Despite Epic Game Store exclusivity, 'Ashen' is still coming to Xbox Play Anywhere on PC
The Epic Game Store has become notorious for dropping piles of cash on publishers for exclusivity, forcing them to change up established release plans at the last minute. Ashen was an early casualty.
Ashen is an excellent open world hardcore action RPG, with a haunting art style and intriguing asynchronous multiplayer. As good as Ashen is, the confusion around the game's launch, becoming one of the first games to get Epic Game Store exclusivity, really bit a chunk out of the game's hype.
Ashen was previously listed not only as a Steam release, but also an Xbox Play Anywhere release for the Windows 10 Microsoft Store on PC. Players who picked up the game on Xbox were expecting to be able to carry their progress and purchase between Xbox and PC, but Ashen's publisher, Annapurna Interactive, turned their back on its launch promises for that sweet Epic Games cash money.
Thankfully, developer Aurora 44 recently reiterated on Twitter that Ashen will still eventually emerge on Xbox Play Anywhere, and the Steam page is still live, with a "TBD" launch date, indicative that the deal with Epic Games is only a timed-deal.
This is something we are still actively working on - it just ended up being a longer road than we anticipated.This is something we are still actively working on - it just ended up being a longer road than we anticipated.— A44 Games - Flintlock (@A44games) May 18, 2019May 18, 2019
As frustrating as Epic Games is with its aggressive exclusivity deals, restricting consumer choice to what is, objectively, a far-worse storefront than Steam (and in some ways even the Windows 10 Microsoft Store), it's difficult to be angry at smaller publishers opting to secure cash to pay their bills and keep the lights on. It's even worse for the developers themselves, who are often not even involved with these sorts of deals, yet take the brunt of the anger on social media.
At the very least, it looks like Ashen will eventually emerge for XPA and Steam in the future. Ashen is currently on sale on the Epic Game Store, with an "Epic Discount" putting it down to $20.
Protect the light
Shine bright like a diamond
Ashen is a fantastic action RPG with a solid story, gorgeous presentation, and engaging gameplay.
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Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
Epic, "nah huh- It's Epic Game store exclusive on the PC!"
Microsoft, "Look kid, we've already mastered being a monoploy and got the fine to show it, you're just starting out... you wouldn't want a little Windows update to stop Epic launcher from working, now would you?... no? glad we... you agree that Play Anywhere support is great."