In an interview with MCVUK, Bandai Namco Europe’s SVP marketing, digital and content Hervé Hoerdt, had some pretty clear words on the position the publisher has in regards to the Epic Games Store and the prospect of PC exclusives for their games. In short, the company is not interested in any Epic Games Store exclusivity deals.
These Epic Store exclusives, seemingly mostly the result of a more lucrative sales split, as well as financial incentives from Epic, have secured quite a few controversial deals with various publishers and independent developers. However, one particular company isn’t so convinced by the prospect of more money.
As Hoerdt said:
“We cannot do everything and Japanese [companies] are not risk averse but we’re going slowly. So we have a full platform strategy. The main focus for us is the consumer and the brand. And for each brand we decide what’s the best way to satisfy the consumer and to engage the widest audience possible. So for instance, I don’t see any point of putting Tekken 7 on Epic Store. Epic is just another store. It’s fantastic, they have a lot of strength and [lots of] users, the business model is attractive to us because it’s more profitable but still, their interest is, if I’m correct, exclusivity. And this is not our vision. We want our content to be available for as many fans as possible. I don’t think we’ll deal with Epic in the short term, while we have this strategy. But of course, if they’re open, we’ll go there.”
So while it’s unfortunate that Epic has developed such a negative reputation with their practices around exclusives, mostly being perceived as anti-consumer, it’s still a very attractive offer for many publishers and developers. With Metro Exodus and Shenmue III both being lured in by the financial incentives and other support, it’s likely that more popular releases will be pushed onto the Epic platform over time.
So whether Epic manages to clean up its image remains to be seen, although many gamers remain skeptical, especially since the company has reiterated multiple defenses of their practices. Going so far as to say that the Steam revenue split is what created this situation in the first place. Tim Sweeney said as much in a recent statement.