The Epic Games Store is getting an overhauled storefront and better search tools

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

The Epic Games Store (EGS) has proven to be a controversial fixture in the PC gaming market. It's been criticized for the many timed exclusive deals its leadership team has snagged, as well as its lack of features when compared to other platforms (such as Steam or GOG 2.0).

While Epic has no intention of backing down on the exclusivity front, the Store has been improved where features are concerned -- albeit at a painfully slow rate, in the eyes of many vocal players. So far, the store has gotten a Search feature, an improved game Library view, and bundle purchasing options (no shopping cart yet, though).

Soon, the EGS will get even better, according to a news post published by Epic today. In the post, the company describes and shows off the EGS' upcoming storefront overhaul, which will include curated collections, better game sorting, and improved overall navigation. You'll soon be able to sort games by release status (Early Access, new, upcoming, etc.), genre, price, supported Operating System, and player count.

Another notable feature set to arrive on the EGS in the future will be an in-game overlay, similar to what GOG, Uplay, and Steam offer. Presumably, the overlay will be accessed via a combo key of some sort (such as Shift+Tab), and will allow you to chat with your friends or browse the web -- that's just speculation, though. Even Epic doesn't seem too sure about how it will work for the time being.

We don't know when the EGS' new storefront or overlay will roll out, but we'll keep you updated if an official release date is announced.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I like the new storefront and they have some good games but the management of that company has been SOOOOO flaky I've just never bought one from them. Of course, if STEAM doesn't up their game selection pretty soon I could be convinced to shop elsewhere or just happily continue to play the game I have!
 
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Eldritch

TS Addict
Epic has lower prices and they give amazing games as freebies eg I have got Arkham series for free. Prices of even new AAA games are lower. I mean Steam was good and all but......
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Epic has lower prices and they give amazing games as freebies eg I have got Arkham series for free. Prices of even new AAA games are lower. I mean Steam was good and all but......
No it doesn't. AAA games are $60 on EPIC, same as on steam. At least with Steam you can purchase keys from a number of 3rd party marketplaces at a lower price. I haven't paid $60 for a AAA game on launch in ages. The same cannot be said of the EPIC store.

And yes, like every other new launcher that pops up, they give away a few free games. Don't expect it to last, they are giving out these games to get people to download their DRM, nothing more. I've got a bunch of free games from origin but I uninstalled that trash a long time ago. EA is terrible, as is EPIC.
 

texasrattler

TS Evangelist
Keys from third party sites are questionable at best. While the keys may work, not all are legit or how they even got those keys. Some sites even have fees incase your key has issues, um what, why would a key have issues to begin with?
What DRM, nothing I've seen. Games may have DRM, haven't seen anything from Epics launcher.
Origin works fine, no issue with their launcher.
I dont use Steam that much anymore, either other platforms have the games or simply put Steam dont have them like the use to. Steam just isn't the universal platform it once was.
I did use Uplay a lot for Seige but like Steam just haven't used it in awhile.
Also have Battle.net, just getting use to that for CoD. So far not to bad but will likely only be used for CoD.
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Keys from third party sites are questionable at best. While the keys may work, not all are legit or how they even got those keys. Some sites even have fees incase your key has issues, um what, why would a key have issues to begin with?
What DRM, nothing I've seen. Games may have DRM, haven't seen anything from Epics launcher.
Origin works fine, no issue with their launcher.
I dont use Steam that much anymore, either other platforms have the games or simply put Steam dont have them like the use to. Steam just isn't the universal platform it once was.
I did use Uplay a lot for Seige but like Steam just haven't used it in awhile.
Also have Battle.net, just getting use to that for CoD. So far not to bad but will likely only be used for CoD.
Green Man gaming is questionable? You don't seem to know how steam keys are issued to 3rd party marketplaces so I'll fill you in. Steam allows developers to generate infinite steam keys for free, they don't take a penny from any of these key sales. Those developers then go and sell these keys to 3rd party marketplace.

Is it possible that a marketplace sells a fake or stolen steam key? Yes but that is the exception, not the rule. Marketplaces that sell keys that don't work obviously don't last long. In addition, the risk to you the user in either case is 0 if you use any payment method with protection, like PayPal. Have a problem with a key? Dispute the transaction. Mind you, I have bought thousands of games from 3rd party marketplaces over the years and have not yet gotten a single bad key. So yeah, it's more then a litte disingenuous to think that is something that people have to worry about on the regular. If you are buying additional protection from places like kinguin then you are being suckered. Free money from people who don't realize they are already protected. It's like paying $15 extra for that 1-year warranty from walmart. If you don't see the problem here....

"What DRM, nothing I've seen. Games may have DRM, haven't seen anything from Epics launcher."

Well for 1, the launcher itself is DRM. Both steam and EPIC operate in the same way in that you must be logged in to play your games. 2. EPIC store games have additional DRM on top of that. Borderlands 3 for example has denuvo. Of course, both stores allow developers to add their own DRM options.
 

BSim500

TS Evangelist
Well for 1, the launcher itself is DRM. Both steam and EPIC operate in the same way in that you must be logged in to play your games. 2. EPIC store games have additional DRM on top of that. Borderlands 3 for example has denuvo. Of course, both stores allow developers to add their own DRM options.
Many games on Epic both paid and freebies from Subnautica to the recent Batman Arkham collection, once you have the files downloaded if you then start the game's .exe directly (if it doesn't work natively then add the -EpicPortal command line switch) then many games will run with Epic Client completely uninstalled and offline (whilst the Steam versions refuse to start without the Steam client...) This has been confirmed on many forums including a recent thread on GOG (link).

Not all games are DRM-Free (like GOG) but many more AAA's are on Epic vs their Steam equivalents (and games with Denuvo are on the devs not the store). As far as I know there's also no equivalent of Steam's CEG that locks games .exe's to users individual motherboards, ie, people have succeeded in downloading a game & zipping it up on PC 1, then unzipped and tested it on PC 2 with different hardware that has never had the Epic Client installed and it still works. That's effectively almost as DRM-Free as GOG.

As for modern $60 AAA games, I don't pay full price either but that's mostly because they're so freaking buggy it typically takes 6 months to 3 years of post-release patching (and often GOTY / "Definitive" re-releases) before they're in a state that I would call "actually finished".
 
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Nobina

TS Evangelist
Epic has lower prices and they give amazing games as freebies eg I have got Arkham series for free. Prices of even new AAA games are lower. I mean Steam was good and all but......
They're giving games away to get people onto their platform. They have some exclusives but they're hated for it. They'll probably drop freebies as soon as they get enough people and start competing with Steam, if ever. Not that I'm complaining about free games, it's just how it usually works.

Keys from third party sites are questionable at best. While the keys may work, not all are legit or how they even got those keys
If it works I couldn't give less of a **** where it comes from.
 

Puiu

TS Evangelist
Well for 1, the launcher itself is DRM. Both steam and EPIC operate in the same way in that you must be logged in to play your games. 2. EPIC store games have additional DRM on top of that. Borderlands 3 for example has denuvo. Of course, both stores allow developers to add their own DRM options.
Many games on Epic both paid and freebies from Subnautica to the recent Batman Arkham collection, once you have the files downloaded if you then start the game's .exe directly (if it doesn't work natively then add the -EpicPortal command line switch) then many games will run with Epic Client completely uninstalled and offline (whilst the Steam versions refuse to start without the Steam client...) This has been confirmed on many forums including a recent thread on GOG (link).

Not all games are DRM-Free (like GOG) but many more AAA's are on Epic vs their Steam equivalents (and games with Denuvo are on the devs not the store). As far as I know there's also no equivalent of Steam's CEG that locks games .exe's to users individual motherboards, ie, people have succeeded in downloading a game & zipping it up on PC 1, then unzipped and tested it on PC 2 with different hardware that has never had the Epic Client installed and it still works. That's effectively almost as DRM-Free as GOG.

As for modern $60 AAA games, I don't pay full price either but that's mostly because they're so freaking buggy it typically takes 6 months to 3 years of post-release patching (and often GOTY / "Definitive" re-releases) before they're in a state that I would call "actually finished".
It's simple dude. Are you willing to accept anti-consumer practices with just a few "free" games as bait?

I just won't accept third party exclusivity in the PC market. If this becomes the norm it will 100% cost me a ton of money (and every PC gamer too). I don't call this practice cancer for nothing. I just hope it doesn't spread and affect other stores.
 

BSim500

TS Evangelist
It's simple dude. Are you willing to accept anti-consumer practices with just a few "free" games as bait?
My point is "anti-Epic hate" works best when it's "kept real". There are valid reasons to dislike Epic (exclusives, primitive store features, etc) but allowing many more AAA games to be played without the client is not one of them. I totally get why people hate Epic over snatching exclusives that were already pre-listed on Steam, but the constant "over-extending" of complaints about absolutely everything remotely related to Epic on issues where Steam is guilty of the same or worse (store-level DRM that forces the need for a client since 2004, etc) often ends up little more like 'who came first' special pleading / branding addiction than any serious unbiased "pro consumer moral stance". Eg, hating Epic client "because of store-level DRM" whilst having no problem playing the newest Ubisoft game protected by 4x layers (UPlay + Steam + Denuvo + VMProtect) of DRM or always buying the DRM'd Steam version of a game vs the DRM-Free GOG one, ends up sounding not too convincing from a "principled pro-consumer" stance... ;-)
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Many games on Epic both paid and freebies from Subnautica to the recent Batman Arkham collection, once you have the files downloaded if you then start the game's .exe directly (if it doesn't work natively then add the -EpicPortal command line switch) then many games will run with Epic Client completely uninstalled and offline (whilst the Steam versions refuse to start without the Steam client...) This has been confirmed on many forums including a recent thread on GOG (link).
You mean just like steam as I stated earlier? DRM is optional and there are games on steam as well that run without the client. It's a per game choice by the devs.

https://steam.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_DRM-free_games

There are far more steam games that are DRM free then EPIC games. I don't know why you are acting like EPIC is doing something special here. They literally copied steam to the T.

Not all games are DRM-Free (like GOG) but many more AAA's are on Epic vs their Steam equivalents (and games with Denuvo are on the devs not the store). As far as I know there's also no equivalent of Steam's CEG that locks games .exe's to users individual motherboards, ie, people have succeeded in downloading a game & zipping it up on PC 1, then unzipped and tested it on PC 2 with different hardware that has never had the Epic Client installed and it still works. That's effectively almost as DRM-Free as GOG.
Based on what evidence do you make a statement like this? Given that both stores have optional DRM, I highly doubt there is any difference between the two of them. I don't care who the DRM is "on", a game with DRM is a game with DRM. You can't just not count games with denuvo because the devs implemented it. The devs always choose whether or not to use DRM whether it is steam or EPIC. Ultimately both stores use identical optional DRM policies so ultimately the rates at which games have DRM will be identical.

Also, on CEG:

". The CEG technology creates a unique, encrypted copy of the game's executable files for the given user, which allows them to install it multiple times and on multiple devices, and make backup copies of their software"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_(service)

No idea where you got the idea that CEG locks to specific hardware but the wiki proves that statement false. I googled "steam CEG motherboard" and there were 0 relevant results. In fact there isn't really much discussing this at all recently, most articles are from years back. I also looked at article on the DRM and found not a single mention of any locking issues you describe.
 

BSim500

TS Evangelist
I don't know why you are acting like EPIC is doing something special here.
I'm not, I simply found it amusing people are raging in forums against even the free games mentioned (Subnautica, Batman Arkham, Metro Redux, etc) because "Epic force you to use a client" and "they are giving out these games to get people to download their DRM" (for games that don't need a client or have DRM) when preferring the Steam version of the same games (that forces the use of a client via DRM), then label the latter "being pro consumer" purely because it involves fist-shaking at Tim Sweeney... :laughing:

No idea where you got the idea that CEG locks to specific hardware
From Valve's Steamworks SDK page:-

"The Steamworks CEG system generates a custom binary for each customer. When you link your application with the Steamworks CEG, we provide you with several tools that you use to generate metadata about your executable file. This metadata is stored on the Steam 3 DRMS Server. When a user installs your game, the DRMS server collects information from the customer's computer that uniquely identifies it.The collected information is used in combination with the metadata regarding your executable file to generate a custom binary, that checks that it is running on the user's computer. If the user changes the configuration of their computer such that the CEG checks would fail to identify the computer, the CEG system will automatically generate a new executable file for the user, and update their game installation. These checks occur whenever your game is run, regardless of whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. In addition to examining the user's computer, the CEG system will detect tampering with the executable file, and will conceal its workings from reverse engineering"

So yes, Steam does technically lock CEG protected games to a motherboard (where the unique ID comes from as it does for Windows OEM licenses) per install. When you change motherboard, the game will fail if the client can't re-download a newly generated custom .exe per install (hence "CEG"). This is done transparently so you don't notice whilst the client is running. It was simply an amusing observation for "pro consumer" reasons mentioned above of 'avoiding Epic's DRM'... ;)
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
From Valve's Steamworks SDK page:-

"The Steamworks CEG system generates a custom binary for each customer. When you link your application with the Steamworks CEG, we provide you with several tools that you use to generate metadata about your executable file. This metadata is stored on the Steam 3 DRMS Server. When a user installs your game, the DRMS server collects information from the customer's computer that uniquely identifies it.The collected information is used in combination with the metadata regarding your executable file to generate a custom binary, that checks that it is running on the user's computer. If the user changes the configuration of their computer such that the CEG checks would fail to identify the computer, the CEG system will automatically generate a new executable file for the user, and update their game installation. These checks occur whenever your game is run, regardless of whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. In addition to examining the user's computer, the CEG system will detect tampering with the executable file, and will conceal its workings from reverse engineering"

So yes, Steam does technically lock CEG protected games to a motherboard (where the unique ID comes from as it does for Windows OEM licenses) per install. When you change motherboard, the game will fail if the client can't re-download a newly generated custom .exe per install (hence "CEG"). This is done transparently so you don't notice whilst the client is running. It was simply an amusing observation for "pro consumer" reasons mentioned above of 'avoiding Epic's DRM'... ;)

How is collecting user data equal to a hardware lock? It's not, did you even read your own quote? It clearly states that in the case of new hardware it automatically generates a new hardware thumbprint. At no point does the system lock you out for changing hardware and thus not a hardware lock. Grasping at straws to defend that which is rejected by the content you quoted and the wiki.

No one said Valve was pro-consumer, you just like to jump to hyperbolic conclusions when someone disagrees with you because you are going into defense mode. You made some extremely erroneous statements about steam, I have a right to point out BS.
 
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Eldritch

TS Addict
I don't know about others but I buy games to support developers. Bigger cut for them at Epic means
a) Price of game will be lower Or
b) The margin of devs will be higher
Also, I purchased Cyberpunk from GoG even when they were on steam and epic so devs can get a higher share of my payment. Anyway, have your own reasons to favor any store you prefer. But for me free goodies (devs are being paid by Epic for giving games for free) and bigger margin for devs is really what sells Epic for me. This is solely why I buy games instead of pirating them. To support the hard work of people who actually create games, not the server farms of steam who sell them. Your mileage may vary.
 

m4a4

TS Evangelist
I don't know about others but I buy games to support developers. Bigger cut for them at Epic means
a) Price of game will be lower Or
b) The margin of devs will be higher
Also, I purchased Cyberpunk from GoG even when they were on steam and epic so devs can get a higher share of my payment. Anyway, have your own reasons to favor any store you prefer. But for me free goodies (devs are being paid by Epic for giving games for free) and bigger margin for devs is really what sells Epic for me. This is solely why I buy games instead of pirating them. To support the hard work of people who actually create games, not the server farms of steam who sell them. Your mileage may vary.
Well, I hope you aren't short-sighted enough then to be buying games first on Epic where they have publishers. Because them devs certainly aren't directly getting that cut regardless lol
 

Eldritch

TS Addict
Well, I hope you aren't short-sighted enough then to be buying games first on Epic where they have publishers. Because them devs certainly aren't directly getting that cut regardless lol
I genuinely don't understand what you are trying to say. Kindly elaborate with source/proof.
 

Evernessince

TS Evangelist
I genuinely don't understand what you are trying to say. Kindly elaborate with source/proof.
He's saying the publishers are taking a cut. The marketplace isn't only one person with their hand in the pot. People don't go to the EPIC store to find games they like nor does the store have features to accommodate that either. People go to the EPIC store to buy games they already knew they wanted. It isn't like steam, which provides significant discovery features and tools to help devs. You certainly can't self publish on the EPIC store because they simply don't provide any advertising for your game, meanwhile on steam you very well can and in fact plenty of games do every day. Of course there will be a few indie games lucky enough to land a contract with EPIC but that's more the exception, not the norm. The platform simply does not provide enough for smaller games. People want to help game devs yet they don't seem to understand the consequences of their actions. Just like a low flat rate tax would affect people, the big games disproportionately benefit from a skinny store while the smaller ones suffer. I could honestly care less for a vast majority of AAA titles, 90% of the time innovation comes from medium to small size devs. The EPIC store isn't a place that enables games like that.
 
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m4a4

TS Evangelist
I genuinely don't understand what you are trying to say. Kindly elaborate with source/proof.
You talk about your priority of giving your money to the devs. But if they aren't the ones publishing the games, then you're just giving that money to some big publisher. In which case, it doesn't matter if their game is on Epic or another marketplace...
 

Shadowboxer

TS Addict
I know it’s a controversial viewpoint but these days I actually prefer Epic to Steam. There are more free games on epic, better exclusives. I don’t really use any of steams features so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Steam feels almost exactly like it did 7 years ago. It’s good, it’s reliable il still use it. But I wish they were doing more in terms of free games and exclusives. It just feels like Epic are trying harder to get customers right now.

What baffles me most however, is how some people are getting really hung up about it. I can’t imagine why anyone would actually miss out on a game they really want to play because they don’t like the application that launches it! Yet I read people saying they are doing just that in the comments sections. I guess you get fanatics everywhere!
 
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Capaill

TS Evangelist
I know it’s a controversial viewpoint but these days I actually prefer Epic to Steam. There are more free games on epic, better exclusives. I don’t really use any of steams features so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

Steam feels almost exactly like it did 7 years ago. It’s good, it’s reliable il still use it. But I wish they were doing more in terms of free games and exclusives. It just feels like Epic are trying harder to get customers right now.

What baffles me most however, is how some people are getting really hung up about it. I can’t imagine why anyone would actually miss out on a game they really want to play because they don’t like the application that launches it! Yet I read people saying they are doing just that in the comments sections. I guess you get fanatics everywhere!
Epic are doing more because they are new to the market. They wouldn't last very long if they started off by offering nothing unique. They have to come in swinging and they can do that because the have loads of money from selling Fortnite Battle Royale.
Steam still have sales. They were offering up to 90% off some publishers over the weekend. They might not be games you want but frequent sales are normal on Steam and how they get most of our money (the joke being that we buy games in the Steam sales but never play them).
The reason we get hung up about it is that Epic are throwing their weight around, taking games off other platforms and forcing exclusives onto us at full price, while offering us a poor user experience in their game store. Epic claim they are improving things for the gamers but they are not. They are not even improving things for developers much. Only Epic and the publishers are benefitting from the current EGS. Or do you honestly believe that the sequel to a $60 game on Epic will cost only $50? Heck, never mind that, if the developers are now pocketing 18% extra on game sales, why are the games still being sold at full price? Because they are not pocketing that much. The publishers are probably taking most of that and have no intention of reducing their profits now or in the future.
 

Shadowboxer

TS Addict
Epic are doing more because they are new to the market. They wouldn't last very long if they started off by offering nothing unique. They have to come in swinging and they can do that because the have loads of money from selling Fortnite Battle Royale.
Steam still have sales. They were offering up to 90% off some publishers over the weekend. They might not be games you want but frequent sales are normal on Steam and how they get most of our money (the joke being that we buy games in the Steam sales but never play them).
The reason we get hung up about it is that Epic are throwing their weight around, taking games off other platforms and forcing exclusives onto us at full price, while offering us a poor user experience in their game store. Epic claim they are improving things for the gamers but they are not. They are not even improving things for developers much. Only Epic and the publishers are benefitting from the current EGS. Or do you honestly believe that the sequel to a $60 game on Epic will cost only $50? Heck, never mind that, if the developers are now pocketing 18% extra on game sales, why are the games still being sold at full price? Because they are not pocketing that much. The publishers are probably taking most of that and have no intention of reducing their profits now or in the future.
But they aren’t exclusive to you. You are aware that you can have multiple game launchers installed at the same time right? I have a load of launchers installed. It’s just a window that has the button “play” on it as far as I’m concerned. They are just launcher exclusives. At least it’s not as bad as uplay where some games bought on steam require you to have uplay open too. Although I was able to manage with that!

I don’t really care about sales and things like that. Although I would rather a publisher take money than the programme that I click “play” on. You assure me that devs don’t get anything but you can’t know that. The prices for us are the same so I don’t care. In the US I believe some games were cheaper for going on Epic. Which is more than welcome.

As I said, the free games and launcher exclusives are better on Epic than anywhere else right now, this is what I care about more than a publishers profits or whatever.
 
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Eldritch

TS Addict
You are aware that you can have multiple game launchers installed at the same time right? I have a load of launchers installed. It’s just a window that has the button “play” on it as far as I’m concerned.
Stop it with all the logic and reason. People here just want to grab pitchforks and be angry.
 
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