Epic Games Store

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Epic Games Store
Epic games store logo.png
Developer(s)Epic Games
Initial releaseDecember 6, 2018; 38 days ago (2018-12-06)
Platform
Available in13 languages
List of languages
Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (BR), Russian, Spanish (EU and LATAM), Traditional Chinese, and Turkish
Type
LicenseProprietary software
Websiteepicgames.com/store

The Epic Games Store is a digital video game storefront operated by Epic Games. It launched in December 2018.

Software[edit]

The store is available on the web and through Epic Games' launcher application. It does not have features such as achievements or virtual reality headset support.[1]

Epic's own games will be exclusively available through its store and the company plans to fund developers to release exclusively through their store, using revenue guarantees to developers that opt for this, with Epic paying the difference should a game underperform.[1][2]

Epic plans to offer one free game every two weeks through 2019.[3]

Eventually the storefront will offer user reviews, but this feature will be opt-in by developers to avoid misuse by activities like review bombing.[2]

History[edit]

Prior to the Epic Games Store, the principal digital distribution channel for personal computer games was Valve's Steam, though other competitors like GOG.com, Origin and Uplay existed. Valve took a 30% revenue cut of all games sold via Steam, which at the time Steam launched was comparable to other digital distribution networks like the App Store. In August 2017, Epic's Tim Sweeney suggested that 30% was no longer a reasonable cut, and that Valve could still profit if they cut their revenue share to 8%.[4]

In early December 2018, Epic Games announced that it would open a digital storefront to challenge Steam. Epic planned to compete with Valve on game developers' share of profits: 88% with Epic, against 70% with Valve.[5] Epic would also forgo the standard 5% revenue fee normally applied to games using the Unreal Engine if they were published on the Epic Game Store. By Epic's calculations, the storefront's reduced portion of profits was sufficient to be profitable.[1] Epic also said that it wouldn't impose digital rights management (DRM) restrictions on games sold through its platform.[5] The store opened days later, on December 6, 2018, as part of the Game Awards, with a handful of games and a short list of upcoming titles.[6][7] The store is expected to open for macOS and Windows platforms before expanding to Android and other platforms.[5] Epic aims to release a storefront for Android devices, bypassing the Google Play Store, where it will similarly only take a 12% cut compared to Google's 30%. While Apple, Inc.'s monopoly on iOS currently makes it impossible for Epic to release an App Store there, analysts believe that if Google reacts to Epic's App Store by reducing their cut, Apple will be pressured to follow suit.[8]

Sergey Galyonkin, the store's director of publishing strategy

Prior to the store's launch, its Director of Publishing Strategy, Sergey Galyonkin, had run Steam Spy, a website that collected Steam usage data from public profiles to create public sales statistics. He ran the site as a side-project, but used it to learn what developers would want from Epic's store, namely fewer social elements and less visual clutter.[9] The store will be hand-curated until it opens to developer submissions in mid-2019.[1] Once at this point, Epic's staff will still need to approve games for the store, a process that "mostly focus[es] on the technical side of things and general quality", according to Tim Sweeney. Epic does not plan to allow adults-only mature content on the store.[7]

In January 2019, Ubisoft announced its plans to distribute its games via the Epic Games Store, with its upcoming Tom Clancy's The Division 2 to be sold exclusively on the storefront (in addition to its own UPlay storefront), making it the first major third-party publisher to utilize the Epic Games Store.[10]

Reaction[edit]

The Epic Games Store was announced a few days after Valve had revealed a change in the Steam revenue sharing model that reduced Valve's take, reducing their revenue cut from 30% to 25% after a game made more than US$10 million, and to 20% after US$50 million.[11] Several indie game developers expressed concern that this change was meant to help keep larger AAA developers and publishers and did little to support smaller developers.[12] As such, when the Epic Games Store was announced, several journalists saw it as potentially disruptive to Steam's current model.[13][14] Some developers have already announced plans to release games that they were planning to release through Steam now exclusively through the Epic Games Store, or to have time-exclusivity on Epic's storefront before appearing on other services.[15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Bertz, Matt (December 4, 2018). "Tim Sweeney Answers Questions About The New Epic Games Store". Game Informer. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Horti, Samuel. "Epic's Tim Sweeney reveals how the company lands exclusives for the Epic Store". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Aitken, Lauren (December 7, 2018). "Epic Games Store offering 2 free games every month". VG247. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Jones, Richard-Scott (August 23, 2017). "Steam could be profitable with an 8% cut rather than 30%, says Tim Sweeney". PCGamesN. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Frank, Allegra (December 4, 2018). "Epic Games is launching its own store, and taking a smaller cut than Steam". Polygon. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Hall, Charlie (December 6, 2018). "The Epic Games Store is live, here's all the titles it will have for sale". Polygon. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Orland, Kyle (December 7, 2018). "Epic Games Store launches with extremely limited selection of games". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  8. ^ Galliger, Dan (December 29, 2018). "An Epic Battle Over App Fees". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Grayson, Nathan (December 6, 2018). "The Guy Behind Steam Spy Has Been Working On Epic's Store For Years". Kotaku. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  10. ^ McAloon, Alissa (January 9, 2019). "The Division 2 is skipping Steam in favor of the Epic Games Store". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  11. ^ Statt, Nick (November 30, 2018). "Valve's new Steam revenue agreement gives more money to game developers". The Verge. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Horti, Samuel (December 1, 2018). "Valve's new Steam revenue splits favour big-budget games, and indie devs aren't happy". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Orland, Kyle (December 4, 2018). "Epic undercuts Steam with new store that gives devs more money". Ars Technica. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Statt, Nick; Hollister, Sean (December 4, 2018). "Epic Games takes on Steam with its own fairer game store". The Verge. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  15. ^ Horti, Samuel (December 8, 2018). "Some Epic Store games are pushing back or scrapping Steam releases". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  16. ^ Jones, Ali (December 10, 2018). "Steam releases are being delayed – and cancelled – in favour of the Epic Games Store". PCGamesN. Retrieved December 10, 2018.

External links[edit]