A little over a year ago, Deep Silver's move to make Metro Exodus an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC at launch mere weeks before it was set to release after months of pre-sale on Steam sent waves throughout the games industry. Today, the official Metro Twitter account confirmed that the exclusivity deal will indeed expire after one year as originally announced: Metro Exodus will finally be released on Steam on February 15, 2020.
Metro Exodus was one of the first high-profile titles to enter into an exclusivity deal after Epic unveiled its storefront in late 2018. Many fans of 4A Games' post-apocalyptic FPS series, especially those who had already pre-ordered Exodus through Steam and owned the previous titles there, were aggravated by the move. Shortly after the announcement, Valve issued a statement calling the decision "unfair to Steam customers."
The situation continued to devolve as blame for the decision was shifted between 4A, Deep Silver, Deep Silver's parent company Koch Media, and Koch's parent THQ Nordic. Eventually, after about a week of sustained controversy fueled in part by comments from a frustrated 4A staffer, Koch and Deep Silver released a statement asking for all feedback to be directed at the pair of companies and not Metro's developers at 4A.
In hindsight, the Metro Exodus controversy was only the tip of the iceberg for the months that followed, which saw the rise of a xenophobic claim that the Epic Games Store was spyware and directed harassment of smaller developers who opted-in for Epic exclusivity. Throughout 2019, many developers argued in favor of Epic's 88/12 revenue split and attested that exclusivity deals were the only way they could feel financially secure enough to finish their games.
Despite the ire surrounding Exodus' release, it still managed to sell more than twice as many PC copies at launch than the previous installment in the series. Metro Exodus will launch on Steam just 4 days after the release of Sam's Story, the second and final piece of story DLC in the game's expansion pass. This month will also see the release of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light ports for the Nintendo Switch, developed in-house by 4A, on February 28.