Wednesday, June 26th 2019

EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney: "Exclusives do Work"

EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney in a veritable Tweetstorm detailed EPIC's strategy on gaming exclusivity a bit more - and to listen to the CEO, EPIC is doing this as a way to break Steam's grasp on the PC games distribution market and their 30/70 distributor's cut. Asked on games exclusivity and their usage as a digital storefront strategy, Sweeney said that EPIC "believes exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry." He also says that this split is a "disastrous situation for developers and publishers alike."

Sweeney says that other independent storefronts that have been launched over the years (we imagine he's speaking of GOG and Humble Bundle, just to name a few), "none seem to have reached 5% of Steam's scale." He goes on to say that "this leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts and by the key Epic Games store releases compared to their former Steam revenue projections and their actual console sales." His stance is that EPIC's 12/88 split is fairer for developers (stating that a 30% cut would almost totally cut into their profits), and that this additional money that enters studios' pockets will necessarily be split among "(1) reinvestment, (2) profit, and (3) price reduction", and that in this way, EPIC's solution is both proportionate to the problem, and a move that will benefit gamers in the long run.
Source: Tim Sweeney @ Twitter
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96 Comments on EPIC CEO Tim Sweeney: "Exclusives do Work"

#1
Wyverex
12/82 ?
Something doesn't add up

As for Epic's exclusives... not impressed.
For all their talk of fairer price distribution, I'll be interested once it starts meaning lower prices for us, consumers. I don't care how much money goes to whom...
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#2
Devastator0
Sweeney is full of crap when he says that these actions can lead to a price reduction. It won't. All it'll do is just lead to games being charged for the same or more due to the higher profits. It doesn't benefit gamers.
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#3
64K
The thing with Sweeney is that he makes statements that are not common knowledge like, "The 30% store tax usually exceeds the entire profits of the Developer that made the game." But where is the proof? It's hard to believe that Developers usually don't make any profit on the games they make. Why would they make games if there is no profit to be had? Or is he saying that the money made only covers the costs of Development and usually nothing more is made? There has always been costs associated with distribution of games. Boxed games had a cost. Distribution to brick and mortar stores had a cost. What was the cost back then?
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#4
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
If it is indeed it is Sweeney’s goal, and not publicity stunt that many suspected it was 6 months ago, then I for one hope it works.

I will be withholding my judgenent on that stated reason until I see it actually play out. Certainly by now there surely must be publishers and devs on Steam that have decided they will flex their muscles with Steam when the next distribution agreement comes up.?
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#5
Razrback16
Tim Sweeney is certainly welcome to his opinion, however, I'm not buying any of what he's selling - literally and figuratively. I have never, and will never, buy anything from Epic.
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#6
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Devastator0, post: 4070637, member: 166223"
Sweeney is full of crap when he says that these actions can lead to a price reduction. It won't. All it'll do is just lead to games being charged for the same or more due to the higher profits. It doesn't benefit gamers.
Actually, it’s purpose is not to help the gamers on price, it is to allow more money to the publisher and devs so that they can continue their game making on the next project more easily.

It CAN have the side effect of making the game cheaper for gamers, as witnessed by the $59.99 price of Metro: Exodus on Steam to $49.99 on EGS. So hold off on the “full of krap” observations just now. Unless a $10 reduction in price on a AAA is not to your liking.

Razrback16, post: 4070642, member: 177333"
Tim Sweeney is certainly welcome to his opinion, however, I'm not buying any of what he's selling - literally and figuratively. I have never, and will never, buy anything from Epic.
It’s up to you, but you only have one life and in the blink of an eye, you’re old. I’d rather enjoy myself than nurse an anger ulcer.
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#7
Razrback16
rtwjunkie, post: 4070644, member: 56774"
It’s up to you, but you only have one life and in the blink of an eye, you’re old. I’d rather enjoy myself than nurse an anger ulcer.
Where did I say I was angry? I just said I wouldn't buy anything from Epic. Not sure how that translates to anger.
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#8
phanbuey
Exclusives work....

until you run out of exclusives, then ur f***ed and have to sell the whole thing to Netflix.
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#9
tacosRcool
He conveniently leaves out the fact that Steam gives game developers free steam keys to their games so they can be sold at other storefronts.
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#10
spnidel
the unfortunate truth is that most people playing games won't see past "muh exclusives on Epic is evil, but on Steam they're good" the hypocrisy they spout, because they've never worked as a game developer, so regardless of how many times Tim tries to explain why this is a good thing (and I agree with him, in order to break the status quo you've got to do something drastic, which funnily enough has already resulted in SOME actions taken by valve in an effort to make fanboys stay on Steam) it will always amount to the same reaction: "ree you are evil because you offer devs/publishers a better business deal than Steam does and they choose to publish their games on your platform rather than on my favorite platform (Steam)! ree!"

tons of respect towards Tim for trying to break the status quo, as a game dev I completely support what he's trying to do in bringing the 30% cut-per-sale down to a more reasonable cut, since if Steam was to take 20% instead of 30% per sale, then developing additional content for my game would have been less of a problem (in the past), seeing as the sales back then were rather weak.
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#11
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
tacosRcool, post: 4070664, member: 105570"
He conveniently leaves out the fact that Steam gives game developers free steam keys to their games so they can be sold at other storefronts.
Are you meaning Humble, for instance? If so, I also see the EGS symbol now on games there (as well as GOG), so it surely isn’t particular to Steam. Or am I missing something?
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#12
CAT-THE-FIFTH
spnidel, post: 4070668, member: 170908"
the unfortunate truth is that most people playing games won't see past "muh exclusives on Epic is evil, but on Steam they're good" the hypocrisy they spout, because they've never worked as a game developer, so regardless of how many times Tim tries to explain why this is a good thing (and I agree with him, in order to break the status quo you've got to do something drastic, which funnily enough has already resulted in SOME actions taken by valve in an effort to make fanboys stay on Steam) it will always amount to the same reaction: "ree you are evil because you offer devs/publishers a better business deal than Steam does and they choose to publish their games on your platform rather than on my favorite platform (Steam)! ree!"

tons of respect towards Tim for trying to break the status quo, as a game dev I completely support what he's trying to do in bringing the 30% cut-per-sale down to a more reasonable cut, since if Steam was to take 20% instead of 30% per sale, then developing additional content for my game would have been less of a problem (in the past), seeing as the sales back then were rather weak.
So basically you are going REEEEEEEEEE! if anyone does not agree with your viewpoint they are a fanboi and they are evil. You sound like a snowflake.
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#13
spnidel
CAT-THE-FIFTH, post: 4070674, member: 80906"
So basically you are going REEEEEEEEEE! if anyone does not agree with your viewpoint they are a fanboi and they are evil. You sound like a snowflake.
most people that are against Epic having exclusives are Steam fanboys, yes. it's really obvious considering that they have emotional attachment to their accounts due to financial reasons (bought games/trading cards/etc. on Steam), and Steam profile-related things (such as the pointless Steam level). looks like valve knew what they were doing when they added those user profile levels, it's paying off big time for them now when there is some competition lol
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#14
zlobby
LOL, of course he is going to say that. That's pretty much the core of his business.

But I say fook him and fook that abomination, his store.

All hail GabeN!
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#15
64K
spnidel, post: 4070675, member: 170908"
most people that are against Epic having exclusives are Steam fanboys, yes. it's really obvious considering that they have emotional attachment to their accounts due to financial reasons (bought games/trading cards/etc. on Steam), and Steam profile-related things (such as the pointless Steam level). looks like valve knew what they were doing when they added those user profile levels, it's paying off big time for them now when there is some competition lol
But there has been online store competition since 2008 from GOG and 2011 from Origin. There is also UPlay and the MS Store. EGS is just another player in the mix. If you recall EA made a similar claim that it wanted their store to match Steams as well as Sweeney making that claim when he started EGS. People screamed bloody murder when Origin started up because EA was making some of their Published games exclusive to Origin and not putting them on Steam but what EGS is doing is not a direct comparison because Epic is paying other Publishers to make their games exclusive to EGS most of which are timed exclusives. Most people don't like games being exclusive to any store but even Steam does this with their Valve Published games.
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#16
Agent_D
Competition will only result in a better outcome for the consumer.

If you weren't around for Steam when it first launched, it had plenty of issues and they've just had a lot of time to sort it out and make it better. When EGS has been around as long as Steam, it will also be just as user friendly and offer just as many of the things users want that Steam has to offer.

Basically it comes down to human emotion, bias, and attachment when you argue about any storefront; where that comes in for me is Origin, I absolutely despise it and have foregone all of my game purchases there because I cannot stand EA and their horrible excuse for a storefront/launcher, and just their practices in general; I prefer to buy things on GOG when possible, mostly for being DRM free and being able to play the games at any time I want and on any system I want to play them on without the need for constant connectivity.

I've been with Steam since the beginning, and while I really am not a fan of the EGS as it is now, I welcome the competition it brings to other services to improve the industry and practices (changing/breaking the status quo).
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
64K, post: 4070640, member: 148270"
The thing with Sweeney is that he makes statements that are not common knowledge like, "The 30% store tax usually exceeds the entire profits of the Developer that made the game." But where is the proof?
He literally talks to developers day in and day out...

A lot of these, "Publisher" includes developer. A lot are exclusively developer (excludes publisher/distribution/taxes/etc.). "Shop" would be like Steam.

2006 example:


2010 example:


2011 example:


2012 example:


2016 indie example (Gratitous Space Battles):
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#18
CAT-THE-FIFTH
spnidel, post: 4070675, member: 170908"
most people that are against Epic having exclusives are Steam fanboys, yes. it's really obvious considering that they have emotional attachment to their accounts due to financial reasons (bought games/trading cards/etc. on Steam), and Steam profile-related things (such as the pointless Steam level). looks like valve knew what they were doing when they added those user profile levels, it's paying off big time for them now when there is some competition lol
So then the other lot will call out those calling them fanbois as Epic fanbois?? Seriously its kind of funny. I remember being called an anti-Steam fanboi when it came out over a decade ago,as I didn't really like the whole concept of it,especially to play a single player game like Half Life 2 which wasn't online. Reading about this I do see why some people have gotten annoyed with the Epic store,it does not support Linux yet,regional pricing can be quite wonky,and I was shocked to hear China does not have the store. I think these are fair criticisms,because in the end if Epic store is to improve then people need to give feedback,the same as Valve needs as much criticism too,since it frankly CBA making new games,and seems content to sit on its arse all day.

However the Epic CEO,isn't as genuine as you might think he is. He wrote a hit piece on Microsoft when they opened their games store:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/04/microsoft-monopolise-pc-games-development-epic-games-gears-of-war
Here, Microsoft is moving against the entire PC industry – including consumers (and gamers in particular), software developers such as Epic Games, publishers like EA and Activision, and distributors like Valve and Good Old Games.
Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP, and is effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem. They’re curtailing users’ freedom to install full-featured PC software, and subverting the rights of developers and publishers to maintain a direct relationship with their customers.
Microsoft has certainly followed this lead in technically exposing, but practically burying, options that let users escape from its force-bundled services. If you’ve tried to change your Windows 10 search engine, web browser, or movie player, or to turn off their invasive new lock-screen ads, Windows search bar Bing spam, and invasive “analytics”, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a deliberately anti-customer experience: the options are there, but good luck finding them.
He goes on about Microsoft trying to lock down games exclusively to their new games store,and of dodgy data collection. But TBH Microsoft would be the kind of competition that could push Valve and he hated it and extolled the virtues of Steam and GOG,who he is at war with now.

Now a few years later our own MPs asked representatives of many games companies to explain themselves:
https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/jun/19/mps-in-a-spin-as-games-chief-appears-to-deny-fortnite-makes-money

The Epic chap said they ignore European data collection rules,but a few years ago their own CEO attacked Microsoft for data collection.

Years later Microsoft did exactly zero what he said they would do,and they have introduced things like the XBox Games Pass for PC,which really seem a great alternative,especially for the more casual gamer.

TLDR:I wouldn't trust any of these companies too much,they seem to change the narrative according to what makes them more money.

About the only store I might be a bit of a fan is GOG,as at least they are rescuing old games,removing DRM,etc and CDPR seems like one of the few genuine games companies left.

But seeing what happened to Bioware,I shouldn't expect too much in the future.
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#19
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
zlobby, post: 4070682, member: 172939"
All hail GabeN!
Loyalty to a man who has no loyalty to you, only your money. Interesting.
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#20
TheOne
I'm not a "dedicated Steam gamer", but I just can't touch Epic, the past 6 months has just been Sweeney digging the hole deeper and deeper, with the Mega Sale being the only highlight. Fortunately for me Outer Worlds is on the Microsoft Store and is supposed to be in the Game Pass day one, I think, and with the MCC coming to Steam, I will be able to play the games I have my eye on, though at some point I need to create a GOG account so I can pre-order Cyperpunk 2077.
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#21
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
64K, post: 4070687, member: 148270"
People screamed bloody murder when Origin started up because EA was making some of their Published games exclusive to Origin and not putting them on Steam
I remember the huuuuge outcry that ME3 was going to only be on the new store Origin. (Or was it ME2?).

Regardless, the people screamed bloody murder, swore they wouldn’t finish the ME series. Um, yeah.....that was exactly what people ended up NOT doing eventually, when they realized their anger was not going to get them the ability to play ME3.

It remains to this day solely on Origin, and controversy of its ending aside, a game with extremely large sales numbers.
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#22
theoneandonlymrk
Welll its made steams summer sale a bit shit this year so hopefully, Tims long play of better for everyone is right:p

well in the case of epic and their first exclusive metro I got it on xbox beta, see buyers choice.
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#23
TheOne
EA pulled DAII and Crysis 2 from Steam so they could sale them on Origin, claiming they didn't like a stipulation in the contract with Steam involving DLC's, if I recall correctly.
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#24
64K
rtwjunkie, post: 4070700, member: 56774"
I remember the huuuuge outcry that ME3 was going to only be on the new store Origin. (Or was it ME2?).

Regardless, the people screamed bloody murder, swore they wouldn’t finish the ME series. Um, yeah.....that was exactly what people ended up NOT doing eventually, when they realized their anger was not going to get them the ability to play ME3.
There is sometimes a disconnect between what people say they are going to do on forums and what they actually do. I suspect quite a few people who are railing against EGS probably got an account there anyway just to play the present exclusives and future exclusives.

TheOne, post: 4070705, member: 83206"
EA pulled DAII and Crysis 2 from Steam so they could sale them on Origin, claiming they didn't like a stipulation in the contract with Steam involving DLC's, if I recall correctly.
EA did eventually put ME2 back on Steam.
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#25
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
CAT-THE-FIFTH, post: 4070695, member: 80906"
However the Epic CEO,isn't as genuine as you might think he is. He wrote a hit piece on Microsoft when they opened their games store:
Actually Gabe did the same thing. In fact he spoke out even more prolifically and strongly against MS doing this.

This was the impetus for the (now failed/abandoned) Steam OS and Steam controller. He worried MS walled garden code would eventually lock out anything not distributed through MS store.

How quickly people forget. :rolleyes:
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