We received a tip from someone who was privy to a meeting between Epic Games and Microsoft to bring some of Microsoft’s titles over to the Epic Games Store, including the Halo: Master Chief Collection, which is supposed to release on Steam “soon”, according to the store page. I decided to reach out to Microsoft to confirm if they would be putting Halo: Master Chief Collection on the Epic Games Store exclusively, and they responded by saying that for now they’re focused on releasing the package on Steam and the Microsoft Store, but they’re still listening to feedback.
The question was explicitly about Halo: The Master Chief Collection eventually becoming an Epic Games Store exclusive, and it was shuffled through a few departments before a spokesperson from Microsoft eventually offered us the following statement for publication…
“We are currently focused on bringing a great ‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ experience to PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam, however, we’re always listening to feedback and looking for additional opportunities to share Halo with as many players as possible.”
Microsoft originally announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection was heading to Steam back in March of this year, and that the package would be made available piecemeal starting with Halo: Reach. No release date or release schedule was set for the rest of the games in the package. They also don’t deny that the game could appear on the Epic Games Store.
Now to recap what was mentioned by the tipster: they mentioned that apparently Epic Games wants all of Microsoft’s future releases made available on the Epic Games Store, including Sea of Thieves, Gears of War and Ori and the Blind Forest 2.
They didn’t actually get to sit in on the meeting, but what bits and pieces of info they received centered around Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney wanting exclusivity for Microsoft’s games and to eventually have them removed from Steam, similar to what was reported regarding Rocket League. I was told that if the deal goes through then something at this year’s E3 could be announced.
They were also unsure about whether or not the deal struck between Epic and Microsoft would be for one-year exclusivity or permanent exclusivity since the only thing they were able to relay was that Microsoft and Epic were in negotiations at the time.
Regardless, the deal would limit the games to just the Microsoft Store and the Epic Games Store, cutting out GOG and Steam. The tipster was also unsure if the Humble Bundle would be affected or if they would switch over to using Epic Games Store keys instead.
They strongly intimated that Halo was Sweeney’s prime target in the deal, so given Microsoft’s response about Halo being a property that they wanted to bring to as “many players as possible” it certainly doesn’t rule out an Epic Games Store appearance. Given that Epic has been poaching a lot of games from Steam for exclusivity deals, ranging from half a year up to a year, it wouldn’t be surprising if Epic attempted to muscle in to get Halo: The Master Chief Collection on their store. We’ve also seen a few games that turned out to be timed Microsoft Store and Epic Games Store exclusives, so that isn’t a far fetched possibility either. But then again we don’t have any proof of that right now and Microsoft obviously wasn’t willing to talk about it right now.
Nevertheless, we’ll find out just how true the information is at this year’s E3.
(Thanks for the news tip anon)