Although Everspace 2 developer Rockfish considered going Epic Store-exclusive, it ultimately decided against the idea.
Everspace 2, many will attest, is a prime example of a promising, anticipated indie title that Epic Games would love to add to the Epic Store’s ever-expanding roster of exclusive games.
It’s also an Unreal Engine 4 game, which would have made it an even easier decision for developer Rockfish to go exclusive. Developers whose games are built with UE4 reportedly also get engine royalty fees waived, on top of Epic Games’ other bonuses for locking the game to the Epic Store for a year.
For company CEO Michael Schade, however, there’s a different facet to that argument that doesn’t come up often: community.
“Without Epic, Rockfish and Everspace wouldn’t exist, but it’s the same with Steam. Without Steam, we wouldn’t exist,” Schade told Games Industry.
“In our case, it doesn’t make sense. We need [Steam] Early Access, the full feature set, the forums, the constant updating, the whole infrastructure. Valve has the best platform, by far, to roll out a game as an independent developer. It’s by far the best tools and the best communities. This is exactly what we need.”
“Plus, our hardcore fans are on Steam,” he added. “They have already said ‘Please don’t do it. We just don’t want it.’ You don’t even have to discuss whether this is reasonable or not. If they don’t want it, they don’t want it, and more than 100,000 people bought Everspace in [Steam] Early Access. They would be mad at us.”
Schade is an outspoken CEO, and has no problem calling out his own company’s errors as it figures out the indie, self-funded business. He previously said many of the deals made with influencers to promote the original Everspace felt like a waste of money.
Everspace 2 was announced at Gamescom Opening Night Live. The game will release on Steam Early Access sometime next year, with a full release expected in 2021.