Updated December 7, 201
Updated December 8, 2018: Aurora44 posted a blog post Specify that Ashen will indeed come to the Windows 10 Microsoft Store and "other platforms" (presumably Steam) in the future. Annapurna confirms that it also comes to Xbox Play Anywhere. It looks like it's at least temporarily available exclusively for the Epic Games Store for PC.
Let's start with the availability of Windows 10 in the Microsoft Store. Ashen's Xbox One launch may not have been a better success story in our opinion, and Microsoft has incredibly supported the development of Ashen. We are currently working with our partners at Microsoft and the ID @ Xbox team to bring Ashen to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10 as soon as possible. We agree that this would have been better available on the first day. We are a small studio that has just delivered a very big game, but we have been actively working to achieve that goal. Rest assured that it is coming.
Epic Games spent quite a bit on advertising during last night's Game Awards, with several high-profile exclusives for its fresh digital PC distribution platform. One, however, stung a little more than the others.
Ashen, long known to appear in both the Microsoft Store and Steam, launched out of the blue on Xbox last night. The open-world role-playing game for asynchronous co-op opals offers a haunting style of art with great visuals and close-knit action battles. It should have been an important addition to the Xbox Play Anywhere offering. However, it seems that Epic Games' efforts in PC games have not only affected the availability of Ashen on Steam, but also its availability in the Microsoft Store, and thus also in Xbox Play Anywhere.
Ashen was announced as an Xbox Play Anywhere title for literally years at this point, so the omission is quite surprising. With Xbox Play Anywhere, gamers can play on both Xbox One and Windows 10 with a single purchase and sync their progress. In addition, PC games can be supported within the Xbox Game Pass. At the time of writing, Ashen is not listed on the Microsoft Store page as Xbox Play Anywhere, even though it is listed on the main Xbox Play Anywhere website. In addition, it is now listed with a start date of "TBD" on Steam.
Ashen is still listed on the Xbox Play Anywhere website.
It could just be a limited time exclusivity contract with Epic Games launching on Steam and holding the Microsoft Store, but the terms of the deal are unknown at this time. We turned to Aurora44 for clarification, but we have not heard it yet.
Epic Games offers developers a highly lucrative revenue share of 88 percent from the sales of games offered through their platform, exceeding what Steam and Microsoft greatly exceed. The competition brought by Epic Games should set a fire among its peers to provide better conditions for developers. However, his aggressive quest for exclusive rights already seems to hurt Xbox Play Anywhere, one of the most consumer-friendly cross-device offerings on the market, as well as Steam, where the vast majority of PC gamers currently live. It will be interesting to see how Valve and Microsoft will react in the future.
Ashen is now available for $ 40 for Xbox One and the Epic Games Store for PC.