PC gaming’s sweetheart, Steam, might finally have its first worthy competitor in the Epic Games Store. The Fortnite developer announced its PC gaming storefront last night, and it’s offering a better deal to developers (than what Steam does) and promises a more direct relationship with players.
Epic Games offers all developers 88% revenue; there is no tiers, no special treatment, or hidden cuts. Secondly, if any developer uses Epic Games’ Unreal Engine then that 5% royalty cut will be paid by Epic themselves from their share. The standard split is, therefore, 88% to devs and 12% to Epic Games. Currently, Steam takes 30% distribution fee but recently announced plans to take it down a few percent, depending on a tier system.
As developers ourselves, we wanted two things: a store with fair economics, and a direct relationship with players. And we’ve heard that many of you want this too!
Another difference between the Epic Games Store and Steam is that it will launch without a user review feature. When it comes to deciding which games to release on the storefront, Epic will steer away from content moderation and focus more on technical performance. In an interview with Eurogamer, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney explains that they will manually curate the storefront rather than depending on algorithms to decide which games are fit to release on the platform. It will also release with no store-wide DRM, while developers are allowed to set their DRM solutions.
The Epic Games Store will include features like allowing developers to contact customers via email, with the store’s newsfeed serving as the hub for communication. Epic is also offering an incentive for content creators who refer buyers to games. “If you opt to participate, creators who refer players to buy your game will receive a share of the revenue that you set (tracked by code or affiliate marketing link). To jumpstart the creator economy, Epic will cover the first 5% of creator revenue-sharing for the first 24 months,” explains Epic.
The most important question for most PC gamers will be which games will launch on the Epic Games Store. For now, Epic is holding back on that crucial piece of info, but they did state that they would be “honoured” to have PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
I’ve always thought as a PC gamer that the one thing we don’t need more of is another storefront. We have way too many as it is and of them, Steam is by far the best. That being said, I am curious to see what the Epic Games Store offers in terms of pricing, ease of use, and games.