Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has challenged Valve’s juggernaut digital game store rival Steam to match it in terms of dropping the cut it takes from developers from Steam’s current 30% to Epic’s current 12%.
Epic Games has secured a number of big name exclusives for their store front in recent months due to that cheaper distribution price including “Metro Exodus,” “The Division 2,” “World War Z” and the upcoming “Control,” meaning said games are not available on Steam for at least 6-12 months if at all.
Sweeney says Epic would stop pursuing its policy of securing big-name exclusives if Steam were to match this challenge, his tweet saying: “If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.”
Sweeney further added: “[If Valve made] such a move [it] would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come. Then stores could go back to just being nice places to buy stuff, rather than the Game Developer IRS. 30% store dominance is the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood. We’re determined to fix it and this [paying for exclusives] is the one approach that will effect major change.”
Reaction to the tweets over the weekend has been swift and harsh. Some are wondering why he should be believed when Epic already did an about-face on how it treats exclusives even after the messy launch of “Metro Exodus”.
Others point out Steam offers far more features than Epic does in terms of security, in-game support, guides, community discussions, early access services, etc. along with shouldering more of the costs associated with all territories distribution which justifies a higher charge.
Sweeney’s expressed concern about how developers are treated is being responded to with comments about Epic staff being subject to brutally demanding schedules to keep “Fortnite” constantly updated and successful in the face of the rise of rival “Apex Legends”.
Plus putting any kind of restriction on where big-name titles can be purchased often draws the ire of the PC gamer crowd, and confusion as to why Steam is the only one being targeted when so many other platforms charge the same rate that Steam does. You can read the full thread of responses here.
The Epic Games Store is still nabbing exclusives though, most recently “Borderlands 3” joined the ranks and will have a six-month home there before hitting Steam.
Source: Tech Radar