Fans of Metro Exodus may remember the controversy surrounding its late-stage migration to Epic instead of sticking with Steam. This made it really difficult for loyal fans who pre-ordered the next iteration of the series.
However, at the 2019 Game Developers Conference, Epic announced that Metro Exodus is doing very well on the new platform. Apparently, it sold more than 2.5 times more copies on Epic than its predecessor, Metro: Last Light, did on Steam (with two similar time periods).
Epic added that this means that audiences follow games and don't stay loyal to a particular storefront, which is an interesting statement for Epic to make.
What this could signal is the beginning of a bidding war between Epic and Steam to get AAA titles on to their storefronts in the hopes that fans will spend more money on discounted favorites that provide a constant stream of revenue.
It also speaks to the risk of becoming loyal to one platform, at least for PC players. Unlike console gamers, who are virtually guaranteed to get the latest releases on their platform, this means that PC loyalists may have difficulty pre-ordering games out of the fear that they could migrate to another platform.
So what does this mean, ultimately, for gamers? With the proliferation of gaming platforms available, it seems like PC gamers need to decide if it's worth it to wait until the last minute to order their games or if it's best to invest in a console. Of course, there are also drawbacks to console gaming, though, most especially the fact that it's hard to implement mods or share bug fixes. Just ask Skyrim fans how important unofficial patches are and the vast difference in support between consoles and PCs.
It seems obvious to say the gaming world is changing quickly, but truly, there has never been any choice as to where to grab your new games. The market is getting more fractured and this means that AAA titles are quite valuable to both Steam and Epic, which are competing for market share. Competition is good, however, as it breeds innovation on the company side, so we're hoping that in the end, this will result in a positive experience for players, too.