Indie developer Unfold Games just released Darq, an ambitious, dreamy, horror-adventure game. Epic Games approached the developer before the release to offer an exclusivity deal, which it turned down. Unfold provided several reasons for the decision.
The developer, through a Medium post, confirmed Epic’s offer arriving days after announcing the game’s release date for Steam and GOG. The indie dev is almost entirely run by Wlad Marhulets, who turned down the offer even before talking numbers with Epic.
Since announcing Darq‘s release for Steam, he said pulling the game off the platform just after the fact would “ruin the credibility” of the studio, despite the appeal of the money. Marhulets had this to say:
I would like for my customers to have confidence that my word means something, especially when making [an] announcement as crucial as [a] release date/platform. Turning down the Epic exclusivity offer might have been a foolish decision in the short term, considering the amount of money that might have been involved. When thinking long term, however, this was an easy & obvious decision to make (in my case).
Darq has been listed on Steam since 2018, with GOG approval later. GOG was to provide more options to people, according to Marhulets, mentioning requests for the game to be available there. He wishes indies could be sold non-exclusively on the Epic Store, like larger, unreleased games like Cyberpunk 2077 for player choice.