Steam has been king of the hill for more than a decade when it comes to being the number one digital distribution platform. But recently, the Valve-owned platform's dominance has been threatened by the slow withdraw of the industry's biggest AAA publishers as they moved to create their own digital platforms. Now things are about to get even more difficult for Valve as Epic Games has announced plans to create their own digital distribution platform, with an interesting twist that could disrupt the former's stranglehold on the industry.
Dubbed 'The Epic Games Store', Epic's digital platform will split the revenue with developers in an 88/12 ratio, with 88% of the revenue going to the developer. This is a huge shakeup from the more traditional 70/30 model that Steam had been using, and could see developers favoring The Epic Games Store over Steam going forward.
But how is this possible? In an interview with Game Informer, Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney stated that when they looked at the expenses of developing and running a digital store, they were negligible at a large-scale. Sweeney also noted that stores taking in 30% of the revenue were, in effect, marking up their costs by 300-400%, leading to an opportunity for Epic to lower that threshold so developers could take in more revenue.
Also interesting to note: Epic will be waiving all fees that it would normally take in through its storefront for any developers that use the company's own Unreal Engine to develop their games, instead relying on revenue share from a small percentage of the games' profits due to the usage of Epic's engine. The store will also offer a free game every two weeks (funded by Epic themselves), perhaps taking a cue from what Humble Bundle and EA's Origin have done in the past.
The Epic Games Store is slated to launch soon on PC and Mac with a number of curated titles, though the company does plan to open up the store to more titles and platforms over the course of 2019. And like Steam, it will also feature free-to-play games, support mods, and non-commercial games.
What are your thoughts on Epic launching their own digital storefront?
Edited by Jason Clement