In a blog post, Glumberland detailed the reason behind accepting exclusivity:
So we had a big decision to make, and we didn’t take it lightly.
Because Epic doesn’t yet have the same market share as their competitors, they offered us a minimum guarantee on sales that would match what we’d be wanting to earn if we were just selling Ooblets across all the stores. That takes a huge burden of uncertainty off of us because now we know that no matter what, the game won’t fail and we won’t be forced to move back in with our parents (but we do love and appreciate you, parents!).
Now we can just focus on making the game without worrying about keeping the lights on. The upfront money they’re providing means we’ll be able to afford more help and resources to start ramping up production and doing some cooler things.
The studio continued that it is aware of “the backlash that’s been hitting games that sign with Epic,” but that it doesn’t expect that sort of response from its community. The post further goes into addressing the general complaints most users seem to echo regarding the Epic Games Store, which you can read in full here.
As for when the game itself will release, Glumberland said that there is “still a lot of foundational stuff we need to sort out before we’re even ready for an early access launch.” But on a brighter note, “The investment we’re getting upfront from Epic will allow us to ramp up our development resources which will lead to faster development in the long run, but it might also delay our initial launch a tad because it takes some time to ramp things up and because we won’t have as much financial pressure to prematurely shove something we’re not happy with out the door.”
If you missed it, the last official trailer for Ooblets was released during E3 2018.