Kine developer Gwen Frey has opened up about her exclusivity deal with the Epic Game Store.
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Frey mentioned how she was able to avoid backlash of having her game as a one-year Epic Game Store exclusive. She responded to comments about how the controversial storefront is not helping indie developers by showing people what Kine looked like before and after the support she received from Epic Games. In the interview, Frey is also upfront about her motivation for the exclusivity agreement.
“I feel like I’m the only one, to a degree that’s really weird. I replied to a Twitter thread at one point where somebody was like, ‘Hey, Epic is only throwing money at big publishers, they’re not helping out any indies.’ And I said, ‘Hey, I made this shitty little game, but Epic gave me money and because of that money I can do this’.”
Frey also acknowledges that, “There is a large group of people that would just rather play it on Steam and wait.” Additionally, she has a podcast where she has discussed how difficult it was to gain visibility on Steam, as well as experience using Epic’s Unreal Engine. As a result of her transparency, Frey says that angry consumers are not targeting her: “I know from other people there is this group of angry gamers attacking people, but for some reason they’re just not after me.”
Frey also elaborated on the power indie developers have when it comes to utilizing new platforms:
“Indies are more capable of taking risks and jumping on new tech and doing exciting things with it. If you have something like the Halo franchise, you need to make sure your stuff works on every platform. You can’t really drill down into what a given platform can do, because you have a massive franchise and you need to sell it everywhere. Indies or anybody working on a smaller title, a newer title, or a new IP, they can take a risk. They can really lean into what a platform can do that’s unique, and there are unique things you can do with cloud computing.”
Kine releases on PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One on October 17, as well as November 19 on Stadia.