Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail says Valve got ‘out businessed’ over Epic Games Store exclusives

Vlambeer‘s Rami Ismail has a lot to say about Valve‘s complaining about the Epic Games Store. Ismail, a developer of Nuclear Throne and Luftrausers, recently spoke in depth about the inherent pettiness of Valve’s statements over Epic Games Store exclusives like Metro Exodus.

In an interview with PCGamesN, Ismail commented on Valve saying that Metro Exodus‘ removal from Steam was “unfair.” Ismail said, “The only thing I will argue in Valve’s favor is that it was a game that was up for pre-order that was pulled, and I think being transparent about that messaging is important. I grinned at the message because it looks like it’s unfair. But Valve arguing anything being unfair, with the position they’re in, they just got out-businessed. I’m sorry, sucks to be you.”

“Now we’re seeing Steam bleed, and, in a way, that’s a very good thing for the industry. Even though I wish Valve no harm—they’re a lovely company with amazing people—structurally it’ll be better for us as an industry to have this competition.”

Ismail went on to talk about how Steam’s algorithm changes have left hundreds of indie game developers in the dust. Alongside these changes is Valve’s continuously loosening grip on what gets on Steam. Valve moved to a very hands-off approach with what games will be allowed, “everything […] except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling“, last year. Prior to that, the company made it easier to publish games on the platform, opening the floodgates to poor quality asset flips and at least one game that didn’t even have an executable file. Over 30,000 games exist on Steam and discoverability it nearly impossible for most games—even ones from established developers.

Valve has continued to lose out on games both big and small as developers and publishers move to Epic Games Store. GDC 2019 has seen Control, The Outer Worlds, and Quantic Dream’s recent titles announced exclusively for the Epic Games Store on PC. It’s not hard to argue with the decision, especially in light of Metro Exodus selling more than twice as many copies on EGS than its predeccessor did on Steam—and publishers getting a bigger cut of the profits.

Ismail has a lot more to say about the industry, cross-platform play, decentralized PC gaming, and other subjects over at PCGamesN.