Epic Games is starting a store to rival Steam

Judy Cobb
December 5, 2018

Considering Fortnite is probably the most successful PC game to avoid Valve's store, Epic would probably know better than anyone what kind of grievances would make developers turn away from it. Furthermore, Epic is trying to score extra points by not having royalty tiers, a jab at Steam's recently announced sliding-scale royalty table. The graphic above shows just how much of a swing there is between Unreal games hosted on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

The Epic Games Store will no doubt receive competition from established marketplaces like GOG, Itch.io, and Steam, but Sweeney says that now was as good a time as any to start up a new storefront.

The store is positioned as a direct competitor to Steam, the dominating game distribution platform, and not to company or publisher specific stores operated by Ubisoft, Electronic Arts or Blizzard; the main reason for that is simple: Epic Games does not limit the Store to its own games.

The company has confirmed that while titles utilising any type of game engine will be welcome on the Epic Games Store, those that are powered by the Unreal Engine will see the licence charge waived. But the company was quick to recognise the value of providing both DRM to other games companies, as well as an online portal through which they could be sold.

Epic Games to undercut Valve with own PC games store
Epic Games is launching an Android game store in 2019 with 88% revenue share

In comparison, Steam has Valve take around 20 to 30 percent of revenue from developers.

Epic will be releasing more details at The Game Awards on December 6.

Content creators will also be able to get in on the fun through the Epic Games Support-A-Creator program, which appears to contain some sort of optional referral program that developers can set up. Those buying games in the Store automatically get subscribed to the developer's news feed, and there will be no store ads or cross-marketing of other games on a particular title's page. Because of the high volume of Fortnite transactions, we can process store payments, serve bandwidth, and support customers very efficiently. Following the end of that exclusivity deal, Epic Games allowed users to download Fortnite from their own website. "But with developers receiving 88 per cent of revenue and Epic receiving 12 per cent, this store will still be a profitable business for us", he explained. This in itself has created an opening for Epic's launcher, which poses a real threat to the PC monopoly while maintaining a stance against exploitative fees. What do you think of Epic's new announcement?

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