Tim Sweeney addresses misconceptions regarding the Epic Games Store

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Epic Games was on the receiving end of some sharp criticism on the PC Gaming subreddit yesterday. The original rant in the thread suggested that the Epic Store was “literally spyware” that reports back to parent company Tencent. It also accused the game maker of having a "terms-of-service" agreement that allows it to “steal” user-generated content (UGC), among other minor complaints.

The post was brought on by a misunderstanding that Epic’s storefront shares data with its parent company. The post garnered over 27,000 upvotes, which prompted Epic CEO Tim Sweeney to respond personally.

Regarding the spyware accusations, Sweeney denied it gave any company access to user information.

“Epic does not share user data with Tencent or any other company,” he said. “We don’t share it, sell it, or broker access to it for advertising like so many other companies do. I’m the founder and controlling shareholder of Epic and would never allow this to happen.”

The accusation arose from a misinterpreted portion of the End User License Agreement (EULA) that says that it has the right to monitor game usage and send that data to its parent company. The OP assumed this meant Tencent. However, the parent referred to is actually the parent of the Epic Store — Epic Games, Inc.

I’m the founder and controlling shareholder of Epic and would never allow this to happen.

“The language related to sharing data with the parent companies refers to Epic Games Inc. It’s a US-based company. This language exists because when you buy an Epic game in certain territories (like Europe), the seller of record is our local (e.g. European) subsidiary company for tax purposes, but the data is ultimately stored by Epic Games Inc, [not Tencent].”

While sites like Wikipedia list Tencent as Epic’s parent company, the Chinese games firm only holds a 40-percent share. Sweeney points out that he is still the controlling shareholder.

“Tencent is not a parent company of Epic," he explained. "Tencent is an independent company that’s a minority investor in Epic, alongside many others. However, they do not have any sort of access to our customer data.”

We reported back in July how Epic changed its cut from the store from the industry standard of 30 percent to 12 percent and made that change retroactive. Regarding the “stealing” of UGC, Sweeney was quick to point out that policy. Regardless of who legally “owns” the content, developers are still paid for their contributions and at a higher rate than every other store.

"Steam takes 30%, and Epic takes 12%," he explained. "That’s an 18% difference, and most devs make WAY less than an 18% profit margin - so this can be the difference between being able to fund a new game and going bankrupt!”

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
"I’m the founder and controlling shareholder of Epic and would never allow this to happen."
Of course that statement is made without regard to future offers of large sums of cash to help him see his way past such a thoughtless statement .......
 
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Riddlestorm

TS Rookie
"It causes me to wonder if Epic has multiplayer plans in the works for BG&E2"

Did you do any research before writing this?

BG&E2 is co-op orientated with the ability to jump in and out of your friends games, what part of this do you think would be possible without being online?
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
Am I the only one that sees it odd. Now that Steam changed their privacy policy which allowed anyone to snoop around with consumer data. Everyone is now creating their own game client.
 

m4a4

TS Evangelist
Wait, what? Uninformed people made their voices loud? No way, that never happens /sarcasm

Dealing with pretty standard stuff, as outlined by Tim Sweeney (which he shouldn't have needed to do).

As for BG&E2, sure there's online co-op, but why the online only? My guess is that it makes it harder to pirate (which, I don't plan on buying it either way). That'll certainly annoy a good chunk of gamers, but I don't see it hurting them much...
 
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Evernessince

TS Evangelist
Wait, what? Uninformed people made their voices loud? No way, that never happens /sarcasm

Dealing with pretty standard stuff, as outlined by Tim Sweeney (which he shouldn't have needed to do).

As for BG&E2, sure there's online co-op, but why the online only? My guess is that it makes it harder to pirate (which, I don't plan on buying it either way). That'll certainly annoy a good chunk of gamers, but I don't see it hurting them much...
Always online means the game is dead the instant the servers are shut off. Given that PC gamers (like myself) love to play games decades after they released, you can understand why people would be hesitant to "rent" the game. That's just one perspective as well, there are other reasons to dislike always online games, especially when they have no business being so.
 

m4a4

TS Evangelist
Always online means the game is dead the instant the servers are shut off. Given that PC gamers (like myself) love to play games decades after they released, you can understand why people would be hesitant to "rent" the game. That's just one perspective as well, there are other reasons to dislike always online games, especially when they have no business being so.
Oh, I know. I'm saying that it probably won't hurt the sales too much. Gamers can be too "forgiving", and the ones that are serious about this stuff are in the minority...

Don't get me wrong, I hope that us gamers give devs a clear message about online-only singleplayer, but it has yet to happen (and that ship looks to have sailed years ago).
 
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Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
"It causes me to wonder if Epic has multiplayer plans in the works for BG&E2"

Did you do any research before writing this?

BG&E2 is co-op orientated with the ability to jump in and out of your friends games, what part of this do you think would be possible without being online?
No. I knew there would be online co-op. My mind was straying to the trend of everything having a BR mode and just totally worded it wrong.

Thanks for pointing that out. I cleared up the message.
 

Anon123321

TS Rookie
Beyond Good and Evil 2 has nothing to do with Epic Games, as far as I know. It's being developed and published by Ubisoft. The reddit post just contains two separate topics that basically have nothing to do with each other...
 
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