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Epic Games Store - the console war comes to PC

LESS T_T

Arcane
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Codex 2014
With tens of millions of users acquired with the popularity of Fortnite, Epic launches a Steam competitor. And Tim Sweeney is the man of his words, their revenue split is 88/12 as opposed to Steam's 70/30: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/...ic-takes-on-steam-with-its-own-pc-games-store

Fortnite maker Epic takes on Steam with its own PC games store
And it'll give 88% of revenue to developers.


Epic has announced plans to take on Steam with a PC games store of its own.

The Epic Games Store features an eye-opening 88/12 per cent revenue split in favour of developers.

This is a much better deal for developers than currently available from Steam. Historically, Valve has taken around a 30 per cent cut of revenue made on Steam, a figure broadly in-line with Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft's cut from their own digital storefronts.

However, Valve recently announced plans to drop its cut to 25 per cent once revenue from a game hits $10m, and then another drop to 20 per cent for earnings over $50m. That announcement, made just a few days ago, is interestingly-timed in the context of Epic's own announcement today.

jpg


Epic's own chart compares the revenue split on its own store with that of Steam, although it's worth noting Valve takes a smaller cut for games that make $10m and over.


The Epic Games Store launches soon with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, Epic said, and it'll open up more broadly to additional games and other open platforms throughout 2019. Epic said it's open to games developed with any game engine, not just its own Unreal. So, games made with Unity, for example, can make the cut. However, games made with Unreal will see Epic waive all engine royalties on revenue generated through the store.

Epic boss Tim Sweeney told Eurogamer over email he's open to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds launching on the Epic Games Store, despite the strained relationship between Epic and PUBG developer PUBG Corp.

Earlier this year, PUBG Corp. dropped its copyright lawsuit against Epic that had accused the company of copyright infringement over battle royale phenomenon Fortnite. PUBG, by the way, is built using Epic's Unreal engine, and both Epic and PUBG Corp. are part-owned by enormous Chinese corporation Tencent.

The Epic Games Store also has what's called the Support-A-Creator program. This is designed to connect developers with over 10,000 creators, such as YouTubers and streamers on Twitch, and rewards creators for bringing exposure to developers (more on how this works below).

While the Epic Games Store offers a great deal for developers, Epic faces an uphill challenge in taking on Steam, which currently enjoys an effective monopoly on the PC game sales market despite pressure from the likes of GOG, EA's Origin, Ubisoft's uPlay and Activision Blizzard's Battle.net. Steam has over 100 million users, with around 10 million people online at any given moment - an enormous, established audience to sell to.

jpg


The matter-of-fact Epic Games Store logo.


Eurogamer had the opportunity to ask Tim Sweeney some questions about the Epic Games Store via email. Here are his answers:

Can you say which publishers are signed up? Or which games it'll launch with?

Tim Sweeney: We aren't announcing the games just yet. Stay tuned.

Why is now the right time to take on Steam?

Tim Sweeney: We've been operating a storefront for Epic's own games for years. Now that essential features are in place, we're ready to open it open it up to other developers.

What do you think Steam/other platforms are doing wrong that you can do right?

Tim Sweeney: Generally, we want to enable a more direct relationship between developers and gamers, and more efficient economics and discovery. Developers will control their product pages, free of advertising for competing games. Developers will be able to reach purchasers of their games through the newsfeed and, if the customer permits, by email. Creators will help developers reach gamers in a more entertaining and fun way, so games are not so limited by storefront screen space or top-charts space.

Will you consider a streaming service as well?

Tim Sweeney: We're focusing on downloadable games.

What is your content curation policy (versus Steam) for when the store opens up more broadly?

Tim Sweeney: We'll have an approval process for new developers to go through to release a title. It will mostly focus on the technical side of things and general quality. Except for adult-only content, we don't plan to curate based on developers' creative or artistic expression.

Epic will manually curate the Epic Games storefront rather than relying on algorithms or paid ads. We believe the ultimate vector for players to discover new games will not be our storefront but creators. Viewership of creator channels has greatly outgrown any storefront.

What's the vetting process going to be like? How does a dev get their game on your service?

Tim Sweeney: We're in the planning stages on the mechanics of opening up more widely and will release those details at a later date.

What's your DRM policy?

Tim Sweeney: We do not have any store-wide DRM. Developers are free to use their own DRM solutions if they choose.

How will you handle user reviews / vote brigading?

Tim Sweeney: User reviews are still in development and the store will launch without this feature. When launched, it will be opt-in by developers. We're experimenting with other mechanisms to improve this further.

How exactly will you reward creators for bringing exposure to game developers?

Tim Sweeney: Creators earn a share of revenue from each attributable sale, either by link or by manual creator tag entry, like in Fortnite. Developers set the rate of the revenue share and Epic pays the first 5 per cent for the first 24 months. Developers get immediate access to thousands of creators who can promote their titles with no friction, and can automatically entitle creators to a copy of their game if they choose so.

We believe this will make a more direct and sustainable connection between game developers and content creators.

And finally... will PUBG be on the Epic Games Store?

Tim Sweeney: We would be greatly honored to feature PUBG in the Epic Games store in the future, however there isn't any agreement in place yet.
 

Mustawd

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can't be assed to install 700 different videogame store clients
if it's not on gog or steam then I'll just acquire it by other means

This is my attitude right now. Although, I can see them making an effort if they offer some games on discount or have a few exclusive mega hits.

But honestly, as much as I dislike pirating games, if it’s not on steam or gog I’m not gonna buy it.
 

Infinitron

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Competition is good. If this new platform starts running mega-discounts to compete with Steam (and with their Fortnite bux Epic can afford it), Valve will feel the pressure to do so as well. They might even (gasp) develop some games of their own again to give people a reason to use Steam.

But, let's see how it actually turns out first.
 

markec

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Competition is good. If this new platform starts running mega-discounts to compete with Steam (and with their Fortnite bux Epic can afford it), Valve will feel the pressure to do so as well. They might even (gasp) develop some games of their own again to give people a reason to use Steam.

But, let's see how it actually turns out first.

It will be interesting to see how the competition plays out when Chinese WeGame also enters the market.
 

Unkillable Cat

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Interesting news, especially in regards to how the competition will react. But the clincher for me personally will be the DRM aspect. Leaving it to the developers is a nice touch, that covers Epic's ass on one front.

And LOL at SteamSpy being an actual spy.
 
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I'm ok with more competition. Hopefully it isn't half assed and actually has an impact.

Also, hopefully this brings back deep Steam sales instead of the ho-hum bullshit we've had for the past few years.
 
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And like Steam - they killed their best game (Unreal) to make something more profitable...
 

Outlander

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All Valve has to do is release a couple of these big guns: Portal 3, L4D3, HL3, DOTA 3, TF3 or a new Counter Strike and *poof*, no one will ever hear about this new store.
 

moraes

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The proletariat demand that all those stores should be accessible from a single, standardized and open API so the consumer can shop around in them from an universal client.
 

Vault Dweller

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Steam Spy guy was an actual spy!:



This is a serious threat to Steam than any other previous attempts, I think.

It's certainly an interesting development but anyone can launch a digital store. Steam charges 30% for access to a bajillion paying customers, not for the store itself. While 12% is certainly very enticing for developers, but what's in it for the players? If they can't attract and keep millions of daily players, Steam has nothing to worry about.
 
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can't be assed to install 700 different videogame store clients
if it's not on gog or steam then I'll just acquire it by other means
Pretty much. Not to mention the better cut to the developers is cool for developers but that's not exactly making me want to jump ship from Steam and buy games from Epic instead. Not to mention "E-celebs will get a slice of the pie if they shill your game on Epic" isn't particularly thrilling either. Seems like they're trying to woo everyone but customers, and the game journos are trying to give it a positive spin so the customers feel good that everyone but them is getting something out of the arrangement.
 

LESS T_T

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It's certainly an interesting development but anyone can launch a digital store. Steam charges 30% for access to a bajillion paying customers, not for the store itself. While 12% is certainly very enticing for developers, but what's in it for the players? If they can't attract and keep millions of daily players, Steam has nothing to worry about.

Yeah, I guess, even with Epic's major advantages (the owner of Unreal Engine, existing relationships with game developers, Fortnite) over other contenders, building a viable platform would require a long-term dedication (client and community features, stability, exclusives).

Well, this answer is underwhelming: https://www.gameinformer.com/2018/12/04/tim-sweeney-answers-questions-about-the-new-epic-games-store

From the gamer's perspective, why should they shop at the Epic store as opposed to the marketplaces they already buy from?

It’s a lightweight storefront that’s convenient to use, and gives developers a better deal.
 
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Theoretically "gives developers a better deal" might mean that they can do bigger sales than Steam. If you can get games cheaper at the Epic store that's a legitimate reason to use it over Steam. Still, color me skeptical.
 

Bocian

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Wish them success. Competition is always good, and it's good to have an alternative for steam jewry.

Edit: I wasn't aware that chinks got their hands on this. Hard time to figure out what's worse now...
 
Last edited:

Vault Dweller

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It's certainly an interesting development but anyone can launch a digital store. Steam charges 30% for access to a bajillion paying customers, not for the store itself. While 12% is certainly very enticing for developers, but what's in it for the players? If they can't attract and keep millions of daily players, Steam has nothing to worry about.

Yeah, I guess, even with Epic's major advantages (the owner of Unreal Engine, existing relationships with game developers, Fortnite) over other contenders, building a viable platform would require a long-term dedication (client and community features, stability, exclusives).
These are very weak advantages. Developers will gladly sell their wares on any platform that has at least 5% of the market, because 70% of something is always better than 100% of nothing. They don't need special relationships and better deals, although better deals are always nice. It's all about the players, but it would take more than stability (as that's what players expect by default) and exclusives (they can play your exclusive if they absolutely have to and then go back to Steam) to lure even 15-20% of players away from Steam and I can't guess what it might possibly be. Judging by the quote below, Epic doesn't know either:

From the gamer's perspective, why should they shop at the Epic store as opposed to the marketplaces they already buy from?

It’s a lightweight storefront that’s convenient to use, and gives developers a better deal.
 

FeelTheRads

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It's certainly an interesting development but anyone can launch a digital store. Steam charges 30% for access to a bajillion paying customers, not for the store itself. While 12% is certainly very enticing for developers, but what's in it for the players? If they can't attract and keep millions of daily players, Steam has nothing to worry about.

Yeah, I guess, even with Epic's major advantages (the owner of Unreal Engine, existing relationships with game developers, Fortnite) over other contenders, building a viable platform would require a long-term dedication (client and community features, stability, exclusives).

Well, this answer is underwhelming: https://www.gameinformer.com/2018/12/04/tim-sweeney-answers-questions-about-the-new-epic-games-store

From the gamer's perspective, why should they shop at the Epic store as opposed to the marketplaces they already buy from?

It’s a lightweight storefront that’s convenient to use, and gives developers a better deal.

Why should you buy GOG instead of Steam? Except no-DRM which theoretically would be the case with this too for the same games.

A reason would be to not feed only the biggest reptilian and give a chance to others.
Normal people with a brain should jump at the opportunity to foster competition, but in the age of "no steam-no buy" imbeciles there's not much hope.
 

Metro

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Fornite is a passing fad. There are an innumerable amount of multiplayer in the last several years that ADD kiddo's eventually get tired of an move on to the next hyped thing.
 

Dexter

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Why should you buy GOG instead of Steam? Except no-DRM which theoretically would be the case with this too for the same games.
Originally, for "Good Old Games", which Steam didn't have and GOG actively pursued to find out who holds the rights etc. to get them working on their platform compatible with the new Windows version.

It's all about the players, but it would take more than stability (as that's what players expect by default) and exclusives (they can play your exclusive if they absolutely have to and then go back to Steam) to lure even 15-20% of players away from Steam and I can't guess what it might possibly be.
Curation and promotion of relevant products could possibly be one thing that Steam gets constantly wrong (although that would obviously favor certain developers before others and I don't think they're going to come begging to Iron Tower Studio). But yeah, they'd have to have an existing library of games and an existing userbase first (they're apparently counting on those "Fortnite" players to stay around).
 

waterdeep

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"Please use our chink bloated spyware instead of theirs, we give the developers more cuts"
Too bad no one will buy games on there, so the devs will still earn more by putting their games on Steam
 

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