World War Z studio says Epic exclusivity 'is the best deal for players and developers'

Saber Interactive announced in December that its Left 4 Dead-ish survival-shooter World War Z would be released on the Epic Games Store rather than Steam. The non-Steam exclusivity was not met with universal acclaim—see the replies to this tweet for more on that—but CEO Matthew Karch said in a statement released today that despite the backlash, moving to Epic is "the best deal for players and developers." 

"First of all, building games is costly, and so to receive 88% instead of 70% means we can invest more into making World War Z," he wrote

"Second, we're passing along much of the savings to you as gamers. The price of World War Z on the Epic Games store is being dropped to $34.99 starting now and continuing through our April 16 launch and beyond. Any players who have already pre-purchased the game for $39.99 will get the $5 refunded back to them. We are thrilled to be able to share the developer-friendly benefits of the Epic Games store with you all, and can’t wait for you to play our game." 

Valve currently claims 30 percent of revenues from games sold on Steam, while Epic only takes a 12 percent cut from games sold on its store, which includes the five percent Unreal Engine royalty for games that use it. (You can read more about the differences between the two stores here.) That in itself isn't likely to spark a consumer revolution, but it can result in lower prices: Metro Exodus on the Epic Store, for instance, clocked in at $10 less than its original Steam listing in North America.   

Not all gamers outside of North America were able to take advantage of the reduced price on Metro Exodus, however, and that may be the case for World War Z as well: It's currently going for £32 in the UK and €35 in Germany, which works out to $42 and $40 respectively. Karch confirmed that everyone who preordered at the $40 price will be issued a $5 refund.

I've reached out to Saber to ask if those prices will be adjusted, and will update if I receive a reply. World War Z is scheduled to come out on April 16. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.