Publishers Pull Out of Epic Mega Sale Amid Pre-Sale Discount

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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.

Epic Mega Sale at the Epic Games Store

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Epic Games have kicked off their first ever store-wide sale at the Epic Games Store with the Epic Mega Sale. From now until June 13 you can find digital PC games up to 75% off.

Highlighted games include The Walking Dead: The Final Season at $4.99, Metro Exodus for $34.99, Hades at $6.99, Slime Rancher for $4.99, and The Witness at $9.99.

In addition to the sales prices, all games priced $14.99 or above will be discounted with a further $10 off. The $10 discount will be automatically applied when checking out with any game priced $14.99 or higher. Note that the discount applies only to games and not DLC or add-ons.

Epic is offering two helpful conveniences that I haven’t seen other digital stores such as Steam use before. First, if you pre-ordered a game via the Epic Games Store, you’ll automatically be given a $10 refund. There’s no need to cancel your pre-order only to purchase again to take advantage of the discount.

Second, people often feel bad when they purchase games not knowing a major sale was just around the corner. For anyone who purchased a game between May 2 and May 15, you’ll be refunded the difference in the sale price.

Normally the Epic Games Store features a game that can be downloaded completely free, similar to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Gold membership. The Epic Games Store does not require a membership, other than signing up, and the free game rotates every two weeks. However during the Epic Mega Sale, a new free game will be available every week, instead of every two weeks.

The current free game is Stories Untold, which will be available until May 30. After that is RiME, which will be free starting May 23.

The Epic Mega Sale ends June 13.