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Epic continues to plunder exclusives from Steam

By Cal Jeffrey · 23 replies
May 13, 2019
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  1. Epic continues to chip away at Steam by penning exclusive deals with publishers. Its latest pickups are Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint and indie developer Mobius Digital’s Outer Wilds.

    Ubisoft’s choice to release the latest Ghost Recon game exclusively through the Epic Store and U-Play is not that shocking. It recently announced it would be switching The Division 2 and Anno 1800 from Steam to Epic, but would still honor pre-orders that were placed through the Valve storefront.

    “There is a growing number of distribution platforms fighting for great content,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot regarding the move. “With this deal, we saw an opportunity to increase player's exposure to our own store, while at the same time supporting a partner that greatly values our games and provides materially better terms.”

    Epic’s 12-percent commission has proven far more attractive than Valve’s 30-percent cut for obvious reasons. However, smaller developers are also enjoying Epic’s help with “marketing commitments, development funding, and revenue guarantees.”

    Outer Wilds developer Mobius Digital said in an update, “[We welcome] helpful partnerships with Annapurna Interactive, Xbox, and Epic to support us and keep our small studio running long enough to ship the game at the level of quality that it is today.”

    The Epic/Valve feud shows no signs of stopping at this point. Last month, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted that he would stop buying exclusives when the cut from the Steam Store was lowered to 12 percent. Valve seems defiant to that challenge, but we’ll see how it goes as Epic continues gathering exclusivity deals.

    If Valve is forced to compete with Epic and reduces its commissions by more than 50 percent, it might actually have to go back to making games and finally give fans Half-Life 3.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,987   +3,476

    "Epic’s 12-percent commission has proven far more attractive than Valve’s 30-percent cut for obvious reasons"

    Just like to point out that this statement is misleading. Valve offers a tiered revenue share system where the more you sell the lower steam's cut. It goes all the way down to 20% if your game sells enough.

    Mind you those are only game sales directly through the steam store. Valve allows developers to generate steam keys for their games with zero cost to the developers and steam takes zero cut from them (as those keys aren't sold on steam).


    So when developers are complaining about a "30% share for valve" they are not only being disingenuous, they are outright hiding the fact that steam allows them to generate and sell their keys completely fee free on any other marketpalce. EPIC surely knows this as well. EPIC isn't acting for the benefit of gamers, they are using misleading statements to create a walled garden PC ecosystem.

    Just as an example, over 30% of all steam sales are from a 3rd party site. So for a worst case example a big AAA game that is at Valve's 20% split tier would in fact only have an effective split of 14% (20 x 0.70). That's 2% more then what EPIC is taking.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  3. Lounds

    Lounds TS Addict Posts: 193   +114

    A race to the bottom benefits no one, it's the same argument with corporation tax, "lower it and it will create jobs" "higher it to pay for public services". 30% seems a good cut for everything valve has invested and saved PC gaming. Epic would try and bankrupt valve and buy them out. Good thing for valve is they have no shareholders to keep happy as they're not a PLC.
    Morris Minor and onestepforward like this.
  4. GamerNerves

    GamerNerves TS Rookie Posts: 27   +13

    I'm actually open on supporting Epic Games Store, but unfortunately not any of the games I want to play are there. I have reached all the publishers I have either already bought a game from or plan to. These recent games are Two Point Hospital, Dirt Rally 2.0, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and Resident Evil 2 Remake. Not all publishers are simply interested in Epic Games Store, or should I say higher revenue (?). For now only upcoming games I'm looking forward on Epic Store to are Phoenix Point and Detroit: Become Human.

    This is such a shame since I wanted to collect a library into Epic Store of many games, since their upcoming features are sounds very decent and I'm all about higher profit for publishers/developers. It's hard to imagine why some of these companies do not work with Epic yet.
    Robinson Ochoa and Eldritch like this.
  5. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 785   +170

    Epic store, you have done something I never thought possible....convinced me to buy something on UPLAY cause ILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING ON THE EPIC STORE
  6. NahNood

    NahNood TS Addict Posts: 119   +63

    "..might actually have to go back to making games and finally give fans Half-Life 3."

    Valve should make it 11% for spite, and then make any 3 game of theirs to make up any loss. hahaha
  7. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,456   +1,033

    At this point I'm just not going to be spending any money on the Epic store ever. A little annoyed at the studio for making the devils deal, but I understand securing money to keep the lights on.

    And I don't care if it's timed. It's the principle; they're screwing over gamer's choice. Instead they should be giving an incentive to buy it on their store over another.
    darkzelda and mgwerner like this.
  8. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,552   +544

    Steam is the reason you cannot resale your games on ebay.... They started this terrible trend. Blizzard games are not on steam, I don't know why people are crying about epic so much.
    Robinson Ochoa and Skjorn like this.
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,987   +3,476

    Wait, what? There are hundreds of thousands of steam games for sale on eBay right now.
  10. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 340   +193

    I could care less. I'll buy on whatever platform is cheapest. People saying they'll go to UPlay instead but no matter where you buy a Ubi game you still have to install the launcher, pointless arguement.
  11. Eldritch

    Eldritch TS Addict Posts: 128   +125

    People are so afraid of change that even a new store with lower cut for developers scares them. Yes, we get it your games collection is on steam and you are used to it but seriously is a new game store is such a blasphemy that you denounce it without understanding the shifting dynamics of revenue sharing it represents?
    The minds go shut, the mobs pick up pitchfork and the herd mentality is on display.
  12. epicblunder

    epicblunder TS Rookie

    Let's see what happened in the long run when their users base increases and their server can't handle the traffic without the needed to upgrade their equipments which cut into their bottom line.
    kenc1101 and Peter Farkas like this.
  13. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 708   +284

    Why would any ***** buy a game on some other platform when you have to play it on another. It's just stupid. It also makes no sense. So many people will buy Ubisoft games on Epic not realizing they need Uplay to even launch/play the game. You cannot play Ubisofts games, EA games or Activision/Blizzards games from Epics launcher.

    I wasn't a fan of having to use Epic store at all but some games have launched and will be launching with them, so I just gave in. I am not waiting 6 months or a year for games to come to Steam, if they even do.

    So far I have 3 platforms, likely to have 4 if I go with a Battlenet account. I might, probably will lol.
    pcnthuziast likes this.
  14. pcnthuziast

    pcnthuziast TS Evangelist Posts: 582   +191

    Rather have multiple clients installed to play various games than have everything on the cloud which is inevitable eventually. Enjoy local media while you still can.
  15. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,428   +1,885

    how can you support cancer? mass third party exclusivity deals need to be killed off before they do any more harm to the PC market. as it stands, we will undoubtedly end up worse than with how the streaming market is turning out to be. we already have a ton of first party exclusives that require their own shop clients.
  16. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,987   +3,476

    Technically speaking you can get an offline copy of most games through less then legal channels. I don't think anyone is going to come knocking on your door for cracking a game to be offline only when you legally purchased it.
    mgwerner likes this.
  17. kenc1101

    kenc1101 TS Booster Posts: 37   +36

    This. It's easy to offer the discounts early on when you are still small. That will change and more resources will be needed as they grow. Infrastructure and staff will need to increase. I see these early grabs at exclusives as a way to secure their customer base before things really take off. And then it will be much harder to maintain that 12% when serious growth needs to happen.
  18. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,552   +544

    As in resell
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  19. SuslikMuslik

    SuslikMuslik TS Rookie

    I am not afraid of change. I am ashamed what business practices Epic is bringing to PC gaming market. Exclusives are dirty way to f* over customers. Imagine how epic is going to **** over their customers when their business practises are already like that.

    Yes I do have huge library in steam. But I also have sizeable library in Origin, GOG and other minor game stores.
    Morris Minor likes this.
  20. mgwerner

    mgwerner TS Booster Posts: 69   +45

    I just got a refund for Outer Wilds. I was an original supporter, at which time no mention was made of third-party software needed to run the game. I will not install a third-party permission system to allow me to utilize a product I have paid for. To do so turns a purchase into a lease, with an expiration of whenever said third-party feels (or must, do to lack of funds) it can shut down the permission server.

    Allowing companies like Steam, with its terrible security track record, onto my devices is simply too risky. I cannot see that a different company will fare much better, just too many ways to get through the firewalls.
  21. Skripop

    Skripop TS Rookie

    It's not about the launcher. Pay attention
  22. Aderondak

    Aderondak TS Rookie

    What people don't seem to understand is that Valve needs that higher revenue stream in order to pay for the services offered. Remember that Steam has over 100 million registered users and tens of thousands of games that they host, as well as free streaming for friends, a mod database that integrates directly with installed games, a chat service, high-speed downloads, development of 2 VR headsets (Index and working with HTC in the VIVE), a review option, paving the way for Linux support across the board as well as making emulation for non-native titles better supported, Greenlight for early access titles and so much more. People vilify Steam for their practices whilst continuing to take all that they do and have done for the industry for granted, or dismissing it outright. It's not that Valve "isn't eager to give up their cash cow", it's that they recognize how changing their business model would put them under extremely quickly. Up until the Index release, Valve's only source of income was Steam cuts. Epic, on the other hand, has two main sources of cash flow - Unreal Engine licensing fees and Tencent media. They don't need the cash, which is why they can offer such a low cut to devs - the EGS represents a tiny fraction of what they make in revenue in a year.

    I support that Steam isn't backing down. Honestly, they're keeping the position they need to, and hopefully the gaming community will come together and stand against exclusivity - the only thing that truly made us better than consoles for all these years.
    kenc1101 likes this.
  23. Skjorn

    Skjorn TS Maniac Posts: 340   +193

    To what? People getting mad over fair business strategy? Y'all gotta let that petty **** go, Gabe got too comfortable and now his horde of mindless followers is pouting because dev's are going to cheaper places.
  24. kenc1101

    kenc1101 TS Booster Posts: 37   +36

    Please read the post by Adonerdak. He lays it out the best I think in this thread. This is about way more than a cheaper business model.

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