Epic CEO wants "a single store that works with all platforms"

Daniel Sims

Posts: 675   +27
Editor's take: At a conference in South Korea, the CEO of Epic Games made comments about breaking down the walled gardens between game platforms. It sounds like he wants to expand cross-buy between as many platforms as possible, but getting publishers and competing platform holders to agree to something like that could prove difficult.

The Coalition for App Fairness held a conference in Seoul in mid-November, where Epic CEO Tim Sweeney spoke on multiple topics. He criticized Google's collecting fees for in-app purchases and called Apple a monopoly that "must be stopped." Epic and Apple spent much of 2020 and 2021 in a court battle over whether Epic could sell in-app purchases without paying a cut to platform holders like Apple and Google. Sweeney also called for a sort of unified digital store for game platforms.

"What the world really needs now is a single store that works with all platforms," he told Bloomberg.

Sweeney said Epic is already working with publishers and "service providers" to create a system where customers could buy their games in a unified store and have confidence they would work on all platforms.

Apple and Microsoft employ systems that work somewhat like this between different devices within their respective platforms. Buying certain games on Microsoft's store entitles users to play them on Xbox and Windows while downloading an app, movie, album, or book on Apple's store lets users enjoy them on any Apple device.

Sweeney describes what sounds like a video game equivalent of Movies Anywhere, a service that lets viewers link digital purchases across multiple platforms like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, VUDU, and Google. Buying a movie on one entitles them to copies on the others. Big studios like Disney, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. participate in Movies Anywhere. Examples of cross-buy between different game platforms operated by different companies, however, are rare.

For instance, GOG Galaxy tries to organize users' libraries across all their accounts. However, it still uses each account's PC client to launch titles. It sometimes offers free copies of certain games already linked to users' Steam accounts, but this is as close as it gets to a "Games Anywhere" system.

When talking about purely digital purchases, cross-platform entitlement makes some sense. There's little reason someone would pay for a game repeatedly on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Steam, the Nintendo eShop, and Epic. Though some games have staggered releases with timed exclusivity in the hopes, customers might double-dip.

Movies Anywhere can do what it does because digital movies are hardware agnostic. No matter where you purchase it, you can play the content on any device you have, whether it's a PC, smart TV, or PS5. Games are not the same, and neither Sony nor Microsoft wants to miss out on that software sale. Conversely, Microsoft owns Xbox and Windows, so we are now starting to see some cross-buying here.

Of course, Epic has a vested interest in making its store the center of a cross-buy ecosystem, and Epic would probably love to have console users among its customers.

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Posts: 616   +850
That's why he created another store, with another launcher.
That's why he pays for some publishers to not put games on competing stores, especially steam.
He is nothing but an hypocrite.

I was itching to post something similar while reading this article. The manner in which Epic has paid for exclusives on its own store signals that there should be no such thing as a single platform, because you can bet your bottom dollar someone would find a way to abuse it for their own gain.
Valve almost had it, but they let their greed ruin it.


Posts: 4,464   +6,657
Valve was the first major example on PC of the old adage, "If everyone is digging for gold, be the fellow who sells shovels." Taxing game devs is so much easier than doing actual work on actual games, right? Digital game distribution is going the same way as video streaming: every content maker wants to keep all the revenue for themselves. We're right back to the early 2000's when every digital game was purchased directly from a developer's web site, except now you have to also run a stupid always-connected client to play your games. Is it any wonder piracy is making a big comeback lately?


Posts: 4,605   +2,904
Epic want a single launcher on all platforms.
Coming from the company refusing to support Linux.

Epic would like to be Steam but they just cannot get the fundamentals right.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you want to beat Steam, compete!
Which big screen mode is better?
Which one lets me share a game from my library with someone else?
Which one lets me stream my game to the TV and play there?
Which platform allows me to browse and easily download and install mods?
Which launcher can I get on Linux and makes playing a game actually (mostly) easy on Linux?

I could go on for a while with features in Steam, even ones I haven't used myself yet.

I get releasing a store not as "up-to"scratch" as Steam, it's been around for a while. But releasing a store that's missing the absolute basic function of a shopping basket, is a joke.

Epic appear to be going for the childish "if I just shout and stamp my feet enough I'll get my way" approach rather than the more mature way of just getting better and being better than the competition.
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Posts: 210   +109
A store is a place you visit ONCE when you want to buy a video game. If your store account is strictly linked to the games, then it is no longer a store.

For example, if someone has 1000 games in a store account and their account is blocked or the store closes or the data center catches fire from an ups or something, the user will lose access to all these games.

So we need a store that handles the purchase and installation of the game in the beginning and beyond that remains closed.

If I go and start running a game from its own exe, the store application runs automatically and say “the game was launched outside…” and blah blah and if you don’t connect it close the game. WHY?


Posts: 703   +594
A single store may be a good idea in a sense that I buy the game or software once and use it across the different OS or platforms. But isn’t having a store the same as a monopoly? And isn’t that what they contradicting and self righteous CEO not want? So others cannot be a monopoly, but only EPIC?


Posts: 2,074   +1,654
These statements 100% make him a hypocrite as he has his own store and competes with other stores with exclusives.

But I also disagree, I want lots of stores competing with each other. I give zero f*cks about Store exclusives because on PC we can install all the launchers.

Currently I spend more on Epic than I do on steam. Steam has stagnated over the last few years and if they are losing market share and exclusives then that’s their fault. They make billions, they could cut their prices to fight Epic but they don’t. They don’t do anything except release crappy hardware in some lame attempt to lock people into using steam OS.


Posts: 616   +850
Steam > Epic Games

It's not great either frankly. The storefront is still an absolute mess after Valve jumped on the Kickstarter bandwagon and started allowing developers to sell unfinished games on the platform. PC gaming has suffered for that.


Posts: 315   +399
I dont want 1 of anything,

pc gaming is somewhat cheap(after paying for the rig) because of all the stores, right now, steam, uplay, gog, oculus, all of em are doing sales.

who would one big store compete against?

we dont need anymore spectrums popping up. this dude should be slapped and told to not speak anymore.


Posts: 707   +451
"What the world really needs now is a single store that works with all platforms,"

No, we don't need that, nor do we want it. What we want, are decent prices on games and the ability to buy a title and play it on any hardware platform (within reason). Putting everything into a single store will stifle competition and lead to the equivalent of price-fixing.


Posts: 4,605   +2,904
Valve don’t do anything except release crappy hardware in some lame attempt to lock people into using steam OS.
Ok, I need this one explained to me. Not the hardware comment, you're just a bit special in that case, but the "lock people into using steam OS" bit.


Posts: 2,026   +841
I want to be able to purchase a game from any store. I want to be able to launch the game without any dependencies to any store or any service. If it's an online game, I want to be able to interact with anyone playing the same game from any platform. That's what is known as interoperability. What Epic is wanting is a monopoly on what you can buy, where you can buy it, and what you can do with it. Epic is a beast battling Google and Apple, who are also beasts. There are no angels here. The enemy of my enemy are still enemies. .Destroy each other for all I care. New beasts will emerge and be useful for a time.