Kine dev reflects on Stadia launch and Epic exclusive positivity

In a new interview with GIBiz, Kine developer Gwen Frey has been chatting about her double deal with Google and Epic that will see the puzzle game launch with Stadia and also be an exclusive on the Epic Games Store from tomorrow.

“I was talking to (Epic) and saying, ‘Don’t tell anyone but I’m going to take (Kine) to Stadia,'” Frey explained, which prompted someone at Epic to ask “‘Oh, you’re getting funding? Did you know Epic is funding stuff too?’ I’m like, ‘Why would you do that?’ ‘Because we’re about to launch a store in two days.’ And he shows it to me and asks if I want to pitch this to Epic. Uh, yes?

“And so then I was in a really weird, cool position where I had a choice. I had a game I loved that I really wanted to make, and a dream of up-rezzing the art and making it a little bit bigger than I thought it would be, and I had two offers on the table from people who wanted to help me do that. And one was Google Stadia, which is this crazy new streaming tech, and the other is the Epic Game Store.”

Frey is not altogether sure how she managed to escape any backlash from miffed gamers who seem to get unreasonably angry at other devs who ink exclusivity deals with Epic.

“I feel like I’m the only one, to a degree that’s really weird,” she said. “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,’ and I showed what it looked like before and after. And a load of people jumped in and were like, ‘No, it’s fine when you do it. But fuck everyone else.'”

She went on to explain that her history of chatting about her frustrations with Steam, and her promise that Kine will become available through the platform, may have played a part in a more easy ride with the online mob.

“But you have to keep in mind, I have a podcast where I talk about how difficult it is to find any visibility on Steam, and for the last many years I’ve talked about how to do stuff in Unreal Engine, and I am close friends with Epic, and I’ve never had a Kickstarter or anything like that. A lot (of people) have messaged me and asked if it was eventually coming to Steam, and when I said yeah, they said, ‘Okay, I’ll Wishlist it on Steam.’ Nobody’s mad. There is a large group of people that would just rather play it on Steam and wait. I know from other people there is this group of angry gamers attacking people, but for some reason they’re just not after me.”

Kine will be released tomorrow (17 October) on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and Epic Games Store.

Wireframe #24

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