Epic Games Store Will Directly Rival Steam

Epic Games Store Will Directly Rival Steam
Image: Epic Games

The makers of Fortnite, Unreal Tournament and the Unreal Engine have announced the launch of the Epic Games Store, a marketplace designed to compete with Valve that offers a fairer revenue share to creators and developers.

The Epic Games Store will feature a mix of Unity and Unreal Engine-based games, with developers offered 88% of revenue (sans any licensing fees taken out by Unity).

With Steam traditionally taking a 30% cut of revenue (which narrows down as games earn more than $US10 and $US50 million in revenue), it’s an obvious pitch.

Image: Epic Games

Epic notes in a blog post that the store will launch with “a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac”. More games will be added to the store next year, launching on Android and “other open platforms” as well.

The store will also have an affiliate marketing play, with Epic’s Support-A-Creator program being directly integrated into the new Epic Games Store:

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.

Epic’s blog post says that more upcoming titles for the marketplace will be revealed at The Game Awards later this week.


    • I don’t know about that. If it offers decent prices and a good selection of games, I would use it. Those are two things that have been lacking from steam for a long time.

      If it went to the next step and let me play games WITHOUT having the client on, well, that’d just be heaven wouldn’t it? So sick off all these clients running all the time. Sure I can turn them off, but that can add anything up to another 30secs to a games load time.

        • Hahaha. Really? Achievements? Playtime is important though. I find it really interesting to see how much time I’ve put into certain games. Mass Effect 2 is still my highest. 357hrs! A lot of that was due to the mods I was running which gave it a 10min start up time. So I’d just leave it paused all day when I wasn’t playing. Still a great game for me though!

          • I’ve found myself looking at achievements more in games these days. They often point out alternate playstyles or things to do that I hadn’t considered and help me to get more playtime/fun out of the game. That’s when achievements are done “right” though rather than just thrown in there.

          • And there ain’t nothing wrong with that man. Sounds like you’re doing it right.

            I personally will only care about achievement when they start paying me to get them. Unless it’s an amazing game. Then, like you said, it adds an extra challenge that extends the playability. I’ve only done this with TLOU though.

          • Yeah, I’ve started to do that. It’s become a nice little life extender for old games I haven’t played in ages 🙂

  • Wow so the attempt to make Steam more appealing to big developers kinda backfired and gave them an angle on their own service lol

    • Well offering a 10% discount after making 13 million dollars in comissions was not only an insult to indies, was an insult to AAAs too. With $13M+ on the line why would they not run off and go elsewhere… thats what Epic is jumping on, and Epic knows gow to jump fast on an opportunity.

    • I suspect Valve would have known about this before today’s announcement. Epic would have been putting out feelers to game developers to see if they were interested in offering their games for sale on a new store. It wouldn’t be surprising if one of those developers used that info to try and negotiate with Valve. So Valve’s previous announcement could very well have been in response to this one.

      It is interesting that Valve’s policy change only really benefits the high selling games where it is likely players will seek out the game rather than just stumble across it in the store. For the small indie games, giving up 30% of your revenue might be a price worth paying for access to Valve’s customer base.

  • Woo, even more fucking launchers in my taskbar.

    Going to need to upgrade to a 16 core threadripper and another few sticks of ram, just to have enough CPU time and memory for every fucking gamestore that needs to run :\.

      • Anyone else remember the RAM hog that was the Bethesda launcher when Quake Champions first launched? That was genuinely the only thing in the last 12 months that ever made me consider upgrading any part of my system.

        (edit: to be fair, the launcher is *way* better now, but I did actually upgrade my RAM, so I guess it had the intended effect)

        • Yeah that was entertaining. It’s funny to look back and think that now we upgrade a piece of hardware to launch the game, not to play the game. In some instances. Or now days having the launcher, discord, etc and the game all running. Even more if streaming. I think I need to get some more ram. Even just for browser tab addiction.

          • My interim home machine has 16GB, and I’ve frozen that machine a few times with firefox eating 14GB of memory.

            Kinda insane, and makes me realise how much memory I use on a day to day basis for my work machine with 32GB, and my normal home machine with 64GB.

        • I knew there was a reason other than “because I can” for cramming 32gb of RAM into the machine I built earlier in the year…

        • It’s still pretty chunky compared to everything else, even after the improvements. On my system right now:

          Steam: 137MB (across multiple processes)
          Epic Games Launcher: 171MB
          Blizzard Launcher: 305MB
          Bethesda Launcher: 594MB

          • I like how the memory commit goes up inverse to the likelihood of using said launcher.

            Steam – very likely, smallest memory.

            Bethesda – most unlikely, largest memory.

          • I suppose it depends on how well they have optimised it. Which I think will depend on which company care too. I can’t imagine blizzard or ea caring to much. Valve I would expect to put more work into it.

        • I simply decided, “This is not for me,” and never thought about it again. Shame, but my beta access was free, so nothing lost.

          Quake really was just a special moment in time for me and it’s looking like that’s all it can be.

  • We need an all in one app that lets you download and play games via all these things, but acts as a nutral party, and allows you to compare prices for games. Wont happen tho, sadly…

    • Yeah. Sadly, what will happen is this: Someone will create that app. As it becomes more and more popular, the creators will look into ways to monetise it (most likely by entering in deals with game creators so the cost is invisible to the end user). At that point, proving itself profitable, competitors will appear. They’ll have better features or better pricing, or better deals with game creators. And so it goes.

  • This is what Valve should have been doing instead of trying to please big developers. Indie games are what keeps people coming back between AAA games and that builds loyalty because of the perceived investment. That being said though, this fragmentation is just as bad as streaming services now. At least we don’t have to pay subscription fees… yet.

    • It’s way too late but I feel Valve should have curated Steam. If it was just good games, it would feel like it was worth trolling through. But so much of it is complete garbage. Sure they made a lot of money but massively at the consumers expense. Even with the possibility of refunds, I just don’t want to take a chance on a crappy time with a crappy game.

    • That’s overselling the value of most indie titles. Nobody really cares about the majority of indie titles – it’s only big name ‘indie’ titles like Undertale that really ‘keep people coming back’. And that argument entirely ignores that AAA games are like anchor stores for shopping centres – people buy from Steam because they’re so heavily invested in the Steam ecosystem. There were people posting ‘no Steam, no sale!’ unironically up until about a year or so ago – simply because they had all their games on Steam and didn’t want to buy titles on other platforms due to fragmentation.

      We’ve been screaming for a distribution monopoly for years simply because Valve throw big sales and made Half Life. Now we’re either going to deal with the consequences or the pendulum will swing the other way.

  • The revenue split is a good hook, but there’s a lot of opportunity to learn from Valve’s mistakes here.

    If Epic goes the extra mile and regulates the content that hits its storefront, I could see it being a real threat to Steam over time.

    If I were to release a game and was offered a choice between the two storefronts, Epic’s might be a bit more enticing – the chance to get in on the ground floor before there’s a swarm of other titles (so the chance to get my title noticed) and a decent split on revenue to keep my company afloat.

    The other side of this coin might be that it forces Valve to improve a lot of the issues its had over the years to try and keep Steam competitive. So far it’s been able to rely on being the biggest/most successful storefront – but there’s a lot of room to improve.

  • I hope this is good. Steam desperately needs a major competitor. Epic’s been supporting indie devs for quite a while with UE4, that plus the lower cut will definitely attract a lot of indie attention. Plus already having the Store app already installed on millions of computers thanks to fortnite means there will be plenty of eyeballs on it.
    Not that it doesn’t suck having millions of launchers, at least this one will be a Steam competitor instead of just a publisher exclusive launcher like Uplay or Blizzard app.

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