes night and day.

The warez community is going to gleefully crack and share this game as fast and as hard as they can.

Of course when sales flop Bitchford is going to blame the pirates no doubt. lol

Bullshit, if that's your attitude you were never going to buy it in the first place, and no one will even notice the difference. If you simply objected to using the Epic store you'd wait and buy it on Steam and support the developers of a game you clearly want to play instead of acting like an entitled child.
When the sales are great, and 2K is also enjoying the increased revenue split on top of the exclusivity payment, and your lame fake protest has made no difference whatsoever, you'll probably just twist that into a justification for having pirated it.
 

Flogger23m

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And this goes to show that Steam does care, and they are able to implement and upgrade their technologies.

Only when there is competition. Remember when Origin came out with different install paths and refunds? Valve acted quickly to remain on top. Origin pretty much stopped innovating shortly after and Steam stagnated again. Now with more developers leaving Steam we're seeing them get competitive to be attractive to developers. They lowered the fees from a flat 30% to 20/24/30% depending on sale numbers. Review bombing is just another thing they're doing now that Steam has some competition again.

It wouldn't amaze me if Valve decided to build a new engine from the ground up to take on UE4 or 5 and copy Epic's fee waiving policy if you sell on Steam. Might take a few years but I can see them doing something like that.
 

exlink

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So instead of buying their game the day it hit steam at full pop. I'm going to warez it and and do what I can so others can do the same.

I fully intend to grab the cracked version, perhaps even help if I can and make sure its on my seed boxes night and day.

The warez community is going to gleefully crack and share this game as fast and as hard as they can.

Of course when sales flop Bitchford is going to blame the pirates no doubt. lol

They most likely won't.

The echo chambers of online forums and Reddit aren't an accurate depiction of the PC gaming population just like most other online vocal minorities and their respective population they're attempting to represent. Not to mention I'm almost willing to bet over half the people that are bitching about Borderlands 3 being exclusive to the EGS will still end up buying it on the EGS anyway. This whole boycotting of the EGS reminds me of the Call of Duty MW2 boycott.
 

modi123

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Are we not allowed to voice our opinions and concerns?
Yup.. there's a bevvy of social media platforms where "expressing/blasting out" opinion is like primary, or secondary, pillar.

For me it doesn't make much sense that to express their deep love for a game series to come to avenue X they burn down the previous game reviews. Then have the audacity to complain MORE when anyone connected with the game makes a comment about it. Again.. rioter mentality mixed with victim blaming.. all because folk have poor impulse control.
 

ChadD

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Bullshit, if that's your attitude you were never going to buy it in the first place, and no one will even notice the difference. If you simply objected to using the Epic store you'd wait and buy it on Steam and support the developers of a game you clearly want to play instead of acting like an entitled child.
When the sales are great, and 2K is also enjoying the increased revenue split on top of the exclusivity payment, and your lame fake protest has made no difference whatsoever, you'll probably just twist that into a justification for having pirated it.

As I posted earlier I OWN every borderlands game and every single bit of DLC they have released. EVERYTHING. All bought through steam.

I'm a Linux user and FULLY support any dev that chooses to make Linux ports of their AAA titles.

Going Epic exclusive a windows only store front is a BIG HUGE FUCK you to me and the few hundred bucks I have thrown at their borderlands games.

SO yep I'm going to do my part to make B3 the first Borderlands flop.
 

Litfod

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Eh, it got Randys attention didn't it? Review bombing accomplishes exactly what the users are intending it to do so technically it's a success for the consumer.

It also renders user reviews worthless for anyone looking for regit reviews of the games, and I agree with his suggestion that if these amazing features which Steam has and Epic lacks are just going to enable a toxic community then maybe the Epic store is better alternative. It's not like he didn't know that a relatively tiny number of noisy gamers were going to get outraged, even before the announcement. I'd wait and see how it sells before deciding what he's going to take away from the situation.
 

AlphaQup

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As I posted earlier I OWN every borderlands game and every single bit of DLC they have released. EVERYTHING. All bought through steam.

I'm a Linux user and FULLY support any dev that chooses to make Linux ports of their AAA titles.

Going Epic exclusive a windows only store front is a BIG HUGE FUCK you to me and the few hundred bucks I have thrown at their borderlands games.

SO yep I'm going to do my part to make B3 the first Borderlands flop.

Windows user here, but I'm in the exact same boat and feel exactly the same way. Have another F U on me Randy, you continue to earn them at an alarming rate.
 
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ChadD

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It also renders user reviews worthless for anyone looking for regit reviews of the games, and I agree with his suggestion that if these amazing features which Steam has and Epic lacks are just going to enable a toxic community then maybe the Epic store is better alternative. It's not like he didn't know that a relatively tiny number of noisy gamers were going to get outraged, even before the announcement. I'd wait and see how it sells before deciding what he's going to take away from the situation.

For now I'm not sure they care how it sells. If Epic is making it rain.

Their decision isn't about 12% vs 20% or community features that might be critical.... its about Epic offering to pay them to host B3. lol
 

DeChache

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I'm going to wait and hope its available on steam after the 6 months of exclusivity are over... If not I will pass and that kind of sucks I love the borderlands games
 

Mode13

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They knew. Forums have been buzzing about EGS for a long time now. BL3 subreddit, steam discussion groups, youtube, etc.

Steam has now taken a step to remove these unfair reviews, yet you protest that we should instead switch to the platform that entirely censors absolutely everyone. Have you actually stopped and thought your viewpoint through? You seem quick to call angry consumers entitled.

Guess what, consumers are entitled. If we don't like, we're free to bitch and not buy. If I wanted to live in 1984 I'd move to china.
 

Litfod

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SO yep I'm going to do my part to make B3 the first Borderlands flop.

It won't flop any more than Metro did. Far more people don't give a shit about which store a game is sold on than will bleat about boycotts online, and a large number of the ones who are outraged will end up buying it anyway because they simply want to play it immediately and don't want to wait out a TIMED exclusive. And then there are the ones like you who simply use it as a justification for piracy, people who make no difference either way.

Literally the only thing stopping you playing it legitimately on day one is your own stubbornness, they've done nothing to stop you any more than having a game on Steam prevents people who don't have Steam from playing it, and it makes no difference to the game itself. Don't talk about your multiple seedboxes and then pretend that you're normally an upstanding paying customer and that piracy is a necessary reaction to some perceived personal insult.
 

Mode13

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It won't flop any more than Metro did. Far more people don't give a shit about which store a game is sold on than will bleat about boycotts online, and a large number of the ones who are outraged will end up buying it anyway because they simply want to play it immediately and don't want to wait out a TIMED exclusive. And then there are the ones like you who simply use it as a justification for piracy, people who make no difference either way.

Literally the only thing stopping you playing it legitimately on day one is your own stubbornness, they've done nothing to stop you any more than having a game on Steam prevents people who don't have Steam from playing it, and it makes no difference to the game itself. Don't talk about your multiple seedboxes and then pretend that you're normally an upstanding paying customer and that piracy is a necessary reaction to some perceived personal insult.

It's very impressive how you seem to fully comprehend what this person would or would not do.

Why are you investing so much time and effort arguing on behalf of companies who don't even know or care about you? I'm not shopping EGS either, and guess what my prime motivator is?? Im too lazy to switch platforms.

It's their right to bitch, whine, complain, even go outside and do a steam rain dance if they so choose. Imagine the Utopia we would live in when the customer is silenced because of people following your interesting views.
 

ChoGGi

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Steam could add reviews to developers/publishers, have a little icon that shows up next to their names? Might just get people to stop review bombing games.
 

Mode13

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Steam could add reviews to developers/publishers, have a little icon that shows up next to their names? Might just get people to stop review bombing games.

It seems to me they are already implementing measures to remove the wasteful spam. That's all the review bombing is, spam.. mostly all of them are just copy pasted middle fingers. This isn't a big deal, its it's just being made into one to fuel this egs vs steam nonsense.
 

chockomonkey

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Note: May I suggest to edit the blurb - people aren't review bombing Borderlands 3 as if it had a listing on Steam, but rather earlier Borderlands titles in order to show their displeasure for this course of action

There's a tweet somewhere being passed around that talked about this essentially saying "Review bombing is evidence that gamers have no better way to get into a meaningful dialog over decisions like these where they feel they're heard" and I think this is definitely true.

While I personally didn't review bomb, I imagine that many that are aren't doing it because they hate Borderlands, Borderlands 2, or The Pre:Sequel - conversely, they probably own and really enjoy those games. They have ever right to be angry that, despite those games being supported near entirely by Steam users for years and remaining profitable to this day (not to mention things like the Aspyr and Feral ports allowing Mac and Linux support!), Borderlands 3 going Epic exclusive for such a long period of time really feels like an insult. This was a game that many were willing to buy on reputation and the good memories they had of previous installments. Pitchford's behavior and the overall pathology of the Epic Store and those behind it seem to make things even worse.

I should mention that Steam's tech here (if I'm correct) may be updated but it isn't new - since the idea of "review bombing" came onto the scene, Steam has been refining a system whereas when they detect a "bomb period" of offtopic reviews en masse, they won't necessarily be removed but they wont' "count" towards the game's overall positive/negative score during that period. I figure that's a pretty good compromise so that Steam can continue to offer players unfettered review access, but also control for behavior like this when there is enough evidence - something that is demonstrated in public (ie it mentions on the review bar graph that there was a bombing period or whatnot during this time and they won't count etc) which is neat.

This tech on Steam's behalf is just more evidence of the benefits of their store/platform/community, but the real issue here continues to be Epic's business practices and those that make the Faustian bargain with them; efforts to frame the possibility of 'review bombing' as some sort of negative towards Steam are not in good faith, simply being exploited to showcase the benefits of repressive measures to open discourse, such as Epic's lack of player reviews at all (and plans to only allow "optional, controlled" review content down the road).
I definitely get all that, but I also do not understand the need to have a game right when it comes out. Seriously there are so many games to play today, if you must have it on steam, just fuckin wait.

This is capitalism.. you aren't entitled to shit
 

NickJames

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It seems to me they are already implementing measures to remove the wasteful spam. That's all the review bombing is, spam.. mostly all of them are just copy pasted middle fingers. This isn't a big deal, its it's just being made into one to fuel this egs vs steam nonsense.

They removed review bombs off the total score and hide them but you can click a box to see the reviews marked spam which gets the job done. I like to know if the company I am supporting is performing anti-consumer practices or if the CEO is a Nazi (just making an example).
 

odditory

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It won't flop any more than Metro did. Far more people don't give a shit about which store a game is sold on than will bleat about boycotts online, and a large number of the ones who are outraged will end up buying it anyway because they simply want to play it immediately and don't want to wait out a TIMED exclusive. And then there are the ones like you who simply use it as a justification for piracy, people who make no difference either way.
Baffling that there are people actually defending Epic's slimy business practices.

They're going to lose money, period. Why even create this headwind for themselves -- instead of the game being offered on Steam for $60 and Epic-sudsidized $49 or $45 pricing on EGS, a situation that would have been ACTUAL competition that benefits consumers, instead they took a bribe to let Epic hold their game hostage and see far less sales than Steam+Epic combined.

All the negative PR is lost sales momentum and goodwill that 2K/Gearbox could have otherwise enjoyed. They're idiots for making a deal with the devil and will regret it.

Borderlands is a beloved franchise, and if I were product manager I would not want to play chicken with just how much a critical mass of gamers "won't care" where they buy it. Many absolutely do care.
 

Mode13

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I definitely get all that, but I also do not understand the need to have a game right when it comes out. Seriously there are so many games to play today, if you must have it on steam, just fuckin wait.

This is capitalism.. you aren't entitled to shit

Honestly with borderlands I think a great many older folks who don't care to have it day one were going to wait anyway. I read posts from young guys who argue they have to have it day one or else youtube will spoil it and they'll miss the social aspect of it. That's just how they view things.

I paid way too much money on borderlands 2 between copies for me and kids. So I had it in mind to wait for most of the expansions to come out and get bundled into a GOTY this time, probably in 2020... I figured I would do that before the EGS announcement anyway.
 

NickJames

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Disagree. They're going to lose a lot of money period. Why even create this headwind for themselves -- instead of the game being offered on Steam for $60 and Epic-sudsidized $49 or $45 pricing on EGS, a situation that would have been ACTUAL competition that benefits consumers, instead they took a bribe to let Epic hold their game hostage and see far less sales than Steam alone, or Steam+Epic.

All the negative PR is lost sales momentum and goodwill that 2K/Gearbox could have otherwise enjoyed. They're idiots for making a deal with the devil and will regret it.

Considering how much Epic is paying for these exclusive deals I believe 2K/Gearbox will be the only ones profiting from this situation. Epic is seeing an increase in marketshare of their platform as worth the cost of these exclusive deals. The only question is will this be profitable in the long term once they no longer decide to buy up exclusives. Will people stick with the Epic platform or just go back to Steam once they stop? Epic better have a big improvement plan if they expect people to stick around.
 

Mode13

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Considering how much Epic is paying for these exclusive deals I believe 2K/Gearbox will be the only ones profiting from this situation. Epic is seeing an increase in marketshare of their platform as worth the cost of these exclusive deals. The only question is will this be profitable in the long term once they no longer decide to buy up exclusives. Will people stick with the Epic platform or just go back to Steam once they stop?

Fortnite will inevitably run out of gas. They're clearly trying to get people to build up large enough catalogs on their epic accounts to sink the hook. The freebies and exclusives are what's doing it for them.

It'll work for the most part, people don't resist Origin and etc anymore. Steam is still the much nicer app though, and where most people have the vast majority of their digital games.


They removed review bombs off the total score and hide them but you can click a box to see the reviews marked spam which gets the job done. I like to know if the company I am supporting is performing anti-consumer practices or if the CEO is a Nazi (just making an example).

I just fail to see what Steam has done wrong here then. The alternative is to silence everybody.. so back to my original comment.. I can't understand why pitchford is using this to praise epic.
 

Carbon_Rod

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It also renders user reviews worthless for anyone looking for regit reviews of the games, and I agree with his suggestion that if these amazing features which Steam has and Epic lacks are just going to enable a toxic community then maybe the Epic store is better alternative. It's not like he didn't know that a relatively tiny number of noisy gamers were going to get outraged, even before the announcement. I'd wait and see how it sells before deciding what he's going to take away from the situation.
The argument about Steam having a toxic community is circular though. Steam's community wouldn't be toxic at all if Gearbox hadn't decided on an EGS exclusive deal (even if it is just for the first 6 months). So I find it laughable that the CEO of Gearbox is using a situation he created to somehow justify his decision.
 

odditory

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Considering how much Epic is paying for these exclusive deals I believe 2K/Gearbox will be the only ones profiting from this situation. Epic is seeing an increase in marketshare of their platform as worth the cost of these exclusive deals. The only question is will this be profitable in the long term once they no longer decide to buy up exclusives. Will people stick with the Epic platform or just go back to Steam once they stop? Epic better have a big improvement plan if they expect people to stick around.
I think there will be corollary outfall to Epic trying to steal every major new gaming coming out - something they probably know as a risk but are playing roulette anyway.

They don't understand that Steam built up user trust over a LONG time and that's not something that can be bought, bribed, or just happens overnight. They seem to think just throwing fortnite money buckets around will be fast overnight relevance - before they've even bothered to flesh out BASIC functionality for their shitty store client - and they're going to learn like Microsoft did with Bing that you can't buy friends or bribe people to use your product and have them stick around.
 
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