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Valve have some serious competition, with the Epic Games Store being announced

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Epic Games have now officially announced their own store, which is certainly going to be one to keep an eye on.

I've been saying it for a while, especially after being privately shown screenshots of their newer launcher that Epic would be doing their own store. I was right on the money—for once.

Soon we'll launch the Epic Games store, and begin a long journey to advance the cause of all developers. The store will launch with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, then it will open up more broadly to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019. 

Emphasis mine, because that could indicate Epic finally moving towards properly supporting Linux. I mean, apart from Windows, Mac and Android - what other open platforms are left that would be worth it? Linux. Apple have a very locked-down platform on mobile, so I would be doubtful of it going there. Same with the consoles, they're locked down.

The interesting thing here, is that Epic quite rightly have a massive pull in the industry. Fornite, only available through their launcher is the number 1 game in the world right now. Everyone knows what it is and so it's going to give Epic Games a good chance to be a very big store.

Not only that, their revenue share is 88% for developers, which is massive compared to most (better than Steam's). On top of that, if you're using Unreal Engine for your game Epic will even cover the 5% engine royalty in their cut. Although, to be clear, they state their store will be open to any game engine.

This is going to be a massive kick up Valve's backside to do better at everything. I'm all for it, competition is healthy even if I do groan at times at "yet another launcher". Epic have been doing good work with their community, so hopefully we will be able to get in on this next year. Heck, if Fortnite came to Linux—my son and I would be over the moon with joy. But I don't want to get too ahead of myself there…

See their announcement here.

What are your thoughts?

39 Likes, Who?
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173 comments
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liamdawe 5 December 2018 at 2:49 pm UTC
Guesthttps://www.epicgames.com/unrealtournament/forums/unreal-tournament-discussion/ut-game-general-discussion/391382-what-s-with-the-radio-silence?p=391775#post391775

From Steve's Discord announcement:
Sorry we've gone silent for the last couple of weeks. Epic has some big releases coming out for both Fortnite and Paragon, and most members of the UT team are helping out with those games right now. We're still working on UT in a different branch, but are doing some large refactoring that is reducing build stability and doesn't make sense to merge to the main branch until it settles down. We will update you on status soon. Until then, we look forward to seeing what the community continues to create with the current build of UT, which is the most stable and best performing version we have released.
That was a year ago. Epic have since confirmed Unreal Tournament is not currently seeing active development.
elmapul 5 December 2018 at 2:58 pm UTC
mylka
Nevertheless
mylka
mirv
mylka
TemplarGRThat explains the recent Valve royalty cut...

Valve is very greedy and lazy. And sadly they don't show signs of improving. They will only really try to change their ways when it is too late, as is always the case...

you say that after all they did for linux (client, steamOS, wine/proton, dxvk, mesa) for free

Well, they're doing it because it benefits them. Yes, it's of benefit to the general GNU/Linux community too, but I wouldn't quite say "free" (Valve would expect something to come of it, or they wouldn't invest). Subtle difference, but important: and no flame wars, this is a good showcase of how a company can invest in open source software for their own benefit, without trampling on user rights.

Anyway, Valve have done plenty of shady things as well. Let's not forget the paid mod fiasco. They've steadily reduced their own effort in managing their own marketplace (trying to make it community run basically means they don't have to do anything except gather the cash). That point is going to stir a few emotions I'm sure, but it's good business sense really: get others to do the work for you. I wouldn't put it quite to the extreme of greedy and lazy, but neither are Valve going to put in more effort than they have to.

Oh, and Valve do try improve because they know that if they don't, the success with Steam that they've had won't last. They've been working to give themselves a direction, a way out of stagnation. I think there's even a video of Newell saying that somewhere.

Please please please people don't read this as attacking (quite often people do). I'm not. Valve aren't golden heroes, but neither are they murky villains. They're just doing good business, and obviously GNU/Linux is, or Valve believes has the potential for, good (desktop) business.

i dont think they make the big bucks with linux
of course they wont lose money with their linux support, but if linux would be so profitable, than gog, ea, uplay, and epic already had linux support for their clients and/or their top sellers like witcher 3, battlefield, call of duty, assassins creed, fortnite, etc

so dont underestimate the effort, because the other big players just dont care about linux

Valve needs Linux, because it's bound to be open. No one can own Linux and shut it down like Windows walled gardens. So Valve invested in openness! Maybe Epic sees that now too...

i get it, but whats the point of openness, if no one uses linux? as i said. if MS makes games unplayable tomorrow, what would pc gamers do? switch to linux, mac, or buy a console?
i cant tell.

elmapuli think an stronger valve will be better for us in the short time, then in the long time we will need competition for then.

they cant compete with microsoft in the OS right now, they need to be stronger to do that, but i dont see they geting any stronger

it is not that easy.
1) they have to make a linux client
2) they need proton, or else they wont get the linux gamers.
3) they just have 1 game as a selling point. fortnite. i dont play fortnite
4) are games cheaper, because epic just takes 12%? ubisoft games cost the same on uplay and steam. if it is not MUCH cheaper and they dont have more exclusive titles, why would i leave steam?

we are far away from competition

1 and 2, i think you didnt understand what i said, i'm not saying WE will migrate to their store, i'm saying the general gaming audience may migrate to their store and that will make valve weak, if valve gets weak we will have no one to help make us stronger.

just think about it, the reason why microsoft was able to enter in the console market is because they were near an monopoly on the desktop Operating system market, that gave then huge profits that they could use to try to enter in other markets.

the reason why google was able to enter in the mobile phones market was the google search engine wich gave then huge profits.

valve dont make as much money as microsoft, they dont have an monopoly and they will only get weaker and weaker.
you cant reduce the margin for profit in a market without being in another market to compensate and expect to have the same earnings.

3-for now they only have that.

4- are games cheaper, because epic just takes 12%? ubisoft games cost the same on uplay and steam.
yes, ubisoft had an bad time with self publishing, still they are doing it anyway, most triple A companies are doing, epic may have a chance to compete because many companies will give up leaving steam if steam change their cut, the economics of scale will not compensate the cost of self hosting
STiAT 5 December 2018 at 4:02 pm UTC
It's good, though, yet another store, yet another launcher. Valve needs strong competition, they mostly have a monopoly on bing a online retail platform for every game. The competition will do them good, and hopefully they'll have to think about their pricing for developers. The competition will do studios good.

Time will show, Steam still is king, and it's a hard business to get in because people do have their stuff at Steam. A lot of people probably are not as picky as I am (one launcher is pretty much enough for me). It's a long way to go, and Epic is not the first to try. But they've got the backing, money and Playerbase to do so (Fortnite actually has more daily players online than steam as a whole).


Last edited by STiAT at 5 December 2018 at 4:02 pm UTC
Mal 5 December 2018 at 4:15 pm UTC
elmapul4- are games cheaper, because epic just takes 12%? ubisoft games cost the same on uplay and steam.
yes, ubisoft had an bad time with self publishing, still they are doing it anyway, most triple A companies are doing, epic may have a chance to compete because many companies will give up leaving steam if steam change their cut, the economics of scale will not compensate the cost of self hosting

Games won't become cheaper just because market fees are lower. Digital non essential goods prices are not made taking into account fixed costs and by undercutting competition. They are sold at the highest price possible at each market. That's why prices in Russia or south America are lower and in Australia are higher. And that's why prices drop after a while: after I sold the game full price to everyone that wanted to pay that amount, I have no reason to not lower the price and sell to the people who only buys with lower prices. New copies are "produced" for free. People don't buy out of necessity so they can pass over a pricey game. But at the same time they have no alternatives (I buy apples instead of oranges) since every game is unique. Making game prices is completely different than making prices for stuff like cars or bread.

The money that developers save will be used for better and more games in case of small devs, will become revenues for larger devs.

The good about Valve was that a part of that money was redirected into innovation and openness instead of becoming pure profit.


Last edited by Mal at 5 December 2018 at 6:57 pm UTC. Edited 3 times.
Mountain Man 5 December 2018 at 4:19 pm UTC
I don't know if I would call a shop exclusively for a single game engine from a single publisher "serious competition" for Steam. Unless Epic tries to muscle developers to only release through the Epic store (unlikely) then I suspect most folks will publish to Steam and GoG as well and collect their profits from whichever distribution system customers happen to use.
Kristian 5 December 2018 at 4:50 pm UTC
Mountain ManI don't know if I would call a shop exclusively for a single game engine from a single publisher "serious competition" for Steam. Unless Epic tries to muscle developers to only release through the Epic store (unlikely) then I suspect most folks will publish to Steam and GoG as well and collect their profits from whichever distribution system customers happen to use.

Hmm.. Epic's announcement specifically mentions that the store is open for games using any engine. It is not Unreal Engine exclusive.

Edit:

From their announcement: "All Engines Are Welcome
The Epic Games store is open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines."

And from Liam's article: "Although, to be clear, they state their store will be open to any game engine."


Last edited by Kristian at 5 December 2018 at 5:07 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
liamdawe 5 December 2018 at 7:31 pm UTC
Kristian
Mountain ManI don't know if I would call a shop exclusively for a single game engine from a single publisher "serious competition" for Steam. Unless Epic tries to muscle developers to only release through the Epic store (unlikely) then I suspect most folks will publish to Steam and GoG as well and collect their profits from whichever distribution system customers happen to use.

Hmm.. Epic's announcement specifically mentions that the store is open for games using any engine. It is not Unreal Engine exclusive.

Edit:

From their announcement: "All Engines Are Welcome
The Epic Games store is open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines."

And from Liam's article: "Although, to be clear, they state their store will be open to any game engine."
Yeah, I think there's a good few people who didn't read the details.
elmapul 5 December 2018 at 8:00 pm UTC
Mal
elmapul4- are games cheaper, because epic just takes 12%? ubisoft games cost the same on uplay and steam.
yes, ubisoft had an bad time with self publishing, still they are doing it anyway, most triple A companies are doing, epic may have a chance to compete because many companies will give up leaving steam if steam change their cut, the economics of scale will not compensate the cost of self hosting

Games won't become cheaper just because market fees are lower..

i'm not saying they going to be cheaper, i'm saying that big companies such as square enix , capcom etc, may migrate to epic store instead of try to build their own store or keep seling their games on steam.

that will cut valve earnings, wich means they will have less income to side projects like the linux version of steam, proton etc.
Purple Library Guy 5 December 2018 at 8:17 pm UTC
elmapul
Mal
elmapul4- are games cheaper, because epic just takes 12%? ubisoft games cost the same on uplay and steam.
yes, ubisoft had an bad time with self publishing, still they are doing it anyway, most triple A companies are doing, epic may have a chance to compete because many companies will give up leaving steam if steam change their cut, the economics of scale will not compensate the cost of self hosting

Games won't become cheaper just because market fees are lower..

i'm not saying they going to be cheaper, i'm saying that big companies such as square enix , capcom etc, may migrate to epic store instead of try to build their own store or keep seling their games on steam.

that will cut valve earnings, wich means they will have less income to side projects like the linux version of steam, proton etc.
They might. But like with lots of networky stuff, there's a potential chicken-egg problem there. Steam is currently the big network. If big game company X sells on this new thing as well as on Steam, most of their sales will just still be on Steam, the new store will stay very small, and Valve will not care. If big game company X sells on this new thing instead of on Steam, then unless they really spend mucho megabucks on the marketing hype train they will lose a lot of sales because nobody's ever heard of this other store. Seeing the debacle, nobody else will follow, they themselves will think better of it next time, and Valve will not care. If they do spend those mucho megabucks, they may realize that they just spent more on extra marketing than the cut Valve would have gotten.

There's ways to maybe get around that, but time will tell whether Epic have the will, the money, or even the intention to pull them off.
BdMdesigN 5 December 2018 at 9:08 pm UTC
elmapul
Mal
elmapul4- are games cheaper, because epic just takes 12%? ubisoft games cost the same on uplay and steam.
yes, ubisoft had an bad time with self publishing, still they are doing it anyway, most triple A companies are doing, epic may have a chance to compete because many companies will give up leaving steam if steam change their cut, the economics of scale will not compensate the cost of self hosting

Games won't become cheaper just because market fees are lower..

i'm not saying they going to be cheaper, i'm saying that big companies such as square enix , capcom etc, may migrate to epic store instead of try to build their own store or keep seling their games on steam.

that will cut valve earnings, wich means they will have less income to side projects like the linux version of steam, proton etc.


If they wanted it, they would have done it for a long time with their own stores and not waiting for Epic. So why they should migrate to epic store? Because i get from Epic 88%? But i don`t get the Steam, Origin, U-Play and what ever Gamer. I think no one will make his titles (EA excluded) exclusive for the Epic store, but we will see.

For a good store counts not only the profit margin (12% for Epic), but the whole service around it
I do not think Epic provides the same support as Valve does with Steam.

On the other hand we will see if Epic goes on Linux or if they do not.

Edit: And i don't think that Epic will help Devs to port a game to Linux, but Valve
makes it.


Last edited by BdMdesigN at 6 December 2018 at 1:27 am UTC. Edited 6 times.
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