… it was in there to begin with…
Valve’s still silent on the matter, but I’m surprised they haven’t tried to enforce this part of their developer agreement. That part of the clause has existed since 2011 (according to Sid - the videomaker), and likely earlier than that (I don’t know an exact date, I haven’t researched into the topic extensively).
It’s still some murky language, but long story short, a developer abiding by this agreement cannot have 2 different versions of the game (I.E. One in beta on Steam and one in as a final release on another platform) for an extended period of time and must release their commercial product on Steam within 30 days of their previous commercial release to abide by the agreement.
Technically, the developers (and publishers) that have been entertaining the idea of a timed exclusive of more than a month with Epic could be held liable and in breach of contract with Valve if they decided to go after them for it.
In Valve’s shoes I’d certainly go after Deep Silver in this instance as they have a perfectly valid reason to; let’s face it, it’d be a massively good PR stunt for little effort on their part (I’d assume). We’ll have to see though, personally, unless they act on it, it’s of little consequence.