Why do only start-up backers get Steam/GOG keys?

Hello fellow backers and Snapshot developers,

I am in turmoil over the fact that my early backing of Phoenix Point does not seem to merit a game key on a more popular digital platform. In particular, I am talking about Steam. There is a wide array of digital platforms to pick games up from now, none however compare to Steam in my opinion. Steam offers better customer support along with achievements, collections, playtime, and community interactions that can be featured on your Steam profile page.

My gripe here is with the March 12th, 2019 date for backers getting other digital platform keys beyond Epic Games. It is without a doubt the injection of Epic Games into the marketplace has left a sour taste in many a gamer’s mouth and still do. Do not get me wrong, the reduced fee for publishing a game on the Epic Games Store is a good thing and I welcome game developers choosing to release their game on one platform over another on this basis. Following the typical one year pattern though, I do not remember Phoenix Point being bought as an Epic Games exclusive. In my mind I thought Phoenix Point was releasing on Epic Games as a move for wider profits/funding from sold licenses of the game, not as an Epic Games market disruption tactic.

Regardless, who am I to judge what platform Phoenix Point eventually gets released on? I backed Phoenix Point on August 1st, 2019 with the Signature Edition which cost $80.00 USD and I was happy to do so. As a longtime XCOM player I saw Phoenix Point as a step up from what I have played previously and thought it warranted my early and hefty support. When I first played Phoenix Point it was on a special launcher provided by Snapshot Games and not through the Epic Games Launcher. It was not until Phoenix Point neared its official release that Epic Games came into the picture late November of 2019 and I had to acquire my Epic Games key and download Phoenix Point via the Epic Games Launcher. I have received a number of perks as an early backer and am grateful for the respect Snapshot Games has shown to both myself and all the other early backers, however, this is where my problem arises with the special digital keys.

To my knowledge, the first downloadable version of Phoenix Point available to backers did not arrive until May 1st, 2019 as Backer Build 1. That is a whole two and a half weeks after the March 12th, 2019 early backer date to receive other digital platform game keys from when the first playable version of Phoenix Point was available. I can understand why a game studio would not want to send out mass game keys to backers on different platforms because of how they could not verify the account that used the game key belongs to the same person that backed the game. That makes sense, likewise, this would be a non-issue for myself because I used the same email that is connected to my Steam account to support Phoenix Point. Along with this backer survey going around, I do not see how this could be a massive issue if a few more questions were added to the survey for security/legitimacy reasons. Furthermore, I am proud to be an early backer and would do nothing that would hurt the sales of Phoenix Point, but perhaps I am in the minority of early backers.

My problem is that I feel cheated despite being an early backer of the game. A backing date of August 1st, 2019 is not days before official release, that is a whole four months before the game came out. I do not recall December 3rd, 2019 as being a decided upon release date at the time of my backing or the preceding month or two after, at least not to public knowledge.

Ultimately, had Phoenix Point remained only on the Epic Games Store I would not have a problem. I prefer any game I purchase to be on Steam by far. I like to display what I have played and occasionally go back to see all that I have achieved and collected on my Steam account.

What I am really asking here is why my early backing does not constitute a game key on another digital platform? Have I not contributed enough? Have I not engaged in the feedback of early development enough? What could have any early backer done to get a game key on another digital platform besides funding the game before there was a playable build available? Remove my license from Epic Games for all I care and replace it with a Steam key and all backer benefits therein, I want to add my playtime on Phoenix Point to Steam and all the achievements regardless if I have to play it all over again to do so.


1 Like

Simple: those who backed before Epic deal was announced were promised for the game to be delivered on Steam and GOG. Snapshot decided to take the offer to make Phoenix Point an exclusive, which went against what was promised. it upset players who paid for the game believing for it to be delivered on Steam and GOG.

As a compensation for this change, players were offered what I considered a very generous compensation - a year worth of DLCs (which turned to be a full season pass in the end) as well as an additional key for the original platform, once the year of exclusivity will run out, or, if it is not enough: a refund.

I know it sucks for the game to be free of Epic, but be stuck with that platform - I went through that with Hades, which I ended up buying it twice - on Epics and then on Steam’s EA Launch.

Why not be nice and allow players to just buy a game, and play o platform of their choice? Well, it’s against everyone’s best interest. Epic pays a great deal of money to secure exclusivity deals. They do so, to bring people into their platform. Yes, when you buy the game you pay epic the money (though whenever they profit is questionable - from what was revealed Epic usually offers guaranteed sales - so they pay developers for certain amount of sold copies no matter if game sells that much, or not. So to make profit of the game Epic needs to sell more copies then they guaranteed) but more importantly you come to the platform. They want you to use the Epic and they want to keep you there. Personally, I don’t think, it would be fair of Snapshot to take Epic’s money and then migrate all their player base to their competition, even assuming they are not prohibited from doing so. They were offered financial security, in exchange for their player base.

On the other hand, steam or gog have no interest in offering free games to people. You paid Epic, not them. Even if you buy a game on sale, or later the line on platform you favour it is more favourable for them, as they will get money out of it. And unlike Epic, they have a dedicated player base, so they can count on people being tempted to rebuy the game, or wait for steam/gog sale in the future (like I did with Outer Worlds).

There have been instances of Devs offering free steam keys after exclusive period runs out - Klei’s Griftland was one such example, but that was communicated upfront. I have no clue, if Klei’s deal was any different then Snapshots. Either way, in most cases when you buy a game, it’s only for the platform you bought it from: steam, Gog, or epic. People who backed/purchased Phoenix Point after Epic exclusivity was announced aren’t offered a compensation, because they willingly paid for Phoenix Point on Epic store, and they get just that.

Edit: it is a frustrating situation, and one of the reasons Epic is so disliked. Epic offers simply a worse service then either Steam or Gog, and making games exclusive is frustrating - wether you buy early or wait a year. Still, financial security is a tempting offer for developers, on top of a more generous revenue split. After experiencing Phoenix Point release, I am convinced it was the right thing to do - Snapshot needed to work on the game for longer. As to you paying for game - due to how Epics deal works, it is unlikely it benefited Snapshot at all financially - they would have to blow past amount of sales Epic offered to pay for in order to make further profit. More likely, you paid Epic, and reduced their financial loses for buying PP as an exclusive. :grin: Happy thoughts.


Epic is spending so much money on exclusives that it can’t afford to make their store/launcher worth using. Perhaps, it’s time for them to invest in their own product, EGS!


I understand that dynamic and am for developers making those decisions that best aid their ability to develop their game and support it after release. The thing is, I backed Phoenix Point before the Epic Games deal. I bought the game through the Phoenix Point website store which used Xsolla and when I played Phoenix Point at the time of purchase and the preceding month or two afterword it was through a proprietary game launcher with no connection to any digital platform. It was not until November 29th, 2019 that I got any email notification or update from Snapshot/Phoenix Point about Epic Games. This email gave to me my Epic Games Store key for the full release of the game which I had already owned and played the earlier builds of well outside the Epic Games Launcher because it just was not on that platform yet. Perhaps I am remembering this wrong, but I most certainly bought and played Phoenix Point before Epic Games was involved in any transaction. At no point did I pay for anything through Epic Games.

I did check my earliest emails and I did get access to Phoenix Point through the Epic Games Launcher. I did not pay for the game through the launcher, this was the only way to access the early builds of the game. The November 29th, 2019 email I received was for the full release of the game because Epic Games treated the early access version of the game and the full release as two separate games. I now stand corrected as to my memory of the events.

None the less, I was not aware that Epic Games was at all involved when I purchase the early backer copy of the game through the Phoenix Point store. This is the reason why when I was given a key for the Epic Games Store I thought it was a move from Snapshot to better develop the game, not because of exclusivity that I would later regret more than a year later. Why did my purchase of the game through the Phoenix Point store give me a key for Epic Games and not a platform of my choice even if it meant a longer wait? Why was I not informed as an early backer before my purchase that I was buying into Epic Games which as I recall at the time was in the early throws of its debut and upsetting many gamers?

I stand correct as to my earlier statements and apologize for my confusion. I feel more deceived now than cheated at the fact that I was not made aware of which digital platform I was supporting when I became an early backer in August of 2019 and that there were plans to release to all digital platforms in the future. Purchasing games again and again because they release on another digital platform later is just not realistic for the player base and this experience has taught me something that I had thought I was already safe from, never go for anything connected to Epic. In the end, this will hurt game developers because Epic Games will stop promising money as they start to bleed cash for unsold game copies. This will result with these game studios running out of funding before their game finishes or have a slow launch which can drastically impact planned future support.


I would not dare to go against early backers. But would gladly exchange epic account (same as Steam release now) for Steam one. In the end I found even few euros cheaper Steam key on kinguin.net and decide to give my Epic account to a friend.

1 Like

I see. If you bought the game before the Epic’s deal (March of 2019) then you would get an extra key.

You are right, I don’t think PP was being sold through Epic, until actual per-orders became live. I can’t quite remember. Either way, after Snapshot announced PP will be exclusive to Epic, all keys offered after March were openly for Epic only. As an early backer I can’t vouch if it was well communicated for the new backers. I imagine there must have been something like “a digital key to be redeemed on EGS” listed, but it might be easy to miss for someone not immersed in the drama.

1 Like

I don’t think backers nor Snapshot would really mind. I think, it’s less that they don’t want you to have multiple copies of the game, and more that Epic paid to bring you to their platform. As creepy as it sounds, you guys are the ones Snapshot “sold” to Epic, when taking the deal. Exclusive deals aren’t about games, they are about customers who want them.


Backers wouldn’t, they also awaited for the day for Steam and GOG release, but I believe Snapshot would like us to buy game again. That is downside of such exclusivity deals for customers and other upside for companies. Otherwise Epic customers would get Steam-GOG choice too.

1 Like

Well, I do think 50% discount is there for a reason, but hardly encouraging as many stuck with Epic already paid premiums. That is true, that PP is fully functional on Epic and as such Snapshot has no incentive to just give extra copies away (especially that those could be traded). My only thoughts in defence of Snapshot is: 1) they might be contractually obligated to deliver Epic keys only and 2) if they plan to work with Epic with the future, they’d better honour their side of the deal as well. I doubt Epic saw a financial return on their investment, and I doubt they would look kindly on Snapshot helping in migrating away the player base they bought.

But yeah, I am not stuck on Epic anymore, and I found myself not content with my other games being on Epic, when they became available on steam.


Its time limited, but I see keys appearing at kinguin.net, so you might get it cheaper that way. That is my solution to bail out, and give away Epic store to a friend. I see no indication that Snapshot will change the present course / but its nice Steam starts up to date and not partial.

It was may 2018. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Will I ever repurchase the game, no I do not think I will despite how much I would like my progress on the game shown on my Steam Account. I just cannot rebuy games in my current financial situation nor would I want to when there are all these other games that I would like to purchase. Also, my backer version for Phoenix Point allows me to get the expansions for free and I am not going to purchase future season passes on top of repurchasing the game on Steam. In the end this has done two things to me: 1) I will be vigilant as to what platform a game will release to first and 2) not back games that launch on the Epic Games Store exclusively. As a game developer, which I am studying to be, if I have an active support base for my in-production game I would not alienate my supports by platform regardless of whether I have enough funding. The culture around early access and backers is growing and I would rather ask for more support then push away potential players/backers because of an experience they had with a previous game release of mine. It is not just that player I will lose, but all the players they tell not to get/back games from me.

Epic is financially very aggressive to obtain new users, now it funds up to 15 free base games, and very nice titles. Should we blame companies that try to exploit it to its own financial gain?

At least start Steam edition is biffed up at lower price then cumulative Epic purchase. That was a nice and compensating move.

I find it should have more achievements looking at game complexity, but that can be added later.

Why are people STILL going on about this🤦🏼‍♂️ It’s basic capitalism, companies want to make a profit end of, so they use their financial clout to do so.Can we now just focus on the game and possibly please put all these type of conversations in a different section so we don’t have to trawl through them.


Ha! It’s easy to be an idealist, when you are not personally responsible for livelihood of your employees. Letting people go is also bad, and tangibly more harmful, then annoying some of your player base.

Is crowdfunding growing? It seems to be past it’s peak. Even a multi million dollar kickstarters can’t fund a mid sized game, and obsessive fan bases like Star Citizen are few - assuming the SC is a healthy project and not a misguided money sink. Phoenix Point was always too ambitious of a game to be a crowdfunded project. Outside funding was to be done from day 1. It just they needed more funding, and I don’t understand how someone who played 1.0, release could think that the game could do with less development time and no post launch support. Which is what Epic provided.

There is little to no evidence that Epic alienates players - some are vocally against it, but games still sell like cupcakes there, and still seem to do well when released on other platforms. Sooner then later people will get used to EGS’s existence. Hitman 3 is on Epic? Cool, will play it a year after release :man_shrugging:

Edit: as to reinforce the last point. Steam has published their best selling games of 2020. You shall find there few former Epic exclusive games. At least one of them did really well, even back when it launched on EGS… and still ended up among selling games on Steam. As a developer, why wouldn’t you take the deal? Especially, that you will get more revenue from selling your games via EGS.