The conversation to be had here shouldn't be about the trivial-ass topic of if EGS is a quality storefront. It should be trying to figure out how in the fuck things have gotten bad enough to where an opinion on that elicits legit hatred/threats/harassment. That's reprehensible and incomprehensible. I'm not saying we're going to solve that here on GB or that anyone here is really defending it, but holy hell, lines were definitely crossed in this thing and that really shouldn't be ignored.
Sadly that seems to be happening all over the place. In the last 24 hours i've read about the death threats against these devs, Taylor Swift fans harassing Charli XCX because she said in an interview that opening for Taylor Swift felt a bit like she was waving at 5 yo kids given that she's used to perform for adult audiences at her own shows, and a football player's restaurant getting review bombed because he made a transfer to a different team. Oh you also have the sports fans that like to toss out racist shouts to 'throw a rival player off his game'. Somehow that's the pinnacle of support for your own team to some folk. People are very mad at the dumbest things and do whatever they can to deliver noticeable hardships to the person they're upset with. And it turns out that it's quite easy to achieve that nowadays.
What makes the Epic launcher different than all the other launchers out there is that they're actively upsetting the apple cart, while stores like GOG, Bethesda, Origin & Bethesda just exist for their own games and some welcome others that want to be a part of the store. Epic is actively taking 3rd party games away from competing platforms, some of which already had store pages up. Some of which walk out of a crowdfunding session being funded by fans. That causes friction. Because Epic wants to retain visibilty for the selection of games they put money into, a game like Android Assault Cactus gets turned away from the store, despite being a very decent indiegame with good scores across the board. If you're an indiegame on the Epic store without a deal, you fade to obscurity. Games like Phoenix Point, Donut Country or Gorogoa are only visible if you know it's there and you're willing to scroll down the frontpage 20x. If you find it, you better buy it immediatly because there's no way to remind yourself of those games.
Sure, those games might not be the most popular compared to games like Borderlands 3, but Steam at least has multiple options in place to still lead you to the smaller games. Personally the last 2 games i bought were A Pixel Story & The Next Big Thing. Obscure games that are fairly old already, but i found by using a combination of Steam curators, Steam reviews, the wishlist & steam forums (when i got stuck in a challenge room of a pixel story). Epic just doesn't bother at all with visibility for the smaller games they haven't signed deals with. That's very dissapointing.
They also mess with the game valuation of other devs games by having strange sales where new games suddenly cost 10 bucks less, which has forced some devs to get off the store temporarily because they didn't agree with this. The lack of regional pricing options also made it hard to impossible for a bunch of people to actually be buying the games on the platform. For some it might be as simple as downloading a new launcher & making an account on there. For others the game they wanted to play is suddenly not available to them anymore or they have gotten priced out of it. On top of that there are some weird technical errors with the launcher. I had to re-download it twice because it would just show a blank screen. They also seem convinced that i'm a russian paying with rubles, despite having 0 ties to russia, never used a russian VPN and my account has not been breached. Probably solvable if i were to start a new library on this platform, but it's another blockade.
Finally, every game that's being sold has to give up a part of it's revenue (minimum of 5%) to the streamers & creators whose tags get used by the customers that buy a game. Which is a clear attempt to have all creators, big & small choose for the financially sensible option to make content for the games that are available on the Epic store over other stores. Suddenly even a modest up & coming streamer would be better off to play the big Epic Store games that sell well for that revenue cut, instead of forming a channel that's all about a certain niche & highlighting the quality games that fit in, regardless of store. Making a living as a content creator is hard, so these financial incentives do matter. Not only is that another blow for smaller games, it also turns the valuation of the game messy. Are you going to offer 15% of your revenue to creators to have more online exposure than a comparable game that only offers 10%? Do you suddenly have to adjust your base pricepoint to make it worthwhile for creators to consider making content around your game due to the revenue sharing? If your game gets denied to be on the Epic store, do you still need to give a revenue cut to creators to have a chance for some exposure? Wait wasn't this whole store supposed to be about devs taking more money home instead of sharing it around?
That said, right now it makes 100% sense for the selected games to take these deals. They are just too good to neglect. Get paid. But in the longterm it might have a negative effect for smaller games. Let's hope i'm wrong. But the culture of chuckleheads trying to make people miserable whenever a choice or opinion negatively affects them is fucking terrible. Like it's clear that i'm not a fan of Epic and am not looking to spend money on their platform, but i'm not going out there spreading my fury around the place. I'll just wait a year and add it to my library on the platform that i'm satisfied with. Sadly that puts me on the same side that's out there making death threats.