The Epic Games store is challenging Steam, but is it all DOOM and gloom?
If you’re a gamer like me, you’ve probably no doubt seen the latest news regarding Epic Games’ new store. While this certainly isn’t the first time a company has built its own launcher, Epic Games has attempted to throw down the gauntlet by offering an 88/12% revenue split, compared to the 70/30% split Steam offers. However, this split gets reduced the more money the game makes which is great, but not for your average developer.
Even Discord recently announced their new game store built into Discord itself and offers developers a rather handsome 90/10% split… which is even better than Epic Games.
It comes as no surprise that Steam has dominated the PC market for some time. It has an insanely huge library of games and it’s been around for a very long time. At the time of writing, I have 759 games that I can download and play at any time, which is one of the reasons why I tend to stick with buying my games through Steam. While other stores may be giving developers a bigger cut, Steam hasn’t had anything to truly worry about… until now.
In the last few weeks alone, we’ve seen a few titles getting pulled from Steam mere weeks before their due for release. This naturally has the gaming community pretty rattled and agitated, and more importantly… Valve is feeling pretty agitated too:
We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know. — Valve regarding the last minute exclusive of Metro Exodus
Many gamers are in fact boycotting this exclusivity tactic by Epic Games and choosing to hold out in the hopes the exclusivity doesn’t last long. This no doubt punishes the developers and publishers more than the gamers.
Should Valve be worried?
Absolutely. There’s a new kid on the block offering a much bigger piece of the pie, but the fact Epic Games are convincing developers and publishers to pull their games off Steam mere weeks before their launch date is certainly a new tactic for a game store. Furthermore, the games that have been taking pre-orders on Steam are promising to ensure that Steam users will receive all the same updates…
Disappointingly to gamers, this means everything is already in place for the developer to easily sell their game via Steam, so surely it would be better for them to sell their game on multiple platforms, especially given the number of gamers that use the platform.
Furthermore, Steam has become much more relaxed around the quality of games it lets on its store, basically allowing it to become infested with lacklustre titles from people trying to make a quick buck.