The Epic Games Store has been the epicenter of controversy as Epic has targeted numerous publishers and developers for exclusivity for PC releases. With their first major store-wide sale currently ongoing, they’ve managed to hit yet another controversial snag. Several publishers, big and small, have opted to temporarily pull their games from the store, presumably to avoid devaluing games that haven’t been released yet.
The problematic part of the sale is Epic offering $10 off any game that’s $14.99 or more purchased during the sale, including pre-orders. The discount is entirely on Epic’s part, but clearly some publishers aren’t happy with such a significant discount for games that haven’t been released yet.
Paradox pulled Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 from the store. It’s a long-awaited sequel of a mature action RPG that’s not due to release until 2020. Klei Entertainment also pulled Oxygen Not Included, which is currently still in Early Access.
Epic released a statement to Kotaku via email: “If a developer or publisher chooses to not participate in our sales, we will honor that decision. Paradox Interactive has chosen to not participate in the Epic Mega Sale and the game has been temporarily removed from sale. If you’ve purchased Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 during the period when the discount did apply at the time of check out, Epic will honor that price.”
Shortly thereafter, 2K Games pulled Borderlands 3 from the sale, one of the most anticipated games releasing in the latter half of this year. Like with Paradox, Epic will still honor the sale price if you were lucky enough to pre-order and receive the discount before it was removed.
Hopefully future sales from the Epic Games Store will result in clearer communication between Epic and publishers, so shoppers don’t have to scramble to sneak in discounts before games are pulled.