Epic is having a major sale across its entire storefront, which includes deep discounts on popular games and $10 off any game over $15 until June 13. That’s a pretty good deal if you’re thinking about picking up some major upcoming games or getting recently-released ones. Good enough that it’s also causing some confusion across regions, as well as some developers to either raise the price of their games, or remove them from the store altogether until the sale is over.
At the heart of the issue is that store-wide price reduction. For context, this discount is seemingly coming out of Epic’s pocket, according to John Wick Hex developer Mike Bithell. “This is Epic paying towards your bar tab, not the drinks being cheaper,” he said on Twitter.
Yeah, we get paid in full.. this is Epic paying towards your bar tab, not the drinks being cheaper.
Appreciate those asking having our backs, but order guilt free if you’re a preorder type person, we get the same cut as if you were paying full price.
— Mike Bithell (@mikeBithell) May 16, 2019
This didn’t stop the sale from giving rise to some issues. As part of the sale, Supergiant Games’ Hades sold for a historically-low $7 ($17 minus Epic’s $10 discount), which is impressive for a game still in its early access stage. However, in Europe, the game’s sale price was €14.86, making it ineligible for the $10 discount by mere cents. In the hours that followed, the company raised the regular price of its game to $25 (making it a total of $15 with the Epic discount), though Supergiant did honor purchases made at the lower price point. This was after the company had stated in a tweet it would announce any potential price increase well ahead of time.
That's a possibility but we have to see how the rest of Early Access pans out before we decide for sure. We would announce something like that well in advance if it happened.
— Supergiant Games (@SupergiantGames) May 16, 2019
Some time after that, Supergiant Games’ Greg Kasavin announced the game would return to its original launch price, $20, until the end of the sale (making it $10 during the sale). After that, the price will go up to $25, partly to coincide with the number of updates and content additions Hades had received since launch. “We had intended to raise the retail price of the game soon, but made the decision rashly as part of the sale — we didn’t provide advance notice to our customers, despite previously stating we would do so. That was our mistake, and we sincerely apologize,” Kasavin said.
Supergiant isn’t the only developer having issues with Epic’s sale. Another major game, Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 was available with the $10 discount for a short while, before being delisted. “Paradox Interactive has chosen to not participate in the Epic Mega Sale and the game has been temporarily removed from sale,” an Epic representative told PC Gamer. It does plan to honor purchases made during the short period the game was on sale, however. Paradox separately confirmed to PC Gamer the game will return to the storefront after the sale is over. Other games not currently available on the store include Klei Entertainment’s Oxygen Not Included and Borderlands 3.
In the wake of these issues, Epic has changed how the sales prices are displayed on the store to show both the publisher’s discount and the overall discount with the store-wide discount.
We've changed how pricing is displayed during the sale in order to clearly reflect the publisher's sale prices.
Don't worry, you'll still receive an additional $10 from us on qualifying purchases at checkout!
— Epic Games (@EpicGames) May 17, 2019
[Source: PC Gamer]
This definitely sounds like a miscommunication between developers and Epic, and it’s unfortunate developers who would want their game listed on all major storefronts and consumers who were confused by all the price changes and de-listings are the ones caught in the crossfire. It isn’t a good look for Epic, either, as it continues its attempt to compete with Steam as users lambaste it for a lack of features and scoring PC exlcusives in order to entice users to stick with it.