Epic Games is launching a store front


#1

So the big thing up front is all developers earn 88% and if you are using UE4 the normal 5% cut Epic would take is now just a part of their 12%. Meaning if you use UE4 you don’t get hit twice.

This coming on the news of Valves cut restructure is incredible. Not only are they taking less but it applies to EVERYONE and not just the big hitters.

What does this mean for Valve and Steam in the long term I wonder?



#2

Need to know a lot more about their submission and approval process, assuming there is one.


#3

It will be very interesting to see how things like this pick up.

At this point though, I feel like any competitor is going to have to do massive work to make significant inroads, if only because Steam has inertia and library on their side. Steam has become a dumpster fire, but it’s hard for me to totally walk away from a service that has my entire PC library on it.


#5

Somewhere betwen “hard to say” and “not much”. A storefront’s really only as impactful as its marketshare is & Valve is a deeply entrenched player at this point in the PC gaming space.

Additionally, giving a bigger cut means little if your sale generation is low or it’s difficult to get onto the platform at all.

There seem to be a few products vying to be the ‘mainstream’ alternative to Steam (Twitch, Epic, Discord). Not sure if any of them are particularly likely, personally!


#6

If this damages Valve’s stranglehold over the market, I’m all for it, plus they’re probably the only group out there right now who could probably be actual competition to Valve (thanks partly to this store not being focused on their own titles, by the sounds of it).

It’s hard to say how good it will be for indie devs on the whole yet (will they actually promote smaller games?), but anything is better than subscription services and Valve’s endless desire to do nothing ever.


#7

Some of the things not mentioned in the OP are that this new store front will lack forums and Epic has announced that they are seeking ways to de-weaponize reviews and are building the platform with caution around that.

Colin Spacetwinks pointed this out in a response to a tweet by Austin


#8

I have no love for Epic and the thought of more digital distribution platforms gives me a headache, but it’s hard to be mad at anything might challenge Valve’s current monopoly.


#9

I’m sorta confused on the possibility of a more generous 14 day no questions asked refund policy. For all the things I don’t like about Steam, I thought their refund policy of 2 weeks but the game must have been played for less than two hours as being pretty reasonable. Is something far more lenient cause for alarm among devs? How does giving a refund for a digital purchase like that even work for a small dev? I’m genuinely asking.

It is interesting to see a company like Epic who is absolutely flush with cash actually make a play like this. They have the resources to actually apply pressure on Valve in a way that I don’t think something like Discord can, although I agree with others in thinking it will be very little pressure for the foreseeable future. If we can find another storefront that is even a little better for devs and less of a shitshow for consumers then I’m down.


#10

itch.io is good but i don’t know how you convince Big Publishers to put stuff on there. although i don’t know if you’d even want that - they’re the people you’d most want to put a cut back into the ecosystem they’ve got there but least likely to


#11

I continue to become a massive Epic fan.

The degree to which they’ve worked to make tools and assets, and asset stores, etc. available to game makers of all skill levels is still a huge part of it. Blueprint in UE4 is still my go-to “you want to learn how code works, but aren’t great with learning a new language?” use Blueprint, it’s C++, but on rails in an easy to understand format, and it’s plugged into an incredibly powerful engine for any* kind of project. (*Nearly.)

They also make a TON of money, but unlike Valve, and other huge companies in the space, we see a lot of what they do with it, and it’s pretty cool. It’s promoting the games and communities that made it for them. It’s sending VR dev kits to interested developers. It’s making tutorials for how to do cool stuff. It’s… a lot, and it’s just cool to see an infinite money machine put to good use. (The more I think about Valve, the more I love Epic.)

Them offering a flat 88/12 split (I’m still curious how exactly this stacks with the 5% engine use stuff, but even at worst math, it’s more generous than any other storefront by a lot. It’s also a platform every person playing Fortnite is plugged into. That’s a pretty solid starting point.

We’ll see how discoverability works out. Their assets marketplace has always been a little hit and miss for promotions, but easy enough to search.

I’m excited.


#12

My understanding is that Steam’s return policy is already a sticking point. Many small games range from 1.5-6 hours, and a large amount of those are closer to 2.5. So it’s quite possible that a person could play a majority, maybe even the entirety, of a game then ask for their money back. The policy is clearly made for games with more hours in them.

This is not to mention that one or two lost sales is a much bigger deal for smaller developers where sales numbers can often range in the hundreds and not tens of thousands or upward.

Furthering this argument, it can be seen as discouraging experimentation. A player can return a game based on simply not liking it, even if they are fully aware of what it may be like. I know some, including myself, don’t feel that’s not good grounds for a refund. A game of poor quality that is broken some way, or a game that can’t be run on your system are one thing, simply not liking a game is another, IMO.


#13

So from my understanding what happens is that if you are using UE4 Epic Games will eat the 5% cut they normally take out of their 12%.

So where as on Steam you would pay Valve 30% and then Epic 5% instead all you are paying is the 12%.


#14

Every person playing Fortnite on PC. I think the vast majority of players are on consoles and mobile, especially since the game is a hit with younger kids. Not to say there aren’t a lot of players on PC, but it’s far less than you suggest.


#15

Very true, but…

A bigger pool than, say, Valve games in 2003 or whatever, being the point. Particularly as large companies spread more and more individual company launchers, and users continue to complain about more and more launchers, and the Steam storefront is garbage.

Could be meaningless and nothing will come of it. I’m just saying I doubt nothing big will come of this.


#16

I’m all for competition of the market as Steam has long held PC gaming in its grips as the default platform while adhering to a kind of hand’s off form of moderation which has lead to all kinds of horrible harassment on Steam that they could have easily prevented. Plus the whole rise of early access and lack of curation has made the market a lot worse in my opinion. I hope this works out, I hope it forces Steam to change its culture and actually compete. I hope we end up with a market where there isn’t a defacto client for most PC games.


#17

There’s a weirdly hostile discourse over on places like Reddit about one particular game, Satisfactory, getting pulled from Steam to become an Epic Store exclusive.

Console exclusives are one thing because they create arbitrary restrictions on what devices you can play them on, despite two of the main 3 consoles being built out of off-the-shelf PC parts and not terrifically difficult to get games ported across. It only serves to benefit platform holders.

In this case though, Epic likely offered these developers a better deal to be part of their initial lineup and they decided it wasn’t worth continuing to be listed on Steam. The backlash to that doesn’t make any sense to me, because while having multiple launchers is a slight inconvenience, it is not an outright lockout of access to that game like console exclusives are. You don’t even lose access to the game if you’ve already bought it.

It strikes me as gamers claiming to want more competition in the market and a better deal for developers, but only up until it slightly inconveniences them.

Also there’s a lot of ferocity over the lack of refunds and community features like forums, both of which I’m indifferent about. Regardless of the countless missteps Valve has made in the past 5 years, they still have obnoxiously fierce loyalists.


#18

The “until it slightly inconveniences them” part is true about so much of gamerz culture.

(Or even “until we imagine it inconveniences us when it actually doesn’t impact us at all” in the case of games having, say, anything other than straight white dudes as the protagonists.)


#19

It appears that Epic’s launcher needs some work:


#20

I dunno but apparently you only get 2 refunds ever so…that’s a lot less lenient than they were pitching it as. https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/about


#21

Nothing gets me riled up like unnecessary CPU wastage, or auto playing videos. Apparently the whole thing isn’t GDPR compliant either, which is a big lol.