Friday, April 26th 2019

Epic's Tim Sweeney Says They'd Stop Hunting for Exclusives if Steam Matched Epic Games Store in Comission Rates

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has come out with an interesting commitment: that EPIC would stop hunting for exclusives in the PC platform is Steam were to match them in their 88% return to developers for each game sold. Being a developer themselves, Epic games have certainly looked into creating their own storefront as a way to escape the clutches of Steam's cut in the digital, PC distribution market (a move that had already been done by the likes of EA and Ubisoft, if you'll remember). A commitment to stop hunting for exclusives (and thus segregating the PC games offering across different platforms) is a clear indicator of Epic's mission with the Epic Games Store: to bring back power and returns to developers such as them (while taking a cut from the profits for themselves, obviously).

Check out after the break for the full content of Sweeney's remarks regarding their Games Store and the problem with Steam. I, for one, don't see much of a problem with virtual segregation of games across multiple PC-bound platforms - one of the strengths of PC gaming is actually the ability to install multiple applications that increase functionality, after all. But if the end game of all of this is simply to give more back to developers and Epic's move facilitates that by forcing Valve's hand in matching them for fear of drying profits - then so be it.
If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.30% store dominance is the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood. We're determined to fix it and this is the one approach that will effect major change.

Such a move would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming, and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come.
Then stores could go back to just being nice places to buy stuff, rather than the Game Developer IRS.

The key "no major strings attached" points are: games can use any online systems like friends and accounts they choose, games are free to interoperate across platforms and stores, the store doesn't tax revenue on other stores or platforms (e.g. if you play Fortnite on iOS+PC)…

More "no major strings attached": if you play the game on multiple platforms, stuff you've bought can be available everywhere; no onerous certification requirements. Essentially, the spirit of an open platform where the store is just a place to find games and pay for stuff.

Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2019
Source: DSO Gaming
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224 Comments on Epic's Tim Sweeney Says They'd Stop Hunting for Exclusives if Steam Matched Epic Games Store in Comission Rates

#76
sergionography
Pumper, post: 4037674, member: 133986"
As a European I don't see any lower prices on Epic, I see the opposite in fact, as Epic does not allow third party game stores to sell Epic keys, in other words, Epic hates competition.

As for the 70/30 Steam cut, the argument is pure bullshit as you can clearly see when looking at the Steam reviews for games, that 30-40% of keys are purchased from other sites and then activated on Steam and Valve gets 0% cut from those. So in reality Steam is taking on average less than 20% from lifetime sales of a game (ant that is not including the new split of 80/20 for games with over 10mil in revenue).
But why would third party stores sell epic keys when they can just sell their own keys? Perhaps I'm missing something because seems totally fine to me. But if it wasn't fine then that's when steam can come in and one up epic if they so wanted to. Either way; 30% share is ridiculous, what in the world would make steam(or any store for that matter) entitled to 30% of someone else's hard effort. That's almost worse than income taxes. competition is needed.

NRANM, post: 4037658, member: 170117"
In my opinion, nothing. But the ethics and morality police is always on patrol. :)
yeah seems like that's the case lol
Posted on Reply
#77
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
oxidized, post: 4037800, member: 170038"
Tested by whom and which way, and where are these tests?
Try doing a search here and you’ll see that it was done. Just search anything Epic or EGS related. It went on for about a week so really you’d know if you didn’t just show up occasionally to bash people for supposedly not knowing anything.

If you were as knowledgeable as your arrogance portrays you to be, you would actually know that tencent does NOT own most of Epic. They are a less than majority holder that is a SILENT partner. They make no business decisions. The way you speak about it, as if there is something wrong is truly indicative of someone with no business training or corporate experience. That is fine, not everyone can, but please stop finding conspiracy where it doesn’t exist.

You also seem unaware of just how international and multinational a great deal of the world’s companies are. It is only a matter of time before most of the world has ownership in every facet of their life by expanding companies from the world’s largest population.
Posted on Reply
#78
Splinterdog
Like many others, I buy games where I can, for the lowest possible price. That in itself is the most important decision making factor me and subsequently, I'm not in the slightest bit interested in whether it's exclusive to Tom, Dick or indeed, Harry. I've got far more important things to worry about in my life.
Furthermore, there are many games that are and have always been exclusive to either Origin or Uplay, and to a lesser extent (if I'm not mistaken), Steam.
Sure, I prefer Steam as a platform, but that won't stop me from playing a game on any other launcher/platform. That's just cutting off your nose to spite your face, as my mum used to say.
This article from Kotaku is precise and very well written, helping to explain this mountain-out-of-a-mole-hill and it's worth bearing in mind that we don't live in a fair world, so the so-called haters need to get used to that fact.
Whomsoever said capitalism was fair?
https://kotaku.com/why-people-are-so-mad-about-the-epic-games-store-1833848770
Posted on Reply
#79
64K
sergionography, post: 4037868, member: 102909"
Either way; 30% share is ridiculous, what in the world would make steam(or any store for that matter) entitled to 30% of someone else's hard effort. That's almost worse than income taxes. competition is needed.
yeah seems like that's the case lol
Steam is a kind of retailer but with perks.

Games have never been free for Publishers to distribute. Back in the day we bought boxed games and oftentimes there were extras inside beyond the game like manuals and sometimes posters and artworks. All of this cost money and the brick and mortar stores took their cut for selling the product.

Today there are online stores but they aren't free to operate either. It costs money.
Posted on Reply
#80
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Retail was about 50% so Steam's opening offer of 30% was attractive. Now you have Discord and GOG that are in the low double-digits.

The reason why 50% was okay then but not now is because the cost of producing quality games has soared.
Posted on Reply
#81
Patriot
NRANM, post: 4037337, member: 170117"
Perhaps I expressed myself incorrectly.

What I meant was that the core functionality is there:
- purchase game
- download/install game
- play game.
Purchase a game, came doesn't show up in library.
Click support, There is no support.
Click forums, There are no forums.
Go for refund, There is no refund.

You expressed yourself just fine, you are just wrong.
It's a half assed solution. With no search, no support, no forums.

Steam has been busy making hardware past couple of years and funding linux support.
On top of the 1000 native steam games that support linux.... by supporting proton, over half of the rest of the windows only games run flawlessly, and often better through proton than the native linux clients. It also supports games not purchased through steam like the Witcher and Battlefield V...

Steam doesn't lock you in, does a lot of handholding, makes distributing your game pie as having servers around the world ready for whatever download load you will have is not always easy... Steam gives you use of a keygen, you can sell those keys anywhere and only on steam does steam get a cut. And steam will advertise your title internally to the 30M users. 30% is a lot, and perhaps it should go down, or atleast go down sooner with volume, it does reduce past a certain sales point. I remember when steam epicly sucked... but it doesn't now, and it has the largest feature set that matters... because it covers everyone's needs not just yours.

Epic on the other hand has the unreal engine, that supports linux, but their games and library do not... They espouse freedom and choice and run exclusives and lock things down to windows. He is full of shit, and will keep doing exclusives as no publisher would choose them for any other reason. When the fortnite fad dies, so will the store.
Posted on Reply
#82
64K
Patriot, post: 4037913, member: 77367"
Purchase a game, came doesn't show up in library.
Click support, There is no support.
Click forums, There are no forums.
Go for refund, There is no refund.

You expressed yourself just fine, you are just wrong.
It's a half assed solution. With no search, no support, no forums.

Steam has been busy making hardware past couple of years and funding linux support.
On top of the 1000 native steam games that support linux.... by supporting proton, over half of the rest of the windows only games run flawlessly, and often better through proton than the native linux clients. It also supports games not purchased through steam like the Witcher and Battlefield V...

Epic on the other hand has the unreal engine, that supports linux, but their games and library does not... They espouse freedom and choice and run exclusives and lock things down to windows. He is full of shit, and will keep doing exclusives as no publisher would choose them for any other reason. When the fortnite fad dies, so will the store.
Most likely the Epic Store will go down in history as just another Origin type store. Maybe not but who knows.

That's my read on it so far. Sweeney's communications lately have seemed disconnected from reality.
Posted on Reply
#83
Splinterdog
Tim Sweeney doesn't strike me as the ideal PR man. He may be rich, but he's still a backroom boy and always will be.
Posted on Reply
#84
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Patriot, post: 4037913, member: 77367"
Purchase a game, came doesn't show up in library.
Click support, There is no support.
Click forums, There are no forums.
Go for refund, There is no refund.
Has that happened to you? I’m genuinely curious, because it didn’t happen to me, or to anyone I know, and virtually all that I know who pc game have at least purchased Metro: Exodus on there.

64K, post: 4037917, member: 148270"
Most likely the Epic Store will go down in history as just another Origin type store. Maybe not but who knows.
And that isn’t a bad place to be. Origin has a respectable and sustainable portion of the marketplace. That can only happen if the vast majority are like me: buy a game from wherever it is I want to play it, without regards to showing loyalty to a store/launcher that has no loyalty to me.
Posted on Reply
#85
64K
Splinterdog, post: 4037919, member: 162906"
Tim Sweeney doesn't strike me as the ideal PR man. He may be rich, but he's still a backroom boy and always will be.
Indeed, and I have made that observation from the beginning. Sweeney should just shut the f'ck up and hire a proffesional PR team to promote their store. He makes an ass out of himself at times.
Posted on Reply
#86
NRANM
Patriot, post: 4037913, member: 77367"
You expressed yourself just fine, you are just wrong.
I'm wrong about what exactly? That the core functionality of a client is to allow users to purchase, download, and play games? That the Epic client does not allow you to do one or more of those three?

Yes, Epic's features are currently lacking compared to Steams's. I agree completely. However, Steam didn't have all these features from the get-go. They were added throughout its lifetime. Refunds for example were added in 2016 if I'm not mistaken, which is rather late, but I don't remember a lot of people being outraged about that.
Also, support is a tricky subject. Steam is notorious for having bad support. My personal experience on numerous occasions has been mostly negative. Now, that is no excuse for Epic to not have support, or to have just as bad of a support, but it's important to keep things in perspective.

It would seem that you have given Steam the benefit of the doubt: you remember when it had "sucked" but you say it doesn't anymore, which is of course true. Why not extend that benefit of the doubt to Epic's store, and see how they do in time with their roadmap?

Again, so many people just can't wait to jump on the hate bandwagon the first chance they get. Is it that hard to keep a cool head, and react like adults?
Posted on Reply
#87
rvalencia
rtwjunkie, post: 4037746, member: 56774"
This was already addressed last week. Ten cent is what is known as a silent partner. They have zero operational say and only sit back and get their 40% of the profits.
Red herring.
1. Epic has cash injection from Chinese partly state owned company.
Tencent acquired approximately 48.4% of Epic then issued share capital, equating to 40% of total Epic — inclusive of both stock and employee stock options, for $330 million in June 2012.

2. Influenced Chinese "belt and road" money with Ubisoft

On 20 March 2018, Ubisoft and Vivendi struck a deal ending any potential takeover, with Vivendi agreeing to sell all of its shares, over 30 million, to other parties and agreeing to not buy any Ubisoft shares for five years. Some of those shares were sold to Tencent, which after the transaction held about 5.6 million shares of Ubisoft (approximately 5% of all shares).[50] the same day, Ubisoft announced a partnership with Tencent to help bring their games into the Chinese market.[51] Vivendi completely divested its shares in Ubisoft by March 2019.[52][53]

https://www.vg247.com/2019/03/20/epic-games-store-control-dauntless-ubisoft-more/
Ubisoft linkage with Epic Store via Tencent "belt and road" money.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantic_Dream
Quantic Dream linkage with Epic Store via Chinese Netease "belt and road" money.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/world/asia/china-media-sina-sohu-netease-phoenix.html



https://supchina.com/2018/03/23/why-chinese-companies-crush-western-tech-giants-in-china/
For example, Bloomberg published an article earlier this month titled “China protectionism creates tech billionaires who protect Xi,” with the author stating, “That’s helped create thriving domestic giants, including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.” Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting, was quoted as saying, “As long as they remain protected in the China market, they’ll dominate and use that money to fund their global expansion.”

Epic's silent partner claim is BS. Epic's Chinese "belt and road" linkage is hardly normal private capitalist operation.

Try again.
Posted on Reply
#88
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
NRANM, post: 4037817, member: 170117"
Can you provide specific examples of how Epic screws consumers? And I don't mean some nebulous and vague notion of morality and virtue, I mean actual and practical examples of how consumers are significantly harmed by all this.
Paying large sums of money for devs to use their platform exclusively, they are harming competitiveness to the consumer. If a game is released on multiple platforms, those platforms compete for price. When Steam has a sale on a game to get you to buy it from them instead of another platform. You won't see that when the game is exclusive on Epic or any other platform. I can almost guarantee that the timed exclusive games released on Epic will be full price the entire time they are exclusive to Epic. While we see games on multiple platforms having sales on them discounting from full retail a month or two after they are released.

Yes, for the devs, this is good for them, they get to keep charging full price for as long as they want. But it hurts consumers of the games.

It also hurts consumers of the games because they are forced to use a platform that doesn't have some useful features, that isn't as developed. It's fine if you don't use those features, but those of use that do, it annoys us.

rvalencia, post: 4037928, member: 99935"
Epic's silent partner claim is BS.
Yeah, no shit! No company that owns 40% of another company is a "silent partner".

They actually have the right to appoint people to Epic's board of directors. That isn't exactly "silent".
Posted on Reply
#89
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
rvalencia, post: 4037928, member: 99935"
Red herring.
1. Epic has cash injection from Chinese partly state owned company.
Tencent acquired approximately 48.4% of Epic then issued share capital, equating to 40% of total Epic — inclusive of both stock and employee stock options, for $330 million in June 2012.

2. Influenced Chinese "belt and road" money with Ubisoft

On 20 March 2018, Ubisoft and Vivendi struck a deal ending any potential takeover, with Vivendi agreeing to sell all of its shares, over 30 million, to other parties and agreeing to not buy any Ubisoft shares for five years. Some of those shares were sold to Tencent, which after the transaction held about 5.6 million shares of Ubisoft (approximately 5% of all shares).[50] the same day, Ubisoft announced a partnership with Tencent to help bring their games into the Chinese market.[51] Vivendi completely divested its shares in Ubisoft by March 2019.[52][53]

https://www.vg247.com/2019/03/20/epic-games-store-control-dauntless-ubisoft-more/
Ubisoft linkage with Epic Store via Tencent "belt and road" money.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantic_Dream
Quantic Dream linkage with Epic Store via Chinese Netease "belt and road" money.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/26/world/asia/china-media-sina-sohu-netease-phoenix.html


Epic's silent partner claim is BS. Epic's Chinese "belt and road" linkage is hardly a normal capitalist operation.

Try again.
None of that makes tencent not a silent partner. They are not making business decisions. This is nothing nefarious. Start looking around the world’s corporations and buildings. You’d apparently be aghast at the amount of world ownership Chinese companies have or have a percentage stake in. They have capital, and if growth is to happen, partial ownership by Chinese businesses is a place to obtain it.

If your objection to Epic is the portion owned by a Chinese company, then I specualte that your life must be one of massive worry and isolationism, in order to shield yourself from that in your daily interactions.
Posted on Reply
#90
Splinterdog
I bet Tim Sweeney is wishing he didn't have Tencent in the picture, considering how much money he's now making from Fortnite.
Mind you, that was back in 2012 when Tencent acquired a 48.4% outstanding stake, equating to 40% of total Epic, in the company, after Epic Games realized that the video games industry was heavily developing towards the games as a service model.
Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games
Posted on Reply
#91
rvalencia
rtwjunkie, post: 4037934, member: 56774"
None of that makes tencent not a silent partner. They are not making business decisions. This is nothing nefarious. Start looking around the world’s corporations and buildings. You’d apparently be aghast at the amount of world ownership Chinese companies have or have a percentage stake in. They have capital, and if growth is to happen, partial ownership by Chinese businesses is a place to obtain it.

If your objection to Epic is the portion owned by a Chinese company, then I specualte that your life must be one of massive worry and isolationism, in order to shield yourself from that in your daily interactions.
https://supchina.com/2018/03/23/why-chinese-companies-crush-western-tech-giants-in-china/
For example, Bloomberg published an article earlier this month titled “China protectionism creates tech billionaires who protect Xi,” with the author stating, “That’s helped create thriving domestic giants, including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.” Mark Natkin, managing director of Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting, was quoted as saying, “As long as they remain protected in the China market, they’ll dominate and use that money to fund their global expansion.”

You're a native fool.

My mother's side is partly Chinese and I have no problems with Taiwanese.
Posted on Reply
#92
NRANM
newtekie1, post: 4037932, member: 20670"
Paying large sums of money for devs to use their platform exclusively, they are harming competitiveness to the consumer. If a game is released on multiple platforms, those platforms compete for price. When Steam has a sale on a game to get you to buy it from them instead of another platform. You won't see that when the game is exclusive on Epic or any other platform. I can almost guarantee that the timed exclusive games released on Epic will be full price the entire time they are exclusive to Epic. While we see games on multiple platforms having sales on them discounting from full retail a month or two after they are released.

Yes, for the devs, this is good for them, they get to keep charging full price for as long as they want. But it hurts consumers of the games.

It also hurts consumers of the games because they are forced to use a platform that doesn't have some useful features, that isn't as developed. It's fine if you don't use those features, but those of use that do, it annoys us.
I wouldn't call that "screwing" the consumer. "Screw" is a very strong word, whereas what you described is nowhere near those levels.

Yes, if a game is released at the same time on multiple platforms, that could cause its price to drop a bit more quickly due to competition for prices, however based on my observations most games, when released only on Steam, do not really go down in price all that quickly or that significantly. A discount of 5-15% isn't that much of a discount in my opinion.
Again, yes, I would prefer if games were released to all platforms at the same time. But I also understand that Epic has the right to offer exclusivity deals to publishers/developers, and those publishers/developers have the right to accept or decline said deals. I am not thrilled about these exclusivity deals per se, but I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that is kind of glad that someone (Epic) isn't at least trying to compete with Steam.
Posted on Reply
#93
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
rvalencia, post: 4037941, member: 99935"
You're a native fool.

My mother's side is partly Chinese and I have no problems with Taiwanese.
No, not naive. I just recognize the way the world is turning, and know it is going there whether I want it to or not. It certainly won’t keep me from buying a product I want.
Posted on Reply
#94
moproblems99
I still stand by my original point. 'Gamers' get exactly what they deserve. Enjoy!
Posted on Reply
#95
oxidized
rtwjunkie, post: 4037871, member: 56774"
Try doing a search here and you’ll see that it was done. Just search anything Epic or EGS related. It went on for about a week so really you’d know if you didn’t just show up occasionally to bash people for supposedly not knowing anything.

If you were as knowledgeable as your arrogance portrays you to be, you would actually know that tencent does NOT own most of Epic. They are a less than majority holder that is a SILENT partner. They make no business decisions. The way you speak about it, as if there is something wrong is truly indicative of someone with no business training or corporate experience. That is fine, not everyone can, but please stop finding conspiracy where it doesn’t exist.

You also seem unaware of just how international and multinational a great deal of the world’s companies are. It is only a matter of time before most of the world has ownership in every facet of their life by expanding companies from the world’s largest population.
Still, why don't you post it here, granted it proves anything really, epic themselves confessed that, you can test whatever you want, epic is fishy, and tencent is a multinational so that's enough already, they have shares in many different things and also much different one from another, their interest is to make money and that's all, and to do that they pushed an agenda with fortnite and egs in general, there's no conspiracy here, it's just logic. Epic games was a bunch of people working on unreal and unreal engine, it took them so many years to develop that, and at some point they come out with the most brilliant and successful idea, how is that, and why now, there's clearly much much more behind it than what you can see (you especially), from nothing to everything in no time, the legal problems they had with pubg makers, and every controversy they were in, there's something very fishy with epic and with tencent, and if you can't see it i feel sorry for you.
Posted on Reply
#96
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept, post: 4037468, member: 60463"
they risk the game leaving Steam which means less exposure for Steam.
That seems extreme... I think the most they'd realisatically risk is a seperate build being marketed without steam by the developer, alongside the existing steam build.

rvalencia, post: 4037730, member: 99935"
It's fake news/bullsh*t/FUD from Tim Sweeney.
Source? It seems an official link.
Posted on Reply
#97
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
oxidized, post: 4038123, member: 170038"
Still, why don't you post it here, granted it proves anything really, epic themselves confessed that, you can test whatever you want, epic is fishy, and tencent is a multinational so that's enough already
Maybe @FordGT90Concept can answer your doubt. If you were truly interested in and knowledgeable on this topic you would have read every word he wrote about his findings. Also, multinational is not the nefarious thing you think it is. In the corporate world, this is rapidly becoming the norm, since we do not live in isolation.

oxidized, post: 4038123, member: 170038"
hey have shares in many different things and also much different one from another, their interest is to make money and that's all
If you had ANY affiliation with or were in business, you would know their only pupose is to make money! This is not an evil concept reserved for Epic. Providing a product or service is incidental. Businesses provide a product or a service they perceive is needed or there is room to grow in, and make that money, because that is their goal.

oxidized, post: 4038123, member: 170038"
there's clearly much much more behind it than what you can see (you especially)
Not the first time you have called or implied my intelligence is lacking. Pretty bold of a thing to do just because you disagree, considering you know nothing of me, my education, background, accomplishments, or work history.

oxidized, post: 4038123, member: 170038"
there's something very fishy with epic and with tencent, and if you can't see it i feel sorry for you
Great, I appreciate that! You can think something is fishy with them all you want. In the meantime, they provide a place I can buy games I want to play, because life is too short to get butthurt about it. If I wait, I may not be around, nor may you. So, I will enjoy the service they provide. It makes no difference to me because I use all of them. Indeed, that kind of makes me feel sorry for you.
Posted on Reply
#98
R-T-B
oxidized, post: 4037800, member: 170038"
Tested by whom and which way
Read the thread. The program is not spyware.

oxidized, post: 4037800, member: 170038"
it was doing something it wasn't supposed to
yeah, reading steam titles. Big whoop. It could easily be for future integration efforts.
Posted on Reply
#99
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
R-T-B, post: 4038131, member: 41983"
That seems extreme... I think the most they'd realisatically risk is a seperate build being marketed without steam by the developer, alongside the existing steam build.
Steam has a policy of not going astray of publishers unless the publisher clearly abuses Steam (e.g. 100,000 downloads for every copy of the game sold through Steam's store).
Posted on Reply
#100
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept, post: 4038144, member: 60463"
Steam has a policy of not going astray of publishers unless the publisher clearly abuses Steam (e.g. 100,000 downloads for every copy of the game sold through Steam's store).
And that's what I'm praising.
Posted on Reply
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