Update 2: In a new statement posted to Twitter, Metro Exodus publisher Deep Silver said the decision to make Metro Exodus a timed Epic Games Store exclusive on PC was made on the publishing side of the game, and therefore largely out of the control of developer 4A Games. The publisher also debunked a forum post from a developer at 4A Games which suggested Metro Exodus' PC performance - basically, how popular it is - would determine whether future Metro games come to PC at all.
"The recent comments made by a member of the 4A Games development team do not reflect Deep Silver’s or 4A Games’ view on the future of the franchise. They do reflect the hurt and disappointment of a passionate individual who has seen what was previously nothing but positive goodwill towards his work turn to controversy due to a business decision he had no control over … Our decision to partner with Epic Games was based on the goal of investing in the future of the series and our development partner at 4A Games. We have every intention of continuing this franchise, and a PC version will always be at the heart of our plans."
Update 1: In a follow-up statement, Deep Silver clarified that Metro Exodus will only be exclusive to the Epic Games Store until February 14, 2020, after which it will return to Steam and other storefronts.
The PC version of Metro Exodus will be exclusive to the newly opened Epic Games Store. As a result of publisher Deep Silver's new partnership with Epic, the game's price has been cut to $50 for the standard edition ($60 on Steam) and $75 for the gold edition ($85 on Steam). Deep Silver said the price cut is possible thanks to the Epic Games Store's more generous revenue share model.
“Epic’s generous revenue terms are a game changer that will allow publishers to invest more into content creation, or pass on savings to the players," said Deep Silver Klemens Kundratitz. "By teaming up with Epic we will be able to invest more into the future of Metro and our ongoing partnership with series developer 4A Games, to the benefit of our Metro fans.”
The sticking point here is that Metro Exodus has been available for pre-order on Steam for some time - and still is at the time of this writing, though the option will be removed later today. So, while the game has jumped over to Epic's ship, Deep Silver says Steam pre-orders will be honored. A statement on Exodus' Steam page reads:
"The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam. We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know."
Separately, Deep Silver confirmed that "any customer with an outstanding pre-order for Metro Exodus on PC through any digital retailer will receive their game as expected." In other words, if you've already bought the game on PC, you don't need to worry about changing storefronts. However, there's been no word on early buyers receiving a partial refund in light of the Epic Store's discount. That said, I wouldn't bet on a refund seeing as how other platforms are unaffected by Epic's revenue share model. I've reached out to Epic for more information and will update this story if I hear anything.
After The Division 2, Metro Exodus is the latest big game to skip Steam in favor of the Epic Games Store.