"Epic Store will stop exclusives if Steam changes revenue split, CEO says"

Avatar image for rorie
#1 Posted by Rorie (5881 posts) -

Sounds like Tim Sweeney is laying down some bold challenges to Valve. It's curious to see if they follow through with this (I doubt Valve has much of a reason to change their financial terms right at the moment, but with more pressure, who knows?). I still haven't downloaded the Epic Store, just because I haven't seen any of these new exclusives that I really want hit yet, but at least they're ramping up the pressure?

Staff
Avatar image for mezza
#2 Posted by MezZa (3052 posts) -

Seems like hes just trying to get the heat off of epic. It's a cheap tactic making a public statement knowing that valve isn't likely going to buckle to a tweet. If he thought they could make a business deal with valve he would do it with valve. Not by posturing to the angry internet so that they go run to them next.

Avatar image for dasakamov
#3 Posted by DasaKamov (1160 posts) -

I'm not sure what "heat" Epic is under other than "they don't sell on Steam, currently". It's no secret the Valve takes a hefty slice of developers profits for the privilege of selling on the Steam platform; if Valve gives more concessions to game devs in light of competition, it's a win for everybody.

Avatar image for gundato
#4 Posted by Gundato (333 posts) -

Its fairly safe to say Sweeney is full of shit. But most people are idiots. So I hope that the "rawr, rawr, epic evil and Valve have our best interests in mind" crowd can shut up long enough for Valve to actually get pressured in to doing this. Even if EGS continues to be EGS, this would mean REALLY good things for a lot of indie devs.

And Valve have already demonstrated that they can lower their per-sale profit margins for larger games that tend to use more bandwidth and put much more of a load on server infrastructure. Extending that across the entire range, at least on the surface, seems very reasonable and is the kind of thing a lot of us wanted since long before EGS was anything more than a Fortnite launcher.

Because the whole point of competition is to make things better. I still think we're more likely to see EGS (and maybe Discord) improve their infrastructure and capabilities. But I would love to see Valve be more dev friendly and get off their asses and curate so people don't have to worry about their game getting caught as a recommendation in a screenshot about Rape Sim 2019 and the like.

Avatar image for cikame
#5 Edited by cikame (2915 posts) -

I don't understand what he's trying to do, is he taunting Valve to match part of their business strategy for some reason? Is he trying to get developers to second guess putting their games on Steam just in case they improve their split? Is he trying to sound like he's fighting for the PC platform, despite mostly just being a burden for the PC platform?
From my customer perspective weird taunts on Twitter don't make up for the garbage quality of his store front and disturbing paid exclusives, Steam still have the high ground, you're just shouting from below.

Also i just want to remind Tim what his "own games" are.
Jazz Jackrabbit 1/2
Tyrian
Age of Wonders
Unreal 1/2
Unreal Tournament/2003/2004/3
Non of these games are available on the Epic Store, but can be found on Steam and GOG.

Avatar image for panfoot
#6 Posted by Panfoot (333 posts) -

I'm not sure what "heat" Epic is under other than "they don't sell on Steam, currently". It's no secret the Valve takes a hefty slice of developers profits for the privilege of selling on the Steam platform; if Valve gives more concessions to game devs in light of competition, it's a win for everybody.

That heat is a recent article by polygon about how Epic treats their workers like shit.

Anyway, the 12% vs. 30% cut conservation is just so simplified that this challenge seems disingenuous at best. How much of Epic's 12% is profit and how much goes back infrastructure/development of their client? How does Valve's 30% cut break down? After all, Steam is way more fully featured(some of those features like broadcasting can't be cheap) than the Epic client and has far larger catolog to maintain, and how do we consider keys(which are free to generate and they don't take a cut on) sold outside of the client itself factor into this? Also what about all the other storefronts, I believe GOG also takes 30%, and that's not even beginning to talk about Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo.

Just remember that Valve and Epic are both corporations, and corporations aren't your friends. I certainly have my problems with Valve, but that doesn't make Epic the "good guys" either.

Online
Avatar image for relkin
#7 Posted by Relkin (1214 posts) -

@cikame: Pretty sure that Shadow Complex (Remastered) was literally the first thing added to the Epic Store, but I get your point.

Avatar image for treetrunk
#8 Posted by TreeTrunk (617 posts) -

Many of my games on steam were bought from retailers such as humble, fanatical, indie gala, GMG, ebgames, & a fairly new company Voidu. I dont see steam challenging those guys with dumb tweets. I know those retailers sell steam keys but steam dont get a cut from them im pretty sure.

Though, it is very impressive that epic have secured some formerly playstation exclusives for the PC, which makes me question why Valve havent tried doing that before.

Anyway, Katana Zero is fantastic.

Avatar image for jasonr86
#10 Edited by JasonR86 (10265 posts) -

I'm trying to figure out why I find this so distasteful. I personally don't have a problem with the exclusives, but this seems like a way to shift the blame for those that do feel that way on to Steam whose business practices weren't the catalyst for the exclusives in the first place, I don't care what Sweeney says. It feels like a really shitty way to build consumer support. But that doesn't seem like the only thing about this that rubs me the wrong way but I'm not sure how to explain the other aspects that bother me. But, ultimately, it paints Epic and their store in a bad light for me way more than the exclusives and lack of features.

Avatar image for bollard
#11 Posted by Bollard (8185 posts) -

Yes, because it went so well when they said they didn't want another Metro situation then immediately reneged on that decision.

I'm sure they wouldn't ever go back on this set in stone statement either.

Avatar image for brackstone
#12 Posted by Brackstone (943 posts) -

So basically he wants Valve to abandon the international market and strip features from their client? Oh that's totally going to happen.

Stuff like this just makes Epic look more and more scummy by the day, and I worry people will actually believe his nonsense.

Avatar image for cmblasko
#13 Posted by cmblasko (2946 posts) -

Maybe get your studio out of permanent crunch mode before worrying about what another is doing with their platform. It's been real disappointing to find out that Sweeney is just another shitty rich tech guy who exploits his workers.

Avatar image for soulcake
#14 Edited by soulcake (2820 posts) -

If somebody gives me 1000.000 dollars i will stop posting on these forums....

Tim Sweeney 2020 dude sounds like a politician now or shitty car sales guy pick and choose. Even having the balls as if he's Indie Jesus dude just want's his stock to go up. At least Gabe Newell isn't falling for this BS.

Avatar image for mellotronrules
#15 Edited by mellotronrules (2625 posts) -

this move comes off as oddly desperate. desperate for what? i'm not sure- attention i guess?

but it also reads as incredibly disingenuous. AS IF the sole motivating factor for the epic store was 'for the good of the devs.' their more favorable split- no matter the motivation- is presumably good for devs and a great side-benefit of epic's newfound muscle. but multi-billion corporations do not enter a market and throw cash around to lock down exclusives simply for the collective good. epic is not an activist organization.

Avatar image for notnert427
#16 Posted by notnert427 (2289 posts) -

Valve is shitty for raking in billions for basically just providing a storefront, being too lazy to curate said storefront, and taking a bigger cut than they should from those who comprise the value of said storefront.

Epic is shitty for the PUBG stuff, for exploiting their workers, and for pretending they're some crusader for the little guy here when their sole focus right now is figuring out how to monetize/grow their own storefront.

Gamers are shitty for throwing money at Valve regardless of what they do and hypocritically demanding exclusives to sell them on other platforms while complaining when other platforms have exclusives.

Avatar image for forrester90
#17 Posted by Forrester90 (1008 posts) -

I'm enjoying the Epic store so I don't really care about whatever "heat" they're getting and I love that the ball is officially in Valve's court. I'll never understand people getting outraged over Epic doing exactly what Valve has done for years.

Competition is exactly what Valve needs.

Avatar image for cikame
#18 Posted by cikame (2915 posts) -

@relkin: Whoops, i was still thinking about how i was going to word what i wanted to write next, after which Shadow Complex didn't make sense on the list, i was also considering having Bulletstorm and the Gears of War's, but i don't think Epic had anything to do with BS's actual development and Gears is owned by Microsoft.

Avatar image for monkeyking1969
#19 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7652 posts) -

Folks this is a win-win-win for Epic. Three things can happen...

1) Valve doesn't do it, publicly refusing... ha ha, now Epic is off the hook because it shows willingness to negotiating exclusives; thus the blame -even in just a few people minds- is on Valve.
2)
Valve DOES do it....ha ha, look at what Sweeny and Epic just did! Epic said jump, and Valve -like a little-bitch dog- jumped - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!
3)
Valve ignores this, silently refusing... Epic offered, and the industry & media continues examining teh market differences; thus Epic wins the news cycle again on this stale topic.

Epic did something. Therefore, any "reaction" even by having "no reaction", is on Valve. Epic took the initiative in this round, and now any changes Valve has are under scrutiny for if "that" was an reation to Epics offer. Literally, anything Valve does in the next few month will seem like a reaction.

Avatar image for notnert427
#20 Posted by notnert427 (2289 posts) -

Folks this is a win-win-win for Epic. Three things can happen...

1) Valve doesn't do it, publicly refusing...Valve DOES do it....Valve ignores this, silently refusing... Epic did something. Therefore, any "reaction" even by having "no reaction", is on Valve. Epic took the initiative in this round, and now any changes Valve has are under scrutiny for if "that" was an reation to Epics offer. Literally, anything Valve does in the next few month will seem like a reaction.

ha ha, now Epic is off the hook because it shows willingness to negotiating exclusives; thus the blame -even in just a few people minds- is on Valve.

2)

ha ha, look at what Sweeny and Epic just did! Epic said jump, and Valve -like a little-bitch dog- jumped - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!

3)

Epic offered, and the industry & media continues examining teh market differences; thus Epic wins the news cycle again on this stale topic.

You're probably not wrong in terms of what the public perception will be, but to me this is about on par with a politician mudslinging their opponent. I'm unimpressed.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d1d502761653
#21 Posted by deactivated-5d1d502761653 (305 posts) -

Sweeney is a disingenuous, trying to earn some browny points on twitter. He's said himself before 12% isn't sustainable.

Epic is simply willing to take a loss atm in an attempt to increase the Epic store's market share because they have endless Fortnite money to burn.

Avatar image for conmulligan
#22 Posted by conmulligan (1949 posts) -

I don't believe a word that comes out of Sweeney's mouth.

Online
Avatar image for dasakamov
#23 Edited by DasaKamov (1160 posts) -

@panfoot: Thanks for the link - I hadn't seen that article before. I really hope these recent revelations of shitty executive culture across multiple studios give impetus to developer's workplace rights, since the upper managers clearly have no interest in anything other than their own excessive salaries.

Avatar image for relkin
#24 Posted by Relkin (1214 posts) -

@cikame: I think Bulletstorm was People Can Fly, if I recall correctly. Regardless, I suspect that when Sweeney talks about Epic's games, I think he specifically means Fortnite, Shadow Complex, and anything they have yet to release. I sincerely doubt they even consider the other games they have developed in the past to be worth thought, let alone a spot on their storefront.

Avatar image for onemanarmyy
#25 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4502 posts) -

Yeah this is not going to happen. It's also disingineous for Sweeney to act like you'll get to take home 88% of your revenue as an epic store game when his streamer marketing program will eventually lead to smaller gamedevs having to compete with eachother for exposure through mandatory creator cuts anyways. Congrats, now your revenue is split between a bunch of different people instead of one source. Not to mention that to arrive at that 12%, they have to put the payment processing burden on the consumer depending on your options. The additional problem is that by introducing a direct monetary link between streamers, creators & the game, it's all about how far you're willing to open the wallet to get creators to bring exposure to your games. Now you are able to send some keys around & a variety streamer or youtuber can pick it up if the game is engaging & fun to play / watch. The streamer gets a good amount of viewers, subs, donations & has fun playing a new game for free. The devs get exposure & future sales from the streamer & his audience having fun with their game. Everyone happy. In the future this game has to at least match the revshare of the other options out there to make it a worthwhile endeavor for the influencer. And it has to be a genre that makes viewers want to buy it as well naturally, so linear storygames are a no go. Oh your game is only on steam and got denied on the exclusive EGS? Well.. you better figure a way to get money in the streamers hands if you want them to take a break from those 20-25% revshare epicgames (or the low revshare - high salesvolume type of games) and choose for your game instead. Or you refuse to play by these new rules and just receive hardly any marketing at all. It turns that whole scene toxic and financially driven, instead of that part mostly being sectioned off for the topend of the streaming landscape. Especially as being a streamer gets harder & harder with the oversaturation of people trying to make a living out of it, you'd be a fool to not take every financial benefit that you can take. It will seriously limit the ways in which smaller studio's can get the eyes on their games without breaking the bank.

Also, how permanent are these numbers for Epic? It's their big sellingpoint now as the plucky underdogs trying to get a foothold in the market, but how fixed will that 12% be in the future when they can tout the hugeness of the audience & the millions they spend on gaming as the keyfactor why you should want to be on this platform instead? Visibility will only getting worse & worse as more games get accepted on the EGS. Eventually that's not going to be a key selling point anymore neither. Hell, games like Gorogoa are already pretty far stuffed down with the sub 100 games they have on there. Right now it makes a lot of sense for games to take the money and get on the EGS, but indiegames & new studio's will suffer on the longterm. Android Assault Cactus won't be the last game that gets denied out of fear to clutter up the store too much to make the big borderlands & metro's of the world stand out.