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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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rcaridade145 4 December 2018 at 5:43 pm UTC
Another reason this may be a bad move for Epic as a company, is having their own store will probably mean cutting the revenue of Fornite on Apple Store. Apple does not like to loose money and will counteract somehow.
Liam Dawe 4 December 2018 at 5:47 pm UTC
0aTTThere will be no port of Fortnite. They won't even customize their anticheat for DXVK like Blizzard did.
What? Never in my life have I heard anyone, ever say Blizzard specially customise their anti cheat for Linux. Hint: they don't, they don't support Linux at all.

0aTTThe 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.
Now it's pretty clear you don't know what you're talking about. Ark is nothing at all to do with Epic. Life is Strange Before the Storm is also nothing to do with Epic and was built with Unity. Game developer decisions on their game engine choice and platform release choice is not down to Epic. Do some research.
Purple Library Guy 4 December 2018 at 5:55 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".
Oh, yeah, that tweet. That was a really stupid tweet.
GustyGhost 4 December 2018 at 6:01 pm UTC
This is beginning to parallel the situation we see with movie streaming: Every publisher is rolling out their own storefront and viewers feel compelled to sign up for a dozen different subscriptions just to maintain reasonable accessibility.

Only, in gaming, replace "subscription" for "locally installed client" and now you have users running a million different launchers in the background. This is the sort of thing that makes PC gaming look bad.
Mal 4 December 2018 at 6:02 pm UTC
Am I the only one to believe this more competition thing is going all wrong?

As a consumer what I want to see is less fees and more money in the pockets of indie developers since they can only do one thing with those pennies: better and more games.

For big publishers though I don't think, as a consumer, that leaving more money in their coffers instead of valve's will translate in better gaming for me. Valve has a very good record in investing in infrastructure and innovation for the whole industry, be it VR, steamplay platform, open source infrastructure for open source OSs (I keep the plural here, just to play Epic game). Whilst for the rest it's more for allowing shareholders to 'invest" in islands as Christmas present for their children.

Yet what's going to happen now is that fees are going to be reduced for large players whilst small keep the burden o the "innovation tax".

Then, as for Valve competitors, to often their contribute to the gaming world stops to a buggy launcher with some nasty DRM at worse and no DRM at all at best. Do these "perks" really justify, as a buyer, a 12% or whatever cut on what you pay?
I'm all for competition. But what I want to see is qualified competition, not just lechers that suck out money from the industry by lowering the quality standards. I hope that Epic, if and when it establishes its store ofc, will distinguish itself from the mass and play the game right. Valve has been left alone to push the industry for to long.
TheBard 4 December 2018 at 6:20 pm UTC
I'm a bit worried about this move actually. I've already seen 4 stores collapse (IndieVania, Desura and Indie Game Stand and ShinyLoot). I don't think Steam may fall any time soon, but i won't be so confident about Itch or GOG. Will these two survive another big store? I hope so but how to be sure? What happens of bought games when the platform closes? Ok games are DRM-Free on GOG, but backups are not the solution here. What about updates?

Developers are i guess more than happy to widen their sales but not that much when it comes to keep all the version in every store in sync: Armello was on GOG, but not its DLC, and now it's even gone. Same story for Human Fall Flat. We have never seen the Linux version of many games on GOG too. Will developers manage to keep the same level of quality for every store? What happen to their users when they they abandon a store?

How about multiplayer? Does every store will have its closed multiplayer pool or will we be able to play with friends from different stores?

I can't help but think that all of this looks like preparations for the next big thing in gaming: streaming.
Purple Library Guy 4 December 2018 at 6:37 pm UTC
TheBardI'm a bit worried about this move actually. I've already seen 4 stores collapse (IndieVania, Desura and Indie Game Stand and ShinyLoot). I don't think Steam may fall any time soon, but i won't be so confident about Itch or GOG. Will these two survive another big store? I hope so but how to be sure?

I don't think Itch needs to worry (any more than they already did, anyway--I don't know how much profit they make normally). Itch appeals to indie types, it's the good-guy, open source, not-corporate, a bit quirky game store. This thing on the other hand is being created by Really Big Game Company, Inc. and is corporate to the core; I don't think Itch's customer base will be drawn to it.

GOG is a bit like that but not as much any more, as they've grown I think they've attracted plenty of ordinary-gamer customers who could potentially be wooed away by a different store. So I dunno, they might be fine or maybe your fears have some substance there.
Purple Library Guy 4 December 2018 at 6:43 pm UTC
Well. Overall, this is interesting. I have no idea if this thing will have any success--they have some muscle and are offering developers a good deal, but seems to me it's harder than it looks to get one of these things to take off. You're fighting network effects, habits, and there's more to creating a good experience with some value added that competes with other stores than just putting up some games to download.

And I have no idea whether they'll include Linux in any way shape or form, let alone push it in any way useful to us; there are vague hints they might and they may have plausible motivations to do so, but there are also reasons to think they might not. Overall, I'm stumped as to what this could mean.
Alm888 4 December 2018 at 6:49 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. I don't care about launchers, but let's hope the store will have DRM-free options.

Mr. Sweeney is lots of hot air and nothing more, IMO.

As much as I hate Valve, I must give it the credit where it is due. Sweeney was such a crybaby a year ago but in the end it is Valve which is at the receiving end of the blow, not Microsoft: he supports Windows™ as an obedient zealot while trying to undermine Valve's money income (a common trend nowadays, which means Sweeney is a copycat of Ubi, EA, Paradox and others to boot).

I'll believe Mr. Sweeney when he gets his Canadian passport.

orochi_kyoSteam offers me games on MY currency and also give me servers to download near to my country. Which other stores does this? None.
Its easy for Liam and other people here to pretend Epic would be some kind of competency for Steam, you had your prices on dollars, euros or pounds but the rest of the world remain obscure for these stores, while Steam is selling games to penguins on fish currency.
Sorry for sound like a Valve pawn but after the promises of Origin becoming a competency for Steam, well, I dont expect nothing special anymore.
Please, refrain from open hostility and harsh words. The fact that different countries have different base income for habitats (as well as different tax schemes, healthcare and education cost and so on) is not in any way an excuse to call people "elitist first world kids" or the like. No one here deserved such a treatment.

Now, for the second part: in fact, GOG does have regional pricing which most of the time is the same as on Steam™.


Last edited by Alm888 at 4 December 2018 at 7:08 pm UTC
Nevertheless 4 December 2018 at 7:17 pm UTC
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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".

Not exactly. A few days later...
https://twitter.com/TimSweeneyEpic/status/968284883935166466
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