Everspace developer Rockfish said that it considered Epic exclusivity for the spacefaring roguelite’s upcoming sequel, but was discouraged from pursuing it by the community. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Rockfish CEO Michael Schade said that the game’s strongly encouraged the decision to stay with Steam.
“Our hardcore fans are on Steam. They have already said ‘please don’t do it. We just don’t want it’. Schade goes on to say that “If they don’t want it, they don’t want it, and more than 100,000 people bought Everspace in Early Access. They would be mad at us.”
But the backlash other developers have faced over Epic exclusivity isn’t the only factor that has influenced Rockfish. Schade acknowledges that “without Epic, Rockfish and Everspace wouldn’t exist. But it’s the same with Steam. Without Steam, we wouldn’t exist.” Citing Valve’s infrastructure, he suggested that for a game in early access, features like regular updates and forums are all important for the game’s ongoing development.
“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.”
Schade’s comments contradict suggestions from other developers who have stated that Valve’s labyrinthian search algorithms and revenue split can be damaging for indie devs. Valve’s tweaked its algorithms and is working on improving discoverability, but the financial deals offered by Epic seem to be proving generous, reportedly covering predicted sales for all platforms for some developers.
Everspace 2 is expected to release in 2021.