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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?

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166 comments
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elmapul 6 December 2018 at 8:17 am UTC
Purple Library Guy
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.

that is why Fortnite was the game changer here.
valve used half life to promote Steam, Epic is using Fortnite that the hot thing of the moment.

also, if you make an game using Unreal engine, you have to pay 5% to epic+30% to steam, but if you make an game using Unreal Engine and publish it on their store, you only pay 12% instead of 35%, that may be enough for a lot of companies to publish only on their store or at least publish on both.
0aTT 6 December 2018 at 12:34 pm UTC
elmapulalso, if you make an game using Unreal engine, you have to pay 5% to epic+30% to steam, but if you make an game using Unreal Engine and publish it on their store, you only pay 12% instead of 35%, that may be enough for a lot of companies to publish only on their store or at least publish on both.

You reach a lot fewer people outside of Steam. It's a naive fallacy. The renunciation of Steam is only worthwhile for very huge publishers. Normal publishers will offer their games on Epic, but of course also on Steam.
BdMdesigN 6 December 2018 at 12:49 pm UTC
elmapulthat is why Fortnite was the game changer here.
valve used half life to promote Steam, Epic is using Fortnite that the hot thing of the moment.

also, if you make an game using Unreal engine, you have to pay 5% to epic+30% to steam, but if you make an game using Unreal Engine and publish it on their store, you only pay 12% instead of 35%, that may be enough for a lot of companies to publish only on their store or at least publish on both.

Yes Fortnite is the hot thing at the moment but what is in a half year? See PUBG, it was a hot thing before Fortnite and now?

You forget thats the 5% is the license costs, if you use the UE4. If you want sell in the Epic Store you must pay 12% not 5%. If you use the Source Engine you must pay how much?

QuoteValve says Source 2 will be "available for free to content developers," pointing to similar recent announcements about Epic's Unreal engine and the Unity engine.
https://www.polygon.com/2015/3/3/8145273/valve-source-2-announcement-free-developers

And you must only pay 30% if you sell a certain number of copies:

QuoteOnce a game makes $10 million on Steam, the new revenue split will be 75% for developers and 25% for Valve. If developers manage to hit $50 million, they will get to keep an even bigger share at 80% for them and 20% for Valve. When talking about revenue, this encompasses everything like DLC, in-game transactions and so on.
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/valve-have-adjusted-their-revenue-share-for-bigger-titles-on-steam.13080

Edit: But you get a big service and support from Valve. And than the many download Server. In germany we have 4 or 5 server from Valve. How many will Epic have? And many many more.

Maybe in 10 years is Epic as a distributor interesting and great to be competitive for Valve. But if you sell exclusive only in a very new Store thats have only one Game, than you are as a Dev/Publisher an idiot.

Steam was in the beginning the same, i think. But we have now U.Play and Origin, too. On Origin you get only EA Games, but i don´t know it realy.
Let me see: In the Windows World we hve now 4 Stores from Big Companies: Steam, Origin, U-Play and Windows Store. And next Epic-Client.

The Windows Store is the best exemple: All DX12 Microsoft Games in the Windows Store you can´t buy in other Stores like Steam, Origin, U-Play or Epic-Client/Launcher/Store but you can buy it in external Stores like Gamesplanet and so on. Im not sure.
But i´m sure you can buy Steam, Origin and U-Play Games in external Stores.

If you are a Gamer on Windows you don`t care in what Shop you get your Games and how many Clients you have installed.
So it is with the majority of consumers.

But for us Linux gamers, every new game source with Linux support is important and positive, but why should a dev / publisher who also sells Linux ports from his games sell only at Epic?


Last edited by BdMdesigN at 6 December 2018 at 1:26 pm UTC
ecosvaldo 6 December 2018 at 6:28 pm UTC
Here's a MASSIVE reason why I WILL NOT use Epic Games' new store!

According to a report from Reporters Without Borders for Press Freedom, Chinese investment conglomerate Tencent provides its government with FULL SURVEILLANCE of their users! They monitor their online conversations and chat logs. They track keywords. They also can identify specific users and follow them! In 2016/2017, the Electronics Frontier Foundation rates Tencent's services two out of seven, or Essentially Unsecure!

Plus, since they completely own Riot Games, Tencent also owns about 15% stake in Activision Blizzard. Guess which other American video game company they own roughly 48% stake in... you guessed it... EPIC GAMES!

Screw Epic Games, Tencent and their store!
Mountain Man 6 December 2018 at 7:02 pm UTC
liamdawe
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.
Who has time to read articles? It's so much more fun to just jump in and comment.

Anyway, yeah, they have a better shot at doing business if they allow games made with other engines. Not "dethrone Steam" kind of business, but they might make a few bucks.
mirv 6 December 2018 at 8:09 pm UTC
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NeptNutz[Good read, witten January 2018]

So You Want To Compete With Steam
https://www.fortressofdoors.com/so-you-want-to-compete-with-steam/

Many good points are addressed, and strictly within the PC space.

"For one, there's no way in hell you're going to be able to manage the amount of traffic and server load they do."
Even Amazon learned this lesson. A-M-A-Z-O-N!

I've not read what you linked, but it seems that Epic can cope with a high number of Fortnite users, so they're not going to be flying blind. Even Valve have (or used to have) trouble with their server loads come sale time.
Whitewolfe80 6 December 2018 at 8:22 pm UTC
MblackwellBulletstorm was made by People Can Fly.
and is now owned by Gearbox
Kristian 6 December 2018 at 8:51 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80
MblackwellBulletstorm was made by People Can Fly.
and is now owned by Gearbox

Since when? Did they buy People Can Fly or buy the Bulletstorm IP from People Can Fly? I was under impression that the new version of Bulletstorm was published by Gearbox under license from People Can Fly.

Edit:

From Gearbox Publishing's website: "© 2017 People Can Fly, Bulletstorm and the People Can Fly logos are registered trademarks, and the Bulletstorm logos are trademarks, all used courtesy of People Can Fly, Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved. Published and distributed by Gearbox Publishing. Gearbox and the Gearbox Software logo are registered trademarks, and the Gearbox Publishing logo is a trademark, all used courtesy of Gearbox Software, LLC. All marks are property of their respective owners."

Source: http://www.gearboxpublishing.com/legal/

From Wikipedia: "On June 24, 2015, People Can Fly announced that they would be split from their parent company Epic Games, a process that had begun with the release of Gears of War: Judgement. According to Sebastian Wojciechowski, the CEO of People Can Fly following the split, the studio had been working on others' IP since the acquisition by Epic and wanted to return to making their own IP. While the exact details of the split were not made public, Wojciechowski described it as a "real management buyout".[9] The company retained the Bulletstorm franchise and revealed an unannounced project based on Unreal Engine 4." (Emphasis mine). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Can_Fly

Wikipedia points to this source: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/people-can-fly-turns-independent-buys-bulletstorm-/1100-6428420/


Last edited by Kristian at 6 December 2018 at 8:59 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80 6 December 2018 at 8:59 pm UTC
Kristian
Whitewolfe80
MblackwellBulletstorm was made by People Can Fly.
and is now owned by Gearbox

Since when? Did they buy People Can Fly or buy the Bulletstorm IP from People Can Fly? I was under impression that the new version of Bulletstorm was published by Gearbox under license from People Can Fly.

Edit:

From Gearbox Publishing's website: "© 2017 People Can Fly, Bulletstorm and the People Can Fly logos are registered trademarks, and the Bulletstorm logos are trademarks, all used courtesy of People Can Fly, Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved. Published and distributed by Gearbox Publishing. Gearbox and the Gearbox Software logo are registered trademarks, and the Gearbox Publishing logo is a trademark, all used courtesy of Gearbox Software, LLC. All marks are property of their respective owners."

Source: http://www.gearboxpublishing.com/legal/

From Wikipedia: "On June 24, 2015, People Can Fly announced that they would be split from their parent company Epic Games, a process that had begun with the release of Gears of War: Judgement. According to Sebastian Wojciechowski, the CEO of People Can Fly following the split, the studio had been working on others' IP since the acquisition by Epic and wanted to return to making their own IP. While the exact details of the split were not made public, Wojciechowski described it as a "real management buyout".[9] The company retained the Bulletstorm franchise and revealed an unannounced project based on Unreal Engine 4." (Emphasis mine). Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Can_Fly

Wikipedia points to this source: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/people-can-fly-turns-independent-buys-bulletstorm-/1100-6428420/

They bought the ip ages ago they brought out the fullclip edition https://www.denofgeek.com/uk/games/bulletstorm/48512/bulletstorm-2-gearbox-says-a-sequel-could-happen
Kristian 6 December 2018 at 9:15 pm UTC
Your own source says: "because People Can Fly own the rights to the franchise fully".

Gearbox published Full Clip Edition. They don't own the IP.
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