When it comes to the Epic Games Store exclusivity, most games make the news because their developers signed the deal. In what feels like a breath of fresh air, we have a story of an indie developer refusing exclusivity. Late last week, Wlad Marhulets of Unfold Games shared why he refused to make his game Darq an Epic exclusive.
Marhulets said that Epic Games approached him after he announced the Steam release date of Darq. The first reason the turned the deal down is because he believed it “would show that my word means nothing”, having just promised the game will be on Steam. This was especially important for Marhulets, as Unfold Games is mostly a one-man team. He does acknowledged though that he will “probably” make less money.
The other reason he noted was that he wanted to give players as many options as possible. As it happens, Darq is also available on GOG, which also wouldn’t be possible had he signed the deal. Marhulets also took this opportunity to point out that he would like indie devs to be able to sell without exclusivity the way larger, unreleased games get to.
In an interesting twist, a large number of people voiced support for his game due to his decision to turn Epic Games’ offer. A large number of redditors have even pledged to buy the game to support Marhulets’ stance. Even on Steam, you can see many positive reviews left by those who claim to have bought the game after hearing of Unfold games’ stance.
The entire situation turned out quite well for Unfold Games and Darq, in general. Epic Games exclusivity deals have been commonly associated with ill will. So it’s nice to see an example of the opposite happening.