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#1 Edited by Acura_Max (724 posts) -

The store will also feature one free game every two weeks throughout 2019. Epic is funding these free releases so you always have something new to come and check out. The first free game will be Subnautica, available from Dec 14th to Dec 27th, followed by Super Meat Boy from Dec 28th to Jan 10th.

- Epic Games

It is a bold move on the part of Epic and it shows how serious they are in carving out a place in the market for a new launcher. Subnautica has been one of those games that I had wanted to play but never got around to because I had other games to play. I think this is a very smart idea to win good will and investment into their storefront. I do like free games and having a sizable library on the launcher might push me towards using it.

One more thing of note is that Fortnite will automatically download the moment you finish downloading the launcher. I guess Epic Games wants everyone to feel like they have something in their library before their free game program rolls out.

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#2 Posted by fnrslvr (561 posts) -

Yeah, they're probably going to need moves like this to draw a player base. Personally as long as the customer experience isn't nightmarish I'm happy to preference their store over Steam purely because I see no good reason to deny devs a better cut of revenues, but the store will be pretty spartan feature-wise in the beginning, there will be bugs, and people would stay on Steam out of force of habit if nothing else, so they need a customer-side draw. That is, assuming being the Fortnite platform isn't enough, and assuming that the store cut difference doesn't lead to sustained pricing differences or an outright dev exodus from Steam or anything like that.

A lot of weird stuff is happening around this. A whole lot of Valve fanboys seem to be losing their shit on Resetera about Epic maybe (probably?) moneyhatting a few games into storefront exclusivity arrangements. Some people are just prone to chucking a tantrum if their entire collection isn't on Steam. I think it's important for both players and devs to be able to choose their storefronts in ways which keep the storefronts on their toes, and that just hasn't been very viable until (hopefully) now.

I will say that I could imagine being a little miffed about Ashen disappearing from the Win10 store, though. That game was going to have Play Anywhere, which is an amazing feature.

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#3 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4310 posts) -

Epic coming out swinging. Discord might also really benefit as a launcher where players can see their whole library, if done right. Gonna be interesting to watch this all play out.

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#4 Posted by Brackstone (802 posts) -

@fnrslvr said:

I will say that I could imagine being a little miffed about Ashen disappearing from the Win10 store, though. That game was going to have Play Anywhere, which is an amazing feature.

I think this is the issue. It was being advertised as a part of game pass with play anywhere, and then pulled from the PC side entirely with no communication at the absolute last minute. I'm wondering if Microsoft even knew about this, cause it's a really shitty thing to do.

Moreover, it being advertised on steam and xbox and then pulled last minute is certainly shitty, but worse is that the Epic store has no regional pricing, so the game just got significantly more expensive for a large amount of people.

I hope the devs at least got paid for this, cause I don't think the extra cut is going to make up for the lost sales.

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#5 Edited by BrunoTheThird (789 posts) -

Subnautica is my GOTY, hands down.

I downloaded the Epic launcher and am installing that new game, Ashen, which looks neat. It's been a very stripped-down experience in this state compared to Steam -- very simple and functional -- but it's very visual in terms of displaying the latest releases, giving games huge window space with a stream of really hi-res and beautiful tiles interwoven. It really pops on my monitor.

No Caption Provided

I can't figure out how to throttle download speeds, though.

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#6 Posted by sub_o (1142 posts) -

Epic is using those Fortnite and Tencent money to counter Steam. It's gonna be tough for Steam, since Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which can make publishing to their store even easier.

It's interesting to see how it goes, Valve has been quite complacent, the store frontend is sluggish, the content is not curated, etc.

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#7 Edited by fnrslvr (561 posts) -

@brackstone: has Valve been offering regional pricing to a lot of countries for a while now? They only just recently introduced regional pricing for Australia, so I just assumed most countries were seeing US prices. But maybe that was just because Valve was in a libertarian huff about the Australian government dragging them through the courts to force them into having to write a refund policy. (Or was it the GST evasion thing?)

Obviously it sucks if Epic haven't figured out how to regionally price their games so people in developing countries can realistically afford them, though. Hopefully they sort that out.

I don't think the Steam crowd are treating the withdrawal from Game Pass or Play Anywhere as the main issue at all. They just want all their games on Steam, and think it's not "positive competition" if they have to go to another storefront. For my part it would be annoying if I cared about Ashen at all, but it's by no means a travesty. It's up to devs, publishers, and storefronts to negotiate and arrive at a value proposition for a game -- part of that being storefronts and supported features and whatnot, as well as price -- and then I'll evaluate it as a whole and decide if I'm interested. I'm not entitled to Play Anywhere functionality, though it is a bummer if it's no longer on the table.

The only thing I could see being raised as a semi-legitimate argument is if someone bought into a Game Pass subscription anticipating Ashen being roped in. Maybe Microsoft would refund their $10 monthly fee in that case or something? Still doesn't seem like all that dirty to me.

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#8 Posted by Brackstone (802 posts) -

@fnrslvr: Steam's had regional pricing for at least a year, I think. Some regions have had a slower rollout than others, and each game needs to be updated individually for each region, so some games are now only available in certain regions.

But yeah, the epic launcher has no regional pricing whatsoever. To use an example I saw elsewhere, to buy Ashen now could be worth a week or even a month of the average wage in certain countries, and not having regional pricing really drives piracy up and costs developers sales. So again, I hope Epic gave them a fat paycheck, because they'll probably lose a decent chunk of sales over this.

Xbox has regional pricing, so perhaps someone could check, but it's entirely possible that the game is significantly cheaper on Xbox One than PC in some regions because of this.

Microsoft did in fact advertise Ashen as a Play Anywhere Game Pass title, the epic store exclusivity was a reveal at the game awards as it launched. Hell, it's still advertised that way as of this post (scroll to the coming soon section): https://www.xbox.com/en-CA/games/xbox-play-anywhere

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#9 Edited by IBMer (48 posts) -

Sounds great if not for fucking Tencent. We just dodged a bullet with Rainbow Six Siege being subjected to China's dictatorship, I don't like the idea of them buying up more and more western outfits or them having influence over them through Epic.

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#10 Posted by Ares42 (4183 posts) -

@brackstone: @fnrslvr: Uhm, checking my receipts from Steam it changed from USD to Euro sometime in 2008, and it changed to my national currency in late 2014.

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#11 Posted by imhungry (1078 posts) -

Count me in as someone who's gonna hesitate to buy due to the lack of regional pricing. I have no real problem having my games split across as many launchers as needed but Steam introducing regional pricing was a huge deal, saved a bunch of money since then. More than happy that more competition is entering the marketplace though, good on Epic for going hard to establish themselves at the start.

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#12 Edited by BaconHound (280 posts) -

I thought I'd try signing up and installing the launcher just to give this service a shot, and I'm already irritated. It turns out that some dildo already set up an account with my e-mail address. I was able to use the forgot password feature, change the password, updated my "display name," and add two-factor authentication...but it seems like I'm stuck with the account name that was originally set up? I have a ticket into support to see if that can be resolved. If not, I guess I'm already done with this thing.

I really, REALLY hate when services allow somebody to sign up without an e-mail verification. It's the absolute worst when it's a service that I eventually want to use myself.

edit: Very quick response from support, and it was my misunderstanding - the account name in the launcher didn't refresh when I changed the display name. All appears to be in order now, and I'm curious to see how this compares with Steam.

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#13 Posted by Brackstone (802 posts) -

@ares42 said:

@brackstone: @fnrslvr: Uhm, checking my receipts from Steam it changed from USD to Euro sometime in 2008, and it changed to my national currency in late 2014.

Huh, good to know. The earliest I could find searching online was 2017, so maybe that's when they really finished adding regions and added the automatic regional pricing.

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#14 Posted by frytup (1187 posts) -

I signed up just to grab a screen name I like, but not likely I'll bother using it until it has an exclusive I care about.

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#15 Posted by MerxWorx01 (766 posts) -

@brackstone: depending on the region, Steam has had regional pricing very early on. It was the reason they were able to tap in the Russian and Chinese markets that were previously untreaded by any digital store for fear of exploitation. Valve offered prices to markets that were at the time unheard of. There was an interview long ago in which Newell I believe said that one of the way to compete with a market steeped with piracy is that make a service that's easy to get into and with prices that reflect the market. This has shifted a bit, publishers I believe have control over the regional costs which may not have proper pricing which usually means they have a partner in that region selling the same piece of software and they don't want to be their own competition. Is it perfect? No, there are regions that may not get their own pricing rates and it could depend on the publisher but it tends to better then what most others have done.

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#16 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (403 posts) -

I'm all for another storefront. Competitive deals are always a good thing. Not sure I really want ANOTHER launcher though (but hell, at this stage what difference is it if I have 5 or 6 launchers installed on my PC?).

I'll be grabbing the free games as apparently someone already made an epic account with my email, but I doubt I'll ever actually install the launcher unless they get a REALLY good, permanent exclusive.

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#17 Edited by Vortextk (842 posts) -

My name is taken and my main e-mail has already been used. The e-mail I knew about. I can't get a forgot password e-mail sent though to take it (not "back" because I'm pretty sure I never made it). I could use my other e-mail and a different name I guess. It's all pretty fucked.

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#18 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1145 posts) -

I mean, you're basically losing money by NOT checking this out.

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#19 Posted by turboman (9687 posts) -

All of this competition is going to be so great for both consumers and developers. I'm really excited for the next few years.

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#20 Posted by someoneproud (378 posts) -

This seems like another very smart move by Epic Games, not too pleased with it auto-downloading Fortnite but I'll just cancel / delete it. They're doing everything in their power to win people over and I think they might actually put a dint in the Steam monopoly and force them out of their complacency.

I think this can only be a good thing for PC gaming generally, bloody good stuff.

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#21 Posted by BaconHound (280 posts) -

I'll be grabbing the free games as apparently someone already made an epic account with my email, but I doubt I'll ever actually install the launcher unless they get a REALLY good, permanent exclusive.

@vortextk said:

My name is taken and my main e-mail has already been used. The e-mail I knew about. I can't get a forgot password e-mail sent though to take it (not "back" because I'm pretty sure I never made it). I could use my other e-mail and a different name I guess. It's all pretty fucked.

I'm not sure why forgot password wouldn't work to claim the account as your own. I went through that this morning and didn't have any trouble. When I contacted support about changing the account name, they confirmed that from their point of view, the e-mail owner is the account owner. Maybe contact them to see if they can help?

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#22 Posted by Vortextk (842 posts) -

It just took forever. Like an actual 20 minutes for forget password to go through then afterwards another 20 for e-mail to enable 2 factor as well. This name is still taken, have yet to see it taken anywhere that wasn't me so that's funny, but my e-mail is signed up with 2factor and my info now so I assume I'm good.

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#23 Posted by CurseTheseMetalHands (148 posts) -

So...they're basically talking about a two week free trial of games? Because that doesn't impress me and isn't enough of a motivator to get me to download the launcher, much less choose them over Steam.

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#24 Posted by clush (704 posts) -

@cursethesemetalhands: They're talking about a two week period in which you can add the game to your collection for free. If you do, you'll have it 'forever'.

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#25 Posted by CurseTheseMetalHands (148 posts) -

@clush: That's confirmed? Because the posted quote sounds somewhat ambiguous.

If you actually get to keep the games to play whenever you like, that's definitely more impressive and might almost make up for them smearing Fortnite feces all over the place.

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#26 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (403 posts) -

@baconhound: It's not so much that I can't do Forgot Password and reclaim the account. It's the fact that since doing that, in the last 24 hours, I've had 3 instances of failed attempts to log in to my account from dodgy locations. And that apparently it's been used previously to play Fortnite on PS4, something I've never done.

I don't really know if I can use a game store that seems to constantly lock me out because some dodgy opportunist likes the look of my account for Fortnite.

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#27 Posted by BeachThunder (15084 posts) -

Oh, I get it, because two weeks is a fortnight...

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#28 Posted by Gamer_152 (14715 posts) -

I think it's a very strong strategy to not only get people to adopt but also keep them reliably coming back to the service. It's one thing to have some buzz around launch, it's another to have people consistently using your platform. The only thing I would say is that Super Meat Boy is a very popular game from quite a while back now; it feels like everyone and their dog already has a copy. Subnautica is a great pick, but they might have won more people over if their second game was something a little more sought-after.

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#29 Posted by Alias (30 posts) -

Huh, this move seems to have worked as Epic games now have my attention purely to see the types / scale of games they release for free. Clearly a publicity move but one that appears to have worked at least on this idiot.

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#30 Posted by cubidog (89 posts) -

Well if I hadn't already downloaded the launcher for Fortnite, this would've gotten me to do it. Getting a free game every 2 weeks is awesome, and the first two are both games I want so I'm happy. Steam finally having some big competition will be nice, and while the store is definitely rough right now, I'm sure they will improve it. Also they got Supergiant's new game Hades on there exclusively, so there is at least one game I am guaranteed to buy when it is finished.

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#31 Posted by deckard (282 posts) -
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#32 Posted by TobbRobb (6522 posts) -

@brunothethird: JOURNEY IS COMING OUT ON PC!? CHRISTMAS IS EARLY!

Goddamn Epic is being aggressive with trying to claim it's place next to Steam. I suppose you have to since no one else has managed it. But this really is very overt with all the exclusives they are buying and this free game system.

I guess I already have the launcher installed, so I'll check some of these out and see what happens.

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#33 Posted by BrunoTheThird (789 posts) -

@tobbrobb: I know, I can't wait to play it in 1440p or 4k with that soundtrack thundering through my speakers.

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#34 Posted by TobbRobb (6522 posts) -

@brunothethird: Can't believe I'm this excited to play it again. It'll be the fourth or fifth time I think. But instantly wanted it as soon as I saw your post. :D

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#35 Posted by WasabiCurry (523 posts) -

The biggest appeal for me is not the free games but a curated store front. I can't tell how fustrating it is to see asset flip games, low budget visual novels, and other shovelware appear on the store front of steam daily. Valve sense of "let everything on the store front regardless of quality" drives me bonkers.

Anyway, I hope that epic games do get some AAA titles on their store, I have no preference for steam but if I could play MHW on their front, I would easily choose theirs over steam.

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#36 Posted by Atwa (1675 posts) -

Sorry still won't switch over from steam.

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#37 Posted by 49th (3867 posts) -

I don't want another launcher and it's actually kind of annoying but hell yeah I'll check out Subnautica, free shit.