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WHAT THE GOLF? was originally funded on Fig with a Steam release, however hidden behind a backer-only update on Fig they've announced it's going to Epic's store first. This is a reoccurring theme now, one I'm starting to grow tired of.

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While it's hidden, a backer sent over the text. It's below in full, as this should really be public anyway especially as they haven't even mentioned it on Steam:

We have some big news we want to share with you. WHAT THE GOLF? will golf on to the EPIC Games Store later this year.

You hold a special place in our hearts (and in the game’s credits). You were the first we showed our silly golf game to, and with your help, we went on this crazy journey. Thanks!

We are really looking forward to showing you the full game. It’s much bigger and better than we ever dreamed it would be. It’s also really silly and weird. You will love it!

So what’s that about Epic?

Yes! It’s coming to Epic Games Store first and that’s going to be great. Fortnite is currently the most popular golf game on Epic Games Store and we’re pretty sure we can beat that!

We get it if you’re not convinced by Epic Games Store. It’s lacking some features at the moment, but their team is hard at work and more stores is going to be great for both developers and players in the long run.

But Hey! What about Steam?

We know some of you prefer a Steam key so you will also get a key for a backer-exclusive pre-release on Steam that is going to be the full game.  (don’t tell Valve - no idea what they think about it)

The game will still officially launch on Steam next year! and that’s also going to be great!

Console?

Yes, the game will be coming to a console at some point and we’re looking forward to telling you which. If possible, we will give you keys, even though it wasn’t part of the Fig campaign.

Why are we doing this?

Some of us are old enough to remember when Steam was new and everyone hated it, but that’s not much of a reason, so let’s be honest. Doing this guarantees that the game makes enough money for us to start planning the next game. An even sillier and crazier game!

Don’t worry: For now, we’re 100% focusing on WHAT THE GOLF?

There were also comments on this, asking them about honouring non-Windows platforms, to which the developer replied "We will of course not remove any platforms that we've promised to release on.".

I don't blame developers for wanting more money, that's not the issue, money makes the world go-round and everyone has to eat and make ends meet. Crowdfunding campaigns also traditionally don't cover the real cost of game development, I know this all too well after speaking to hundreds of developers.

The issue for us, since we're a Linux website, is that Epic Games openly said they have no current plans for a Linux version of their Store. This means Linux gamers have to wait extra long, as do everyone who prefers Steam. It's good they will provide backers a Steam key, although the whole "don’t tell Valve" might backfire on them.

The Steam page is still up, although a few hours ago they changed the date on it to 2020.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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31 comments
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micha 11 June 2019 at 3:18 pm UTC
Let's just spend all the money on games with a SteamOS/Linux icon and actual support on the store which had a huge part in making Linux gaming what it. And tell all friends incl non Linux gamers about the great ones! (=
mylka 11 June 2019 at 3:20 pm UTC
can valve please remove all epic games from steam
and if they advertise their games on steam, they have to release it on steam on day 1, or else dont give them a steam page!

i mean shemmue 3 is epic exclusive forever and they still have a steam page
https://store.steampowered.com/app/878670/Shenmue_III/
dibz 11 June 2019 at 4:08 pm UTC
Honestly I doubt Epic has to pay publishers/devs any extra money at all to get timed exclusives like this, at least the non-AAA games.

They pay a bigger cut, so I'm sure it's as simple as maximizing new-release full-price profits. Simple as that.
kuhpunkt 11 June 2019 at 5:15 pm UTC
mylkacan valve please remove all epic games from steam
and if they advertise their games on steam, they have to release it on steam on day 1, or else dont give them a steam page!

i mean shemmue 3 is epic exclusive forever and they still have a steam page
https://store.steampowered.com/app/878670/Shenmue_III/

It's not on the EGS forever.
eldaking 11 June 2019 at 5:32 pm UTC
mylkacan valve please remove all epic games from steam
and if they advertise their games on steam, they have to release it on steam on day 1, or else dont give them a steam page!

i mean shemmue 3 is epic exclusive forever and they still have a steam page
https://store.steampowered.com/app/878670/Shenmue_III/

I really hope they don't. It could really screw platforms like itch.io or FOSS games, for example, or indie developers in general. I'd rather they didn't use their size to lock people into deals that make it harder to compete, even if other stores do exactly that.

But I would find it very satisfying if they rubbed it in by announcing something like "We have noticed that some developers are creating steam pages for their products even though they don't plan to release on Steam, or to only do so after a long time. We are flattered that people believe our service is useful to them even in those circumstances, and proud that we offer services unmatched by our competitors and that go much beyond a simple online store. We have chosen to allow those pages for now, and we hope that developers will see the advantages presented by Steam and in the future will choose to publish their games in our store for full access to the many benefits Valve offers to developers and to customers."

I'm not saying it would be a good strategy - the silent treatment is probably the best option. But it would be a beautiful thing to see.
Gamewizard 11 June 2019 at 6:38 pm UTC
Fig better do something about all these games pulling this bull shit.Which is what it exactly what it is moving to the EGS after you promise to be on Steam. I hope either Fig does something about how many times this has happened or the courts elsewhere do because you pulled this bull shit in any other industry many of these devs would have all ready been dragged into court of violating contracts. Them pledging to supporters that they will be on Steam and then not shipping on Steam can easily land them in hot water, I mean if some people are going after the Metro devs/Deepsilver for the same reason what makes these smaller devs think they can get away with it otherwise.

The real kicker is that Fig's own words boil down to it being a preorder service unlike Kickstarter. These kind of moves are all ready eroding Fig's reputation among gamers and it causes a lot of bad blood for these devs. People taking Epic's money are thinking too short term and it shows.
Maath 11 June 2019 at 7:12 pm UTC
gradyvuckovic
timgarbosDeveloper here. Totally get your concerns, but we are not trying to keep anything secret. Of course, we care about our backers and that's why we tell them the news before the general public. The news will be more public and is already publicly being discussed on our Discord.

Anyways, thanks for keeping up to date. I'll let you know once we have Linux news.

I think you should be careful with what you're doing. If these keys you're talking about giving backers allows them to play the game, which has NEVER been available for pre order or sale on Steam, and which won't be available for sale at any time in the near future, you are possibly breaking Valve's rules.

Steamworks page regarding keys

Note these relevant parts:

QuoteValve provides the same free bandwidth and services to customers activating a Steam key that it provides to customers buying a license on Steam. We ask you to treat Steam customers no worse than customers buying Steam keys outside of Steam.

QuoteTypes of Keys
Keys can be associated with the following package types:

Standard
This is the most common type of key on Steam, which is usually tied to a store or Steam Key package. These keys are appropriate for retail boxes or sales on other sites. These keys will unlock the product once it has been released and marked as playable on Steam.
Release Override
These keys are used to grant access to a product prior to its release on Steam. Release Override keys are intended for small beta tests and press/influencer access. We will look at each request on a case by case basis, and in general less than 1000 keys work well for this purpose. It is never OK to sell release-override beta keys.

QuoteYou should use keys to sell your game on other stores in a similar way to how you sell your game on Steam. It is important that you don't give Steam customers a worse deal.

QuoteWe reserve the right to deny requests for keys or revoke key requesting privileges for partners that are abusing them or disadvantaging Steam customers.

QuoteIf we detect that you have requested an extreme number of keys and you aren't offering Steam customers a good value, we may deny your request.

QuoteWe reserve the right to remove key requesting privileges from any partner whose sole business is selling Steam keys and not providing value or a fair deal to Steam customers.

QuoteCrowdfunding.
Keys can be used to fulfill crowdfunding rewards and grant backers access to your product. Providing backers with beta testing keys prior to release is also OK, but only backers should receive those keys --they shouldn’t be sold outside of the crowdfunding campaign unless your beta is also available for sale via Steam.

Steam keys can only be promoted as a reward for products that have already confirmed Steam distribution --

I would say WTG is at bare minimum, skirting close to the boundaries of the rules, and possibly breaking them, if you offer Steam keys to backers to play the game a year early without offering the same option to Steam customers to buy the game.

It would be prudent to contact Valve and confirm that what you're doing is not breaking the rules, unless you want to risk having your key generating privileges revoked.. Food for thought.

This is great info, and illustrates some things people should keep in mind when comparing Steam and EGS. I have read an article that estimates that Steam's cut of game sales averages less than 30% because they do not make any money off of keys sold or otherwise obtained outside of their store, so The 30% vs. 12% comparison is not entirely accurate. I think Steam's average cut was closer to 20%.

Secondly, as the quoted lines above hint at, Steam provides other services. Where are buyers of this game going to post reviews? Where are buyers of this game going to be submitting bug reports? It sure doesn't seem fair that these guys will be making use of Valve's infrastructure without paying a dime for it (yet).
kuhpunkt 11 June 2019 at 7:44 pm UTC
Maath
gradyvuckovic
timgarbosDeveloper here. Totally get your concerns, but we are not trying to keep anything secret. Of course, we care about our backers and that's why we tell them the news before the general public. The news will be more public and is already publicly being discussed on our Discord.

Anyways, thanks for keeping up to date. I'll let you know once we have Linux news.

I think you should be careful with what you're doing. If these keys you're talking about giving backers allows them to play the game, which has NEVER been available for pre order or sale on Steam, and which won't be available for sale at any time in the near future, you are possibly breaking Valve's rules.

Steamworks page regarding keys

Note these relevant parts:

QuoteValve provides the same free bandwidth and services to customers activating a Steam key that it provides to customers buying a license on Steam. We ask you to treat Steam customers no worse than customers buying Steam keys outside of Steam.

QuoteTypes of Keys
Keys can be associated with the following package types:

Standard
This is the most common type of key on Steam, which is usually tied to a store or Steam Key package. These keys are appropriate for retail boxes or sales on other sites. These keys will unlock the product once it has been released and marked as playable on Steam.
Release Override
These keys are used to grant access to a product prior to its release on Steam. Release Override keys are intended for small beta tests and press/influencer access. We will look at each request on a case by case basis, and in general less than 1000 keys work well for this purpose. It is never OK to sell release-override beta keys.

QuoteYou should use keys to sell your game on other stores in a similar way to how you sell your game on Steam. It is important that you don't give Steam customers a worse deal.

QuoteWe reserve the right to deny requests for keys or revoke key requesting privileges for partners that are abusing them or disadvantaging Steam customers.

QuoteIf we detect that you have requested an extreme number of keys and you aren't offering Steam customers a good value, we may deny your request.

QuoteWe reserve the right to remove key requesting privileges from any partner whose sole business is selling Steam keys and not providing value or a fair deal to Steam customers.

QuoteCrowdfunding.
Keys can be used to fulfill crowdfunding rewards and grant backers access to your product. Providing backers with beta testing keys prior to release is also OK, but only backers should receive those keys --they shouldn’t be sold outside of the crowdfunding campaign unless your beta is also available for sale via Steam.

Steam keys can only be promoted as a reward for products that have already confirmed Steam distribution --

I would say WTG is at bare minimum, skirting close to the boundaries of the rules, and possibly breaking them, if you offer Steam keys to backers to play the game a year early without offering the same option to Steam customers to buy the game.

It would be prudent to contact Valve and confirm that what you're doing is not breaking the rules, unless you want to risk having your key generating privileges revoked.. Food for thought.

This is great info, and illustrates some things people should keep in mind when comparing Steam and EGS. I have read an article that estimates that Steam's cut of game sales averages less than 30% because they do not make any money off of keys sold or otherwise obtained outside of their store, so The 30% vs. 12% comparison is not entirely accurate. I think Steam's average cut was closer to 20%.

Secondly, as the quoted lines above hint at, Steam provides other services. Where are buyers of this game going to post reviews? Where are buyers of this game going to be submitting bug reports? It sure doesn't seem fair that these guys will be making use of Valve's infrastructure without paying a dime for it (yet).

Steam pays for a lot of stuff. Steam also lowers the cut if/when a developer/publisher reaches certain goals. The "30% vs. 12% comparison" isn't not entirely accurate, it's ridiculous and completely misleading.
TheSHEEEP 12 June 2019 at 5:43 am UTC
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I am really curious what the review score of those exlusive titles will be on Steam, once the exclusivity wears off...

It will kind of show how long the memory of people lasts.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 12 June 2019 at 5:44 am UTC
Mal 12 June 2019 at 8:30 am UTC
It's interesting to see how regarding this subject the specialized press is basically all sided with Epic and publishers while instead influencers are almost exclusively sided with the gamers that bake them. This is a classic example of how journalists in the end defend the interests of whoever pays their bills.

But for the same principle the developers -who are the main beneficiary of crowfunding, publishers actually would do better without- should pay more attention to who really is enabling them to stay in the business.

This trend to shit on gamers for a quick injection of money is extremely short sighted. It's informed gamers who end on crowfunding sites, not the casuals. Compromise the trust of gamers in this tool and the next time you will have a good idea but no money to work on it, crowfunding won't work. So you will find yourself at the mercy of publishers.

Imho if devs were a little more long sighted they would not accept money to hand in the future of their profession to publishers.
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