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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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171 comments
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YoRHa-2B 4 December 2018 at 4:55 pm UTC
ShmerlI'm surprised they didn't mention Linux explicitly. With Tim Sweeney constantly complaining about MS lock-in, you would have expected him to put Linux front and center in the store announcement.
Except there's this tweet which is basically a big fat "Nope".
Shmerl 4 December 2018 at 4:55 pm UTC
MohandevirDo Epic ever contributed to some open source projects? I don't know the answer to this question but could it be the reason why we are so skeptical about Epic going Linux?

They look involved in the Vulkan and OpenXR working groups. Not sure if they ever actually contributed to FOSS code.
Shmerl 4 December 2018 at 4:57 pm UTC
YoRHa-2B
ShmerlI'm surprised they didn't mention Linux explicitly. With Tim Sweeney constantly complaining about MS lock-in, you would have expected him to put Linux front and center in the store announcement.
Except there's this tweet which is basically a big fat "Nope".

That was a while ago, and he also later posted about Linux in a more positive way. See here.


Last edited by Shmerl at 4 December 2018 at 4:58 pm UTC
Beamboom 4 December 2018 at 5:11 pm UTC
Shmerl
SpykerThird party exclusives are dying, but not first party which are increasing.
On PC Fortnite can be considered as an Epic Store exclusive.

I don't care about first party ones most of the time, since they are by big publishers who push DRM. And as you said, third party exclusives aren't a thing and such developers are also more likely to release DRM-free and for Linux.

No indie have ever been part of the exclusive game. They don't have the mass appeal. What we talk about here are the big 3rd party publishers. The AAA league. Ubisoft, Rockstar, Bethesta, Capcom, Electronic Arts and the likes.

And Spyker is right, the battle for the exclusives are as hard as ever, only they use 1st party devs for that. That's why they (Microsoft, Sony, etc) purchase developers all the time.


Last edited by Beamboom at 4 December 2018 at 5:13 pm UTC
rapakiv 4 December 2018 at 5:14 pm UTC
Have to say that epic offer is very good for developers ... but in the end we need to compare EULA.

Always people discussing about DRM and steam being DRM, there are lots of games on steam that are DRM free, that is the developer choice.

I see good thing from EPIC opening there own store, even from EA and UBI, competition moves the market, but while there is none of them on linux no support from me.
Shmerl 4 December 2018 at 5:14 pm UTC
BeamboomAnd Spyker is right, the battle for the exclusives are as hard as ever, only they use 1st party devs for that. That's why they (Microsoft, Sony, etc) purchase developers all the time.

Exclusives are only an issue when there is market monopolization. I.e. when publisher owns the distributor as well. As long as market is vertically separated, it's not a problem. The likes of EA who own Origin, or MS who own Windows store / Xbox store are a problem. But for me personally it's not an issue, since accidentally or not, such publishers are also most DRM obsessed, so I don't care about their games. For those who ignore DRM, it can be an issue.


Last edited by Shmerl at 5 December 2018 at 7:31 am UTC
liamdawe 4 December 2018 at 5:16 pm UTC
ixnariOh good, ANOTHER digital distribution platform. Just what I wanted for xmas.

Speculation and wishful thinking is what all of this boils down to. "Other open platforms" is too vague. Until Epic mentions Linux specifically, this is a non-story.
A non-story? Sure, if you live in a tiny bubble. Even without Linux support right now, it's major industry news. One that may have a big effect on the company we rely on quite heavily as a gaming platform.
Lomkey 4 December 2018 at 5:22 pm UTC
I don't see Epic as a serious competition at this time. Due to people would have to give up a DRM store to a new DRM store. Even if dev world gets more % back for their games. The hard part Epic needs to overcome is getting people that are just only playing Fornite to spend money other then Fornite to play some game most likely people have it on steam. Other then that I do think Valve should lower they're cut little more for all dev, not the new thing that's valve is doing.


Last edited by Lomkey at 4 December 2018 at 5:25 pm UTC
rcaridade145 4 December 2018 at 5:22 pm UTC
For me the biggest asset of Valve against any other store is SteamPlay. No other store, company, allows you to code once, deploy in Mac, Linux, Windows and in the future Android.
0aTT 4 December 2018 at 5:22 pm UTC
liamdaweWhy are people instantly counting Epic out, when the situation is the same? Like I said in the article, there's no other "open" platform left - it's got to be Linux.

I found this from 2014:

https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/blog/unreal-engine-4-and-linux

It's still up to date. That actually says it all. There will be no port of Fortnite. They won't even customize their anticheat for DXVK like Blizzard did.

The UrealEnginge produce garbage for Linux and you need good porters like Feral to sort this out. The best would be if Epic would stop supporting Linux, so that we can finally play Ark via Proton and not have to wait for ages for ports like LifeIsStrange.
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