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Epic Games Launches Own Games Store
Quote:Epic Games, the maker of the Unreal Engine gaming engine, has just announced its own multi-platform games store. The company will support Windows and macOS at launch, but it will also support “other open platforms,” including Android and presumably Linux, next year.
That means Epic Games takes only a 12% cut, which is almost three times smaller than what Steam and Google Play Store charge most developers. Epic said there are no tiers or thresholds that developers have to meet either, unlike with other platforms.

Moreover, developers that use the Unreal Engine and who normally have to pay a 5% royalty will be exempted from paying that royalty, as Epic will take its 5% cut from the 12% store commission. Epic Games noted that games using other game engines are welcome on its store, too:
Google normally takes a 30% cut from the third-party developers’ app revenues. Apple and Valve’s Steam service take the same 30% cut. However, Steam recently announced a reduction in its commissions for large developers, presumably to preempt the launch of Epic Games’ store.

Steam now charges large developers that have earnings of over $10 million a 25% commission, and those that have earnings over $50 million a 20% commission. The latter is still almost twice as large as Epic Games’ commission. Additionally, some of those developers may still have to pay the 5% Unreal Engine royalty on top of the Steam commission.
Quote:Epic looks to give developers far more freedom with their digital platform as well. Offering access to their 10,000 strong Epic Games Support-A-Creator program that is designed to get a developer's games into the hands of YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, etc. They even go so far as to cover the first 5% of creator revenue-sharing costs for the first 24 months. Better yet while its an option it is not mandatory, thus giving developers options that best suit their needs without forcing a one-size fits all approach. Developers are also given complete control over their game pages and news feeds, with no other advertisements or marketing of competing titles.

Overall it appears Epic is ready to take a slice of the digital pie and has prepared for some time to do just that. The only real problem will be converting users away from Steam. While EA's Origin platform has had some success, it has also been around for seven years at this point. Meanwhile, Ubisoft has a weird amalgamation of Steam and Uplay, that is somewhat separate from their stand-alone Uplay store which when you consider the issues associated with it, comes off as being a complete mess. Therefore while it seems the Epic Games store is primed for success, it's all about gaining users, and while Fortnite is a phenomenon, it remains to be seen if it will be enough to convert a legion of followers into using the Epic Games store instead of Steam.
Quote:Epic further notes that it wants developers to have a direct relationship with players. Those buying games in the Store automatically get subscribed to the developer's news feed, and there will be no store ads or cross-marketing of other games on a particular title's page. The company notes that it won't allow paid ads in search results, either.

In another grassroots-building move, developers will be able to allow referral purchases of their games through the Epic Store. The company will cover the first 5% paid out through the revenue-sharing program per game for the first two years. Once again, that's a right hook at Valve, whose Steam storefront has no referral program.
The point is generally good, although he misses the fact that Valve released Artifact last month.
Quote:And there it is. Valve isn’t a game developer. It’s a gate-keeper that exploits its position in the PC market, knowing the chances of anyone going elsewhere are slim, because where would you go in the first place? Services like GoG, Origin, and uPlay can work for some titles, but Steam has been the virtual storefront for most of PC gaming. The problem is, virtually none of the wealth poured into the company on a yearly basis actually seems to go to making games. Or a Steam client redesign. Or content moderators. Or OS development. Or hardware development. If you love DoTA, Valve is great. If you cared about Portal, L4D, Half-Life, Valve’s practically dead already.

Obviously, it’s still early days. Epic Games’ service might suck, or refuse to offer refunds, or be catastrophically buggy. But this is the biggest change we’ve seen in years for someone to compete more effectively with Valve. According to Sweeney, the Epic Games store will be giving out a free game every two weeks in 2019, so keep an eye out for announcements.

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