Epic will take on Steam with improved “game supply, consumer prices, and developer revenue sharing”

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Sweeney

Late last year, Epic announced it would be opening its own digital storefront. To entice developers, the company would offer developers an 88% cut of game sales, taking much less than Steam’s usual 30% fee. The store would also play host to a few PC exclusivity deals – and soon after, big, AAA games joined in, with Metro Exodus and The Division 2 as the marquee titles.

Speaking to MCV in an extensive interview, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney spoke about those two strategies, and how they’d be the only real ways that Epic could “displace” the dominant, ubiquitous Steam. They’re necessary, especially because the Epic Store can’t compete with steam when it comes to features. It’s lacking a few rudimentary tools – and didn’t even have (or, rightly need) a search tool until recently.

“It’s nearly perfect for consumers already…There is no hope of displacing a dominant storefront solely by adding marginally more store features or a marginally better install experience,” he said. “These battles will be won on the basis of game supply, consumer prices, and developer revenue sharing.”

While it’s a little frustrating that Epic didn’t learn much from the many lessons Valve’s learned over the years with Steam you can still expect to see Epic’s Store evolve as the service’s library grows.

“The Epic Games Store team has been working with developers around the industry to identify prospective titles. In this early phase, we are starting with a small number of carefully selected games based on consistent quality across a wide variety of scopes,” Sweeney said. “Throughout 2019, the store will open up more widely.”

Sweeney says that the game business will change dramatically over the short term.

“I think the game business will change more in the next five years than the past ten,” he told MCV. “The last remnants of the old retail model of gaming are falling apart, and the biggest successes are fast-moving indies and fast-moving big competitors – exemplified by Fortnite and Apex Legends. All of the old decisions need to be revisited.”

The Epic Store is just part of that change.

Last Updated: March 13, 2019

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