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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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sub 4 December 2018 at 11:10 pm UTC
titi 4 December 2018 at 11:11 pm UTC
For me its just another store without linux support. This means less games on steam and less linux games for us. And all this nice proton stuff is useless if games are published on other stores.
Cestarian 4 December 2018 at 11:14 pm UTC
The way I read it was "and linux is not even an afterthought" because if it was, they would've said Windows, Mac and Linux, not PC and Mac.
Tiedemann 4 December 2018 at 11:30 pm UTC
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zen_xenoYeah, no way.

If it isn't on Steam or GOG I'm not interested. I started pirating games on C64 - started buying games because Steam is such a great platform for me. I'll never lose or damage the discs, don't have to keep track of boxes or manuals. I have over a thousand games in my Steam library, but if publishers want to keep making their own stores I have no problem pirating again. Already looks like I won't be able to get Elder Scrolls 6 via Steam so guess what? I have a VPN, I'm not gonna buy it. Steam provides a service I find valuable, GOG has inspired my love for their resurrection of old games, and for being DRM free. What do these other publishers have to offer but scattering my library of games across more platforms, more passwords and logins, less consolidation, more bugs. NO! I won't buy it, I'll just pirate.

So you're entitled to Elder Scrolls 6 for free cause it's not on Steam?
x_wing 4 December 2018 at 11:34 pm UTC
Alm888Now, for the second part: in fact, GOG does have regional pricing which most of the time is the same as on Steam™.

No, most of the time it's not. Mostly because Steam sets prices in local currency, while GOG keeps everything in USD.
Well, now, this is simply a lie.
GOG neither keeps everything in USD (value-wise) nor enforces USD as a currency.

Sorry, it's not. Do the same test for any country of latin america... For third world countries, the Steam store is hundred of miles away from GoG.
Salvatos 4 December 2018 at 11:35 pm UTC
subI like that tweet
Um, most of that kind of went right over my head. What's so great and different about Epic's store other than the lower cut?
mylka 4 December 2018 at 11:39 pm UTC
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
Smoke39 4 December 2018 at 11:59 pm UTC
subI like that tweet

I don't understand what he's trying to get at. He just seems to be vaguely asserting that things are bad and need to change over and over again. What exactly does he think Valve is doing wrong? What is this "power difference" and "antagonism" he's referring to? What does he think Epic is going to do better?
mirv 5 December 2018 at 12:03 am UTC
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mylkai 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

(previous quotes snipped to keep text smaller)
So I was trying to be particular: it's not always about direct sales income. Valve started on GNU/Linux because Microsoft was forcing their hand - they used to it to more or less show that they're not reliant on Microsoft. Valve have also slowly been building up an infrastructure that allows them to move away entirely and run on their own (with a bit of extra funds if they need it immediately). They can play a long game, and "Proton" is pretty clear about their intentions: run the games, but don't rely on Windows.

This is, as I say, just good business. No, not big bucks (right now) with GNU/Linux, but it is a safeguard. That alone has probably stopped Microsoft pulling a few shenanigans of their own, and actually ended up ensuring that Valve haven't been screwed over.

And yeah, absolutely it's a big effort overall, but more importantly there's been some fairly practical investments: drivers, Vulkan, developer days, etc. Ok, perhaps Steam Machines wasn't a wise investment, but not everything can be (I'm sure they learned a lot, and I'm also sure they could afford the mistake).

I guess I have a different approach to many others. I don't see them as champions, I see them as good business people who don't like being under Microsoft's thumb. It also changes certain expectations: a champion I would expect to open source their game management client (aka Steam), but good business people I wouldn't.
....but, I will say they're working with the GNU/Linux community, and they're reaping rewards from it, so we should all point to Valve as an example of how a company should behave.
Purple Library Guy 5 December 2018 at 12:30 am UTC
rcaridade145I was under the impression that MacOS isn't supported in SteamPlay. Has that changed, or was Mac support something they intended to work on after DXVK worked well on Linux?
Nothing has changed so far, in fact they have been removing Mac references from the Proton documentation that were once there.

I also don't see the point.
- Apple deprecated OpenGL, which to this date is the only API for which working D3D7-9 implementations exist, and their implementation is too old to support D3D11.
- Apple does not support Vulkan, none of the VK->Metal translation layers are able to run DXVK yet, and even if they did, performance would probably be terrible in most cases.
- Apple dropped support for 32-bit toolchains, and seem to be making it harder to run 32-bit stuff in general. Really bad news for Windows games because pretty much everything released before 2015 is 32-bit only, and even some modern games are 32-bit.
Apple are really trying hard to be useless for gaming, huh?

Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 5 December 2018 at 12:30 am UTC
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