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Image: Hades
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In the annals of holiday lore it said that, every year, after circling the globe on a carpet-sized copy of Death Stranding, Geoff Keighley touches down for the briefest of moments in December to host The Game Awards. Last year, this led to an announcement that was curious indeed: a store, from grumpy old mega-corporation Epic Games. Then came the exclusives. Dozens of them, as far as the eye could see. Now, 365 days later, the first several of these Epic exclusives are free to embark on their own Keighley-esque journeys. So they’re on Steam.

Many of Epic’s exclusivity deals are set to last a year from release, and so for the first few games to launch on Epic’s store, those deals have now expired. As a result, Hades, Ashen, and Hello Neighbor: Hide And Seek are now out on Steam.

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Hades is Bastion, Transistor, and Pyre developer Supergiant’s roguelite action with a unique story rooted in Greek myth. While it’s still in early access, it’s nearing 1.0 status after a year of updates. Ashen, meanwhile, is a moody, minimalist take on Dark Souls, complete with stamina meters and dodge rolls, but also with co-op multiplayer inspired by Journey, of all games. Lastly, Hello Neighbor: Hide And Seek is a prequel to stealth horror game Hello Neighbor that somehow manages to be both a childlike “game of hide-and-seek” and also about dealing with “the loss of a family member.” So, you know, cheery stuff!

While Epic Store anger simmered and eventually boiled over into an out of control mess this past year, these initial exclusives didn’t really have to deal with much of that. So far, their Steam reviews reflect this, with only a small handful mentioning the Epic Store at all.

As time goes on, more Epic exclusives will trickle onto Steam. The new year, for example, should herald the arrival of bigger games like Metro Exodus, which will have been on Steam for a year in February, and Borderlands 3, whose exclusivity deal is set to expire after six months, also giving it a likely February Steam release date.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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