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While the Epic Games Store doesn't support Linux or Steam Deck officially, this industry news is something we should all know about with Epic now opening up self-publishing along with some new rules for their store.

Just like Steam, developers will be able to put their games up on the Epic Store for $100 per-game. However, they have a rather interesting rule when it comes to multiplayer games. In their announcement, they mention how multiplayer titles "must support crossplay across all PC stores" so that "any store can easily connect with other players, regardless of where the game was purchased".

Their reasoning is sound, as there's no good reason to lock online play per-store, and on Linux in the past the problem was even worse, with certain ports from Aspyr Media and Feral Interactive having multiplayer locked to Linux or Linux and macOS with Windows being by itself. I have absolutely no problem with Epic's online play rule at all, as it's actually great for us players.

Developers publishing on the Epic Store are free to use whatever method they wish for this, which is obviously good but rolling your own cross-play can be expensive and difficult. So, this will be another way for Epic Games to push their Epic Online Services which supports Linux, macOS, Windows, consoles and mobiles and provides the likes of voice chat, achievements, matchmaking and more. Compare that to Steamworks from Valve which, while feature-filled, is for Steam directly.

So for developers publishing on multiple stores for online games we're likely to see a lot more of Epic Online Services, or various other launchers and services being used even on Steam directly. We've already begun to see more of that and it will only continue to be a bigger thing now.

In a chat with PC Gamer, Epic's Tim Sweeney noted: "They have a classic lock-in strategy where they build these services that only work with their store, and they use the fact that they have the majority market share in order to encourage everybody to ship games that have a broken experience in other stores," Sweeney said. "And we were bitten by this early on with a number of multiplayer games coming to the Epic Games Store. Steamworks didn't work on our store, so they had either a reduced set of multiplayer features or none, or they were just limited to a much smaller audience back in the launch days of the Epic Games Store, so you had a lot of multiplayer games that really felt like they were broken. And remember, Call of Duty went through a debacle launching on the Windows Store a while back in which you could only matchmake with other Windows Store players, and that is not how PC should work.".

Not just an issue for Epic, it's a problem GOG have too and they're much smaller so this rule Epic have is likely to benefit GOG releases as well (as long as their Galaxy API plays nicely with others…).

It will be interesting to see if Valve have any plans to expand Steamworks to be more cross-platform. I've reached out to Valve press to see what they have to say, if anything. Will update if I get a reply on that.

What are your thoughts?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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syylk Mar 10
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: syylk...
I’m not entirely sure what exactly you’re getting at here? EOS has full Linux support. It’s entirely separate to the Epic Store, which yes does not support Linux.
Sweeney only cares about multi-store crossplay. He hates to see that SteamID is the de-facto identity in multiplayer games. It's clear he wants a share of that cake, and dreams of EOS to be the auth/id of choice for multiplayer games.

He doesn't care that the multiplayer games he sells can work seamlessly across the Windows/Linux boundary. See Fortnite for the prime example.
WMan22 Mar 10
Quoting: benstor214
Quoting: WMan22I'm one of the seemingly few people who actually welcomes mod.io
mod.io is tencent

If you're implying that I dislike epic because of Tencent's majority stake in Epic, I'd be as much of a hypocrite as Tim Sweeney, since Warframe is my most played game.

I dislike Epic Games because they're anti-consumer outside of giving away free games, their store is worse, they don't list if a game uses Denuvo DRM, they do exclusivity deals while heaping shit on valve for being a monopoly (as they contractually MONOPOLIZE game releases for a year), they delisted unreal tournament for basically no reason except what I can only assume to be maliciousness as players were using OpenSpy to host servers and the game has LAN support so it would have cost them basically nothing to keep them up with the only game they bring back basically being a F2P version of widely considered to be the worst UT game, and they keep taking *undeserved* potshots at steam.

To be clear: Just because I really appreciate what they're doing for linux among other things, doesn't mean Valve is my "friend", they are a company. I haven't forgotten about lootboxes, CS:GO gambling, the fact that I had to wait over a decade for a new half life game, their neglect of Team Fortress 2, or Skyrim Paid Mods. You can absolutely take potshots at valve, they are not perfect.

But nobody at epic has yet earned the immense amount of shit they talk about valve and when confronted about it they basically shrug their shoulders and continue to morally grandstand about "muh 30% cut" even though that's literally industry standard and valve is actually doing things with that cut like paying proton developers, manufacturing steam decks, making features for steam like Steam Input, Remote Play Together, Interactive Recommender, LAN downloading, etc. meanwhile Epic took 3 years to add a shopping cart. ...A shopping cart.

It's frustratingly transparent that Tim is trying to win the store wars through libel, they're basically trying to social media mob people against valve, hoping the average person didn't do any research on how little epic has done and how much valve has done, which is despicable. It puts a sour taste on even something I approve of, which is cross platform play. I want this, I don't want online play to be locked in to steam users only, I just don't want the solution to be from Epic. It's clearly done to go "See! We have a lot of users! Look how many people signed up Epic accounts (even though it's solely to use EOS)! Make your games exclusive to epic!"

Last edited by WMan22 on 10 March 2023 at 12:11 pm UTC
benstor214 Mar 10
Quoting: WMan22If you're implying that I dislike epic because of Tencent's majority stake in Epic, I'd be as much of a hypocrite as Tim Sweeney, since Warframe is my most played game.
I’m implying that I dislike epic for the stated reasons - besides other very good reasons.
We agree on everything else in your comment.
Sweeney is one of those hypocrites who think it’s ok to obviously and blatantly lie in public. These people make me angry in a special way.
aaron Mar 10
Really Tim? Complaining about "lock-in strategies" and "[being locked to a store] is not how PC should work"... all while buying up exclusives and purchasing multiplayer game studios so he can keep their games off other storefronts. How does that make any sense whatsoever? Everything this man says is just immediately contradicted by his own actions.

I don't blame them for requiring EOS for their own games, and Valve really should make Steamworks cross-platform but... honestly who actually plays multiplayer games on Epic? Cross-platform is great, but this is such a nothing burger if 99% of people are playing on Steam anyway. And if it means getting rid of Steamworks features for EOS, then that is just a direct downgrade. Last EOS game I played was Risk of Rain 2 which has both EOS and Steam. EOS lobbies were completely barren and you couldn't use avatars, Steam lobbies had a ton of people and avatars. Just give me the Steam lobbies please.

As far as the self publishing goes, I think the real reason Epic is opening the floodgates now is to make a play for the NFT game space. It's a market Steam has already washed their hands of and Epic could make a name for themselves there. It would also explain their cozy relationship with Square Enix who also see it as the future.
Julius Mar 10
I hope game developers will realize what a racket EOS is and rather use a fully open-source and store independent option like Nakama: https://github.com/heroiclabs/nakama
benstor214 Mar 11
Quoting: aaronIt would also explain their cozy relationship with Square Enix who also see it as the future.
Yosuke Matsuda wrote not one but two love letters to NFTs and is still pushing the scam. Even while he will be sacked as CEO soon, I’m convinced Square Enix will stick to the strategy.

Quoting: JuliusI hope game developers will realize what a racket EOS is and rather use a fully open-source and store independent option like Nakama: https://github.com/heroiclabs/nakama
So there is open-source alternative! You should make Romlok aware of this 🙂 https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2023/03/prepare-to-see-a-lot-more-of-epic-online-services-with-epics-new-self-publishing/comment_id=240807
a0kami Mar 11
Sweeney really has no scruple..
Kuduzkehpan Mar 14
İf only epic and ubisoft allow their players to be able to play owned games on Steam without secondary purchase, that would be awesome. Yet i just dont give a f*k about Epic ubisoft. They always intend to do something to earn money however its bullshit.
intenscia Mar 15
Quoting: WMan22I love how Tim Sweeney once again makes a an extremely hypocritical, smugly delievered statement, this time where he complains about something being "a classic lock-in strategy" yet Epic is the one doing exclusivity deals, not Steam. And they "lock in" many people to windows by not enabling EAC on linux for Fortnite, too.

God I hate this dude. If that statement came from someone from GOG or any other storefront there would be absolutely no issue in my opinion with saying that, but as it stands with the way things are now it comes off as undeservedly smarmy and hypocritical. It's like he's completely oblivious to why people dislike Epic, or is intentionally ignoring it. Didn't he say at one point that Epic would be more curated too during one of this moments where he throws stones at steam from his glass house? Guess he's walking that back too with the $100 entry.

As for the decision itself, I'm all for cross platform play, it's why I'm one of the seemingly few people who actually welcomes mod.io in place of Steam Workshop, but Epic doing it with one of their services really comes off as sketchy to me, since they have built anything but a positive consumer reputation so far.

Scott here creator of mod.io. Thanks for the support - open source plugins, with true cross-platform support is our end goal!
WMan22 Mar 17
Quoting: intensciaScott here creator of mod.io. Thanks for the support - open source plugins, with true cross-platform support is our end goal!

Honestly, as much as I like steam workshop and how easy it is for users to create mod collections with it for people to one click and get a server's entire mod list, the fact that you miss out on that if you buy a game on GoG or itch.io always bothered me, so thanks for making something that's actually decent and cross platform. I like that you can download and delete mods without closing your game when devs implement mod.io.

While I think some people have poor implementation of mod.io sometimes (like how Bonelab has no search function or categorization beyond alphabetically listing every mod ever uploaded in a repository) as far as I'm aware that's not really mod.io's fault and is more on the developer to make a decent search function.

Please do whatever you can to encourage categorization and good search implementations if it is in your power to do so, cause that's basically my only real complaint with mod.io right now.
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