In a shocking twist of fate, Metro Exodus, 4A Games’ long-anticipated follow up to their 2013 post-apocalyptic epic Metro: Last Light, has already become Steam’s highest rated game of 2020. That may sound like some strange hyperbolic statement, but, thanks to an ill-advised exclusivity deal between publisher Deep Silver and Epic Games, it’s a reality.
Pre-orders for Metro Exodus went live early in 2018, and eager series fans were quick to jump on the opportunity to reserve a digital copy through Steam as a show of support for 4A Games’ one-of-a-kind survival horror franchise. While nothing seemed out of the ordinary at the time, controversy ensued when it was announced in late January of 2019 that Deep Silver had opted to release the game as a timed exclusive to the new Epic Games digital storefront. This detail came out three short weeks before the game’s release, and, while those who had already bought the title through Steam were allowed to keep it, fans were upset nonetheless.
Valve went on to comment that they found the bait-and-switch “unfair” to customers, and it was a sentiment widely reiterated in the PC gaming community. While console players have been putting up with exclusivity deals since the inception of the home gaming system, it’s a concept about which Steam users obviously aren’t too thrilled.
When this news originally broke, some owners of the Steam versions of the first two Metro titles bombed them with negative reviews in a show of defiance, which prompted a 4A Games dev to berate the PC community. However, the move ultimately failed to draw much of a reaction from the publisher.
Now, the exact opposite is happening; players who were able to gain access to Exodus before it went Epic-exclusive are showering the game with praise and positive reviews. Gamers obviously want to show support for the title and intend to indicate that they would prefer to play it on Steam by giving it a bunch of big, blue thumbs-ups on the platform.
Metro Exodus is definitely a solid game, but it’s a little ridiculous to claim it as a Game of the Year contender for 2020—a year after its release. While fans of the series will likely make it one of the highest-selling Steam games of next February, we’ve got quite a while before the Epic Store timed exclusivity deal runs out in about eleven and a half months.