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.
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.
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