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Teething pains for Epic Games Store as publishers opt out of debut 'Mega Sale'

Teething pains for Epic Games Store as publishers opt out of debut 'Mega Sale'

May 17, 2019 | By Chris Kerr

The Epic Games Store made a little bit of history yesterday by kicking off its first ever 'Mega Sale,' but it seems some publishers aren't keen to take part. 

As part of the four-week long sale, Epic is offering $10 off every single game on the store priced over $14.99. Crucially, Epic explained it would be footing the bill for that promotion, meaning developers' take-home cut wouldn't be impacted by the deal. 

On the surface, it seems like a win-win for all involved, but some publishers have decided to pull their games from the store for the duration of the sale. 

Both Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 and Oxygen Not Included were yanked from sale by Paradox Interactive and Klei Entertainment, with Bloodlines 2 being pulled after the sale went live. Although neither company explained their reasoning, it seems like both weren't happy seeing either game discounted this early on.

For context, it's common practice for bigger discounts like the one being offered by Epic to be applied later into a game's lifecycle, convincing players who'd perhaps been on the fence to jump aboard. 

Given Bloodlines 2 is only scheduled for a March 2020 release (and is still available to pre-order at full-price on other platforms like Steam) and Oxygen Not Include is still in early access, it seems likely that Paradox and Klei simply don't want to devalue titles that haven't even launched yet. 

Responding to the news, Epic explained it will respect the decision of any company that doesn't wish to participate in the sale, and will honor all discounted purchases made before Bloodlines 2 was removed.

"If a developer or publisher chooses to not participate in our sales, we will honor that decision," explained Epic in a statement to Kotaku. "Paradox Interactive has chosen to not participate in the Epic Mega Sale and the game has been temporarily removed from sale.

"If you’ve purchased Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 during the period when the discount did apply at the time of check out, Epic will honor that price.

Update: Writing on Russian website DTF (via Reddit), Epic's director of publishing strategy Sergey Galyonkin revealed that Paradox wasn't "properly informed" about the mechanism of the sale, suggesting the publisher pulled Bloodlines 2 after being caught by surprise at the nature of the promotion.

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