Thursday, June 4th 2020

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Claims Free Game Giveaways Increase Sales On Other Platforms

In a recent interview with GameSpot, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney claimed that the free game giveaways run on the Epic Games Store such as Sid Meier's Civilization VI and Grand Theft Auto V can lead to increased sales of the games on other platforms. Tim Sweeney believes that because many of the games given away may not have been considered by most players leading to increased sales on alternate platforms according to some developers.

Tim Sweeney said, "You're not going to go out and buy—If you're not into games like Satisfactory, you're not going to go out and spend money to buy Satisfactory. But if you get it for free you realize it's an awesome game. People have discovered a lot of great games that way."
Source: KitGuru
Add your own comment

28 Comments on Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Claims Free Game Giveaways Increase Sales On Other Platforms

#1
oldtimenoob
Honestly I don't know if there is truth in what his saying, but as long as I get a free game... am happy...
Posted on Reply
#2
cucker tarlson
don't need it to make sense,I got enough epic giveaways to last me for the rest of the year and half way through 2021
Posted on Reply
#3
Vayra86
Man is right but that only works to a certain point... nobody knows where that point really is.

Its like he received his annual report and looked at the numbers and was struggling to give it a great spin. After a few bottles of wine this is what he came up with.

The more important part of this idea though is the proven business of introducing people to something new to create new demand. This is also how all those vanilla games work that you get for free. They trigger you to buy all those DLC. Giveaways always seem to happen days before a new content release, same as major discounts. It also generates free publicity, the giveaway might therefore actually be cost neutral compared to marketing something again. On top of that, there is the scratch your back principle at work between Epic and devs/pubs.

I still vaguely remember some Steam Vigilantes yelling about how evil the world was outside of Gabe's wonder box. A question to them: do you feel stupid yet? Or has the penny dropped by now. Oh no, wait, there is one bastion left. Evil Tencent and China :)
Posted on Reply
#4
TheDeeGee
Say what you want about Epic, atleast they put their money to good use and pump it back into the gaming community in the form of free games.
Posted on Reply
#5
watzupken
I don't know if that makes sense at all. Its like I get a free game from EPIC store, but let me also buy it from the other platforms. Moreover, the new games will likely keep me occupied, so no reason to go out there to buy more games.
Posted on Reply
#6
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
TheDeeGee
Say what you want about Epic, atleast they put their money to good use and pump it back into the gaming community in the form of free games.
This won't last forever. Their money will run out eventually
Posted on Reply
#7
Vayra86
FreedomEclipse
This won't last forever. Their money will run out eventually
Not anytime soon


twinfinite.net/2020/01/most-played-games-in-2020-ranked-by-peak-concurrent-players/10/

There is no sign of it stopping. By comparison, the last long-lasting superhit was World of Warcraft and it took more than a decade for player count to go down. The numbers were similar, crossing 10 million and still growing. The games share many similarities, too: loot chase (skins), peer pressure environment, social interaction, competitiveness, and essential for this day and age: low barrier of entry.

Alongside that longlasting success they are now creating new revenue and thus profit through EGS, that is separate from Fortnite. If anything their money mountain is growing or at least, the company is much more viable. They have a super successful franchise, they have an industry-wide game engine deployed and in active development, supported by successful business model; they have tons of IP, and they have talented devs. They're fast becoming a Super-Valve, and they are positioned in almost exclusively growth market segments.

Gabe on the other hand is holding on to success of the last decade, and has one trump card at the moment called Alyx, which caters to a niche segment of the market that has trouble gaining traction. Its a high risk endeavour at best. The rest is all old news.
Posted on Reply
#8
Ashtr1x
So basically he is saying the truth about Piracy and how Denuvo, Arxan, UWP don't do anything. EGS is a hellhole, game exclusivity is bad, proven by Metroc Exodus from 4A's Boss Koch/Deep silver having close ties to Tencent, they released it on GOG same time when the whole Denuvo DRM was removed as well from Steam, shows how they want those fans back. But their other investments like Fortnite which inspired this BR fad, ruined gaming forever. There's no more immersive SP enjoyment of the brilliant art it's all about how successful our mediocrity reaches to masses add the PC drivel on the top & The worst part of EGS is Tencent.
Posted on Reply
#9
tomc100
Well, I did buy another game when I got one for free so there might be some truth in it. Honestly though, the pc is inundated with games. Too much. So much that most pcgamers have basically a giant catalogue of games that they never play in their steam account and other accounts. It would literally take me a full year to play all the games I have if I were to play games 8 hours per day every day.
Posted on Reply
#10
kapone32
Ashtr1x
So basically he is saying the truth about Piracy and how Denuvo, Arxan, UWP don't do anything. EGS is a hellhole, game exclusivity is bad, proven by Metroc Exodus from 4A, they released it on GOG same time when the whole Denuvo DRM was removed as well from Steam, shows how they want those fans back. But their other investments like Fortnite which inspired this BR fad, ruined gaming forever. There's no more immersive SP enjoyment of the brilliant art it's all about how successful our mediocrity reaches to masses add the PC drivel on the top & The worst part of EGS is Tencent.
Ruined Gaming forever? No SP enjoyment? Have you seen Control, Jedi Fallen Order or a host of new Games. As much as you may think EGS is the lord of an evil empire threatening the zen that is Steam you are completely free to ignore Epic.
Posted on Reply
#11
Razrback16
lol. I don't disagree with Tim on this one - the Codex store's sales are through the roof since Epic's exclusivity shenanigans.
Posted on Reply
#12
NRANM
Razrback16
lol. I don't disagree with Tim on this one - the Codex store's sales are through the roof since Epic's exclusivity shenanigans.
I have yet to see a sensible and logical explanation as to why store exclusive games are bad for gamers and/or developers. All I ever see is basically "they're bad, m'key".
Posted on Reply
#13
Ashtr1x
kapone32
Ruined Gaming forever? No SP enjoyment? Have you seen Control, Jedi Fallen Order or a host of new Games. As much as you may think EGS is the lord of an evil empire threatening the zen that is Steam you are completely free to ignore Epic.
It's worse than Quantum Break, Remedy has nothing since Alan Wake. And they couldn't do a sequel for it. And that Jedi fallen order, I wonder how good it was being a clone of Dark Souls in lamest way possible by those Disney monster slasher. And the elephant in the room, Cere Junda's actual mocap who is a reminiscent of how BJ Blazkowicz was ruined by Machinegames in Wolfenstien II TNC because they had an "agenda" to tell, (Youngblood is the living example of the impact, but it's an another discussion). I'd rather enjoy Metro Exodus which was one of the true SP and fantastic immersion game made by passionate people at 4A rather than Resetera members of Remedy. Or even the old Respawn Entertainment which made Titanfall 2's excellent SP campaign without any PC drama.

EGS is doing all bad business practices by making Exclusivity by paying the Developer studios, if they had confidence in their own quality of their store, they wouldn't do that. The reason freebies is fortnite money and Tecent expansion into US, not some fictional evil lord. And all of it is bad for the consumers/gamers.
Posted on Reply
#14
Razrback16
NRANM
I have yet to see a sensible and logical explanation as to why store exclusive games are bad for gamers and/or developers. All I ever see is basically "they're bad, m'key".
Taking away choice is not good IMO. Bribing a publisher to have them exclude other storefronts is not good for folks who want to buy the game on say GOG (my preferred storefront), or Steam. If a company wants me to use their product / storefront, then give me a good reason to "want to", don't try to force me by paying companies to exclude better storefronts that have more features from selling a given product.
Posted on Reply
#15
evernessince
Vayra86
Not anytime soon


twinfinite.net/2020/01/most-played-games-in-2020-ranked-by-peak-concurrent-players/10/

There is no sign of it stopping. By comparison, the last long-lasting superhit was World of Warcraft and it took more than a decade for player count to go down. The numbers were similar, crossing 10 million and still growing. The games share many similarities, too: loot chase (skins), peer pressure environment, social interaction, competitiveness, and essential for this day and age: low barrier of entry.

Alongside that longlasting success they are now creating new revenue and thus profit through EGS, that is separate from Fortnite. If anything their money mountain is growing or at least, the company is much more viable. They have a super successful franchise, they have an industry-wide game engine deployed and in active development, supported by successful business model; they have tons of IP, and they have talented devs. They're fast becoming a Super-Valve, and they are positioned in almost exclusively growth market segments.

Gabe on the other hand is holding on to success of the last decade, and has one trump card at the moment called Alyx, which caters to a niche segment of the market that has trouble gaining traction. Its a high risk endeavour at best. The rest is all old news.
Except that Fortnite's player base are youngsters and casuals. The next hot thing that comes along and they will be gone.

"The games share many similarities, too: loot chase (skins), peer pressure environment, social interaction, competitiveness, and essential for this day and age: low barrier of entry."

Um no. WoW was expensive AF to get into and had a monthly sub. For years you had to buy the base game and all the expansions. You were looking at $180 upfront during WoTLK to get started. Skins and loot are nothing alike. One is cosmetic, the other provides material benefit. Both provide an endgame, something for you to go after but they are polar opposites. Saying they are similar is a completely inaccurate statement.

"Gabe on the other hand is holding on to success of the last decade"

Except they have been releasing great products like the Valve Index and just completely redesigned steams interface, which is fantastic. They also don't monopolize games by paying devs off and they actually encourage competition by allowing game devs to sell their games on 3rd party stories with zero steam fees while that's keys are still activatable on steam.

You are an EPIC home and that shows. That's fine but don't go wading into comparisons you know nothing about.
NRANM
I have yet to see a sensible and logical explanation as to why store exclusive games are bad for gamers and/or developers. All I ever see is basically "they're bad, m'key".
You say that as if you've already dismissed dozens of other view points. I'm sure at some point someone's pointed out that removing choice and competition from the market is bad but I'm guessing you'll dismiss that as part of whatever you arbitrarily define as "sensible". When your viewpoint of other's opinions is so warped as to declare all other's as not even a base line of sensible, you are clearly looking to only get your opinion across, not to actually converse.
Posted on Reply
#16
Vayra86
evernessince
Except that Fortnite's player base are youngsters and casuals. The next hot thing that comes along and they will be gone.

"The games share many similarities, too: loot chase (skins), peer pressure environment, social interaction, competitiveness, and essential for this day and age: low barrier of entry."

Um no. WoW was expensive AF to get into and had a monthly sub. For years you had to buy the base game and all the expansions. You were looking at $180 upfront during WoTLK to get started. Skins and loot are nothing alike. One is cosmetic, the other provides material benefit. Both provide an endgame, something for you to go after but they are polar opposites. Saying they are similar is a completely inaccurate statement.

"Gabe on the other hand is holding on to success of the last decade"

Except they have been releasing great products like the Valve Index and just completely redesigned steams interface, which is fantastic. They also don't monopolize games by paying devs off and they actually encourage competition by allowing game devs to sell their games on 3rd party stories with zero steam fees while that's keys are still activatable on steam.

You are an EPIC home and that shows. That's fine but don't go wading into comparisons you know nothing about.



You say that as if you've already dismissed dozens of other view points. I'm sure at some point someone's pointed out that removing choice and competition from the market is bad but I'm guessing you'll dismiss that as part of whatever you arbitrarily define as "sensible"
Nah... you're wrong labelling me. Very wrong. As you are with some of these counters...



Did you miss out on the digital revenue income stream lately?


www.statista.com/topics/3436/gaming-monetization/

Have fun. The numbers don't lie. Fortnite doesn't play the same role as WoW? Players are not bound to it like they are to a subbed game? How does that work when 75% of players spend money in it?

And there you go... choice, competition. You have every choice to pick whatever store you want for your purchase. But like always, not every store has access to every bit of content. No different from any other marketplace. Get used to it. Or don't, lol, I could care less. Denial of reality doesn't serve you.

I get it you desperately want to continue the Steam Crusade, but you can safely do that on your own. I'm past it, as I was since day one.
Posted on Reply
#17
NRANM
Razrback16
Taking away choice is not good IMO. Bribing a publisher to have them exclude other storefronts is not good for folks who want to buy the game on say GOG (my preferred storefront), or Steam. If a company wants me to use their product / storefront, then give me a good reason to "want to", don't try to force me by paying companies to exclude better storefronts that have more features from selling a given product.
I get where you are coming from. I'm also in favor of more options. If you ask me, every game should be available on every store: Steam, Epic, Origin, Uplay, GOG, Microsoft, etc. Why not, right? However, I'm not naive enough to believe this can happen. I also generally prefer GOG as a store, but some games I play or plan to play are not available there, and instead are only available on Steam. Following your logic, that would be wrong. There are plenty of games that are released only on Steam, but that seems to be okay, whereas a game being released only on the Epic Store is bad. Isn't this a bit of a double standard? Especially considering that exclusivity on the Epic Game Store is temporary, whereas many games that are "exclusive" to Steam would most likely never be released anywhere else.
Steam seems to get a free pass on those, which I assume is because Valve is not "bribing" the game developer/publisher. Well, I'm not sure "bribe" is the best word here since it implies
illegality. There is nothing illegal here, it is a standard business transaction between two entities: Epic proposes an offer to a developer/publisher who can choose to accept or reject it. Epic is scrutinized for making such offers, yet developers/publishers seem to be absolved of any wrongdoing. Again, this seems like a double standard to me. And to make things clear: I think neither side should take any blame or feel any guilt. Both entities do what they believe is best for them.

Epic is adopting the strategy that they believe would be most effective at building them a customer base, which in turn would allow them to grow faster as a store, which would be good, as it would provide better competition to Steam, and competition is always good for the end user. We don't monopolies, right? Or should we ignore our principles a bit in some cases when we actually like the person/company/monopoly?
Posted on Reply
#18
Razrback16
NRANM
I get where you are coming from. I'm also in favor of more options. If you ask me, every game should be available on every store: Steam, Epic, Origin, Uplay, GOG, Microsoft, etc. Why not, right? However, I'm not naive enough to believe this can happen. I also generally prefer GOG as a store, but some games I play or plan to play are not available there, and instead are only available on Steam. Following your logic, that would be wrong. There are plenty of games that are released only on Steam, but that seems to be okay, whereas a game being released only on the Epic Store is bad. Isn't this a bit of a double standard? Especially considering that exclusivity on the Epic Game Store is temporary, whereas many games that are "exclusive" to Steam would most likely never be released anywhere else.
Steam seems to get a free pass on those, which I assume is because Valve is not "bribing" the game developer/publisher. Well, I'm not sure "bribe" is the best word here since it implies
illegality. There is nothing illegal here, it is a standard business transaction between two entities: Epic proposes an offer to a developer/publisher who can choose to accept or reject it. Epic is scrutinized for making such offers, yet developers/publishers seem to be absolved of any wrongdoing. Again, this seems like a double standard to me. And to make things clear: I think neither side should take any blame or feel any guilt. Both entities do what they believe is best for them.

Epic is adopting the strategy that they believe would be most effective at building them a customer base, which in turn would allow them to grow faster as a store, which would be good, as it would provide better competition to Steam, and competition is always good for the end user. We don't monopolies, right? Or should we ignore our principles a bit in some cases when we actually like the person/company/monopoly?
Not a double standard at all - Steam doesn't go out and pay publishers with the intent to deliberately exclude other storefronts. The devs / publishers in those cases simply decided not to open their game up to more storefronts, so I don't see why you or anyone would hold Steam responsible for that, that's only on the dev / publisher.

Whereas in the situations with Epic, Epic deliberately pays these entities to NOT sell the game elsewhere. That's why Epic receives so much criticism for it as no other 3rd party storefront that I've seen has done that.

Like you said at the beginning of your post, and I agree with you there, games should be available everywhere. CD Projekt Red has set a good example with that.
Posted on Reply
#19
NightOfChrist
Razrback16
Whereas in the situations with Epic, Epic deliberately pays these entities to NOT sell the game elsewhere.
...instead of using their money to improve their own store.

I'm sure adding support to more currencies and improving security would benefit them a lot. And if they really have that much money, in my opinion, they can use that money to pay those developers or publishers not to release their games as exclusives to their store and "encourage" those developers/publishers to remove their games from other stores, but to compensate the developers/publishers for making the price lower if not the lowest in EGS. Paired that with top notch security and support to more if not all currencies and we pretty much have the actual competitor to Steam and other stores, including third-party game key stores such as Humble or Fanatical, even if they still don't have shopping cart.
Posted on Reply
#20
Solaris17
Dainty Moderator
Vayra86
A question to them: do you feel stupid yet? Or has the penny dropped by now.
no, and I haven’t spent a dime on the epic store much less made an account. It was amusing to witness the like minded individuals from both camps argue about who was more stubborn. Those kinds of people were peas in a pod though.

My reason for not having an account the client or any of the games is much more simple than some tribal need to dispute their merits.

I just didn’t want more shit installed or another account to deal With or more client configurations.

Additionally nothing they “exclusively hosted” was worth it enough to get invested even at the price of free. of course that’s just personal preference.
Posted on Reply
#21
NRANM
Razrback16
Not a double standard at all - Steam doesn't go out and pay publishers with the intent to deliberately exclude other storefronts.
Steam is the dominant (by far) store and Valve knows it. There is simply no need for Valve to try and secure exclusive titles for their store.
Razrback16
The devs / publishers in those cases simply decided not to open their game up to more storefronts, so I don't see why you or anyone would hold Steam responsible for that, that's only on the dev / publisher.
I don't know where you got the idea that I was holding Steam responsible for anything. I'm not. If anyone would be responsible for a game available only on Steam, that would be its developer/publisher, not Steam. However, I have nothing against developers/publishers deciding to have their game for sale only on Steam. Why? Because, should I decide to purchase that game, I would be able to. Nothing prevents me from doing so, I have a Steam account, and even if I didn't have one, I could create it at any point.
Razrback16
Whereas in the situations with Epic, Epic deliberately pays these entities to NOT sell the game elsewhere. That's why Epic receives so much criticism for it as no other 3rd party storefront that I've seen has done that.
So, the problem isn't that a game is available on one store only, in and of itself; the problem is how that exclusivity is achieved. In that case, why does nobody blame developers/publishers for taking Epic's offers? These exclusives would not be possible if the developers/publishers reject the offers they receive, but nobody seems to have have problems with them. If we go back to the "bribe" thing, don't we typically scrutinize the person/company that is taking the bribe, perhaps even more than the person/company offering it?
Posted on Reply
#22
Vayra86
Solaris17
no, and I haven’t spent a dime on the epic store much less made an account. It was amusing to witness the like minded individuals from both camps argue about who was more stubborn. Those kinds of people were peas in a pod though.

My reason for not having an account the client or any of the games is much more simple than some tribal need to dispute their merits.

I just didn’t want more shit installed or another account to deal With or more client configurations.

Additionally nothing they “exclusively hosted” was worth it enough to get invested even at the price of free. of course that’s just personal preference.
I don't think anyone could disagree with those reasons... but most of the other ones we see in this discussion are of a whole other nature.
Posted on Reply
#23
Razrback16
NRANM
Steam is the dominant (by far) store and Valve knows it. There is simply no need for Valve to try and secure exclusive titles for their store.


I don't know where you got the idea that I was holding Steam responsible for anything. I'm not. If anyone would be responsible for a game available only on Steam, that would be its developer/publisher, not Steam. However, I have nothing against developers/publishers deciding to have their game for sale only on Steam. Why? Because, should I decide to purchase that game, I would be able to. Nothing prevents me from doing so, I have a Steam account, and even if I didn't have one, I could create it at any point.


So, the problem isn't that a game is available on one store only, in and of itself; the problem is how that exclusivity is achieved. In that case, why does nobody blame developers/publishers for taking Epic's offers? These exclusives would not be possible if the developers/publishers reject the offers they receive, but nobody seems to have have problems with them. If we go back to the "bribe" thing, don't we typically scrutinize the person/company that is taking the bribe, perhaps even more than the person/company offering it?
* Valve has never gone the 3rd party exclusivity route at any point. Neither has GOG and GOG isn't really all that old, and certainly isn't a dominant storefront.

* And that's your right to feel that way - not all of us are okay with Tim Sweeney's statements about how gamers won't get a say in the platform / storefront war, or the way they handle exclusives. It sounds like it's not a big deal to you, and I'm sure you're not alone, but to some of us, it rubs us the wrong way and as a result I know I won't ever do business there. I know I like GOG and to a slightly lesser degree, Steam. GOG has very pro consumer policies - no drm, and an exceptional return policy. Steam has a storefront with fantastic features that in some cases you can't get at other storefronts, you can tell they invest in their platform on behalf of their customers. Epic is very much the opposite - has a bare bones store with a number of items that concern me, and in response to their exclusives and Tim Sweeney's comments, I'll never buy anything there.

* Sort of. I think it comes down to the relationship individual consumers have with a given storefront. If they are already using a given storefront and like it, and a new game is released only on that storefront, that individual in all likelihood isn't going to notice or care that it's exclusive because it's on their preferred storefront anyway. But if a different user doesn't use that storefront, they may be less likely to want to use it for a new game and not like the feeling of being forced to use it.
* I do think devs and publishers get blamed - in fact I know they do because not only do I blame them, but I see others on other messageboards blame them as well. It's a situation where "it takes two to tango" - Epic approaches the devs / pubs with these exclusivity offers and then they have to accept it. I certainly keep in the back of my mind which developers take those deals and will act accordingly with their subsequent game releases in the future, so in my case, I don't only blame Epic. But Epic definitely is the bigger problem in my viewpoint as they are initiating the exclusives and Tim Sweeney has even made public comments about how they'll keep pursuing the exclusives. I'll never forget what the DARQ developer experienced, I think that showed Epic's true colors pretty clearly.
Posted on Reply
#24
NRANM
Razrback16
* Valve has never gone the 3rd party exclusivity route at any point. Neither has GOG and GOG isn't really all that old, and certainly isn't a dominant storefront.
And that is Valve's prerogative. However, as I already mentioned, Valve has never needed that. Steam has never been in a position of such an underdog, in which gaining market share would be this difficult. Back when Steam was small, so were its "competitors". Steam has never had actual competition. It still doesn't. Origin and Uplay are not direct competitors because they are not general game stores, they sell exclusively (or almost exclusively) their own games. GOG is a general game store but it was never a true competitor to Steam, nor do I believe it was ever meant to be. Its main selling points are "no DRM" and "tweaked/fixed releases of old games for newer systems", both of which I applaud and respect greatly. I don't know if CD Project Red is financially capable yet to challenge Valve's market share. I hope that it is (or becomes soon), and does. But thus far GOG has been content with being an alternative that tries to fill in some gaps/niches that Steam isn't interested in. Epic is the only company that is trying to actually challenge Valve.
I would be dancing on my coffee table if Valve, Epic Games, and CD Projekt Red were heavily competing with each other. As everybody knows, competition is really beneficial for the end user.
Razrback16
* And that's your right to feel that way - not all of us are okay with Tim Sweeney's statements about how gamers won't get a say in the platform / storefront war, or the way they handle exclusives. It sounds like it's not a big deal to you, and I'm sure you're not alone, but to some of us, it rubs us the wrong way and as a result I know I won't ever do business there. I know I like GOG and to a slightly lesser degree, Steam. GOG has very pro consumer policies - no drm, and an exceptional return policy. Steam has a storefront with fantastic features that in some cases you can't get at other storefronts, you can tell they invest in their platform on behalf of their customers. Epic is very much the opposite - has a bare bones store with a number of items that concern me, and in response to their exclusives and Tim Sweeney's comments, I'll never buy anything there.
I'm not sure what you mean, but of course we have no say how Epic handles exclusives. We can express our opinions and ultimately vote with our wallets, but it would incredibly foolish and naive to expect that Tim Sweeny would just like that make decisions based on our wishes. It is his company, not ours. For example, I wish Valve would not reject some erotic/pornographic games, but allow others. I don't care about such games myself, but it seems a bit doublestandard-ish. But at the end of the day, it's not my company, so I don't get a say.
I agree about GOG and Steam. I disagree about the Epic Game Store. Yes, it is missing features, but they are working on them. Calling it the opposite is quite a claim. You cannot expect all of those to be added overnight. I think they are doing a decent job at implementing features. Steam was also bare bones initially, it took quite a while for it to become the feature-rich platform we see today. People seem to forget that.

Also, some of Epic's policies are actually good. Automatically refunding money to users who had purchased a game at a higher price shortly before it went on a sale. Or retroactively refunding the difference to developers after they reduced their cut.
People seem to either forget these things as well, or are conveniently omitting them.
Razrback16
* Sort of. I think it comes down to the relationship individual consumers have with a given storefront. If they are already using a given storefront and like it, and a new game is released only on that storefront, that individual in all likelihood isn't going to notice or care that it's exclusive because it's on their preferred storefront anyway. But if a different user doesn't use that storefront, they may be less likely to want to use it for a new game and not like the feeling of being forced to use it.
That is true, but it goes both ways. If a user just so happens to use only Epic, and there is game he/she wants to play that is available only on Steam, that user would feel forced to use Steam. Granted, this is very unlikely due to games available on Steam and the Epic Game store, but the principle stands.

And is this it? Is this your argument? That users are would need to install another launcher? Sure, technically, it is an inconvenience, but is it really that much of a hurdle to overcome? Just installing another program on your computer? Is this this the best argument you can come up with?
Razrback16
* I do think devs and publishers get blamed - in fact I know they do because not only do I blame them, but I see others on other messageboards blame them as well. It's a situation where "it takes two to tango" - Epic approaches the devs / pubs with these exclusivity offers and then they have to accept it. I certainly keep in the back of my mind which developers take those deals and will act accordingly with their subsequent game releases in the future, so in my case, I don't only blame Epic. But Epic definitely is the bigger problem in my viewpoint as they are initiating the exclusives and Tim Sweeney has even made public comments about how they'll keep pursuing the exclusives. I'll never forget what the DARQ developer experienced, I think that showed Epic's true colors pretty clearly.
Yes, it does indeed "take two to tango". Like I said, I don't think the developers/publishers should be blamed either, but I guess it's nice to see some consistency. Still, I do not remember seeing anyone put the blame on the developers/publishers, I see Epic being the one taking all of the blame, but I could be wrong on that.

Regarding DARQ's developer, my opinion will be quite unpopular. I think he behaved abhorrently. Let me explain.
Epic approached him with an offer. He refused. Good for him. It should have ended there. What he did afterwards was simultaneously brilliant and devious. He offered to donate 100% of his revenue from the Epic store to charity, provided Epic agrees to a non-exclusivity deal.
It was brilliant because either way Tim Sweeny kind of loses: if he rejected the counter offer, he would look like a greedy asshole who hates charities; if he accepted it, he would be basically setting a precedent for the future.
It was devious because DARQ's developer was well aware that many people disliked Epic, so even if Tim Sweeny accepted the counter offer, virtually nobody would have purchased the game on the Epic store if it was also available on Steam and GOG, either because users are much more likely to already have an account for the two aforementioned stores, or because "Epic bad". This provided him with a lot of positive press, made him look like a saint, he made even more money, and nothing went to charity.
You can call me cynical, but that's how I saw it. Using the idea of charities to make money like that is despicable in my book.

I think Tim Sweeny should have made a counter-counter-offer to donate Epic's entire cut (or double) to the same charity if DARQ's developer would accept the exclusivity offer. Fight fire with fire.

The interesting part is, however, that after everything you have said, I still did not see any practical arguments as to why store-exclusive games are bad for gamers. All I saw were moral/ethical arguments and personal preferences.
As you should already know, morals and ethics take a back seat in the business world. Not just in gaming, but everywhere.
Personal preferences are just that... personal. You have every right to have your feelings and opinions, and you also have every right to make decisions for yourself based on said feelings and opinions, but they are not the same as logical arguments or empirical evidence.
Posted on Reply
#25
Razrback16
NRANM
And that is Valve's prerogative. However, as I already mentioned, Valve has never needed that. Steam has never been in a position of such an underdog, in which gaining market share would be this difficult. Back when Steam was small, so were its "competitors". Steam has never had actual competition. It still doesn't. Origin and Uplay are not direct competitors because they are not general game stores, they sell exclusively (or almost exclusively) their own games. GOG is a general game store but it was never a true competitor to Steam, nor do I believe it was ever meant to be. Its main selling points are "no DRM" and "tweaked/fixed releases of old games for newer systems", both of which I applaud and respect greatly. I don't know if CD Project Red is financially capable yet to challenge Valve's market share. I hope that it is (or becomes soon), and does. But thus far GOG has been content with being an alternative that tries to fill in some gaps/niches that Steam isn't interested in. Epic is the only company that is trying to actually challenge Valve.
I would be dancing on my coffee table if Valve, Epic Games, and CD Projekt Red were heavily competing with each other. As everybody knows, competition is really beneficial for the end user.
The one thing we can agree on here is that competition is good. I just don't consider what Epic is doing to be an attempt at true competition - outside of giving away free games (all of which I've either already owned at another storefront or have zero interest in), they give me zero incentive to even want to try them and give me every incentive to make sure I never go there to buy anything. I mean taking crowd-funded games like Shenmue 3 just as an example at the last second where it had been promised on Steam and then making it Epic exclusive...just wow. I'm glad a lot of users called them out and got refunds in response.
NRANM
I'm not sure what you mean, but of course we have no say how Epic handles exclusives. We can express our opinions and ultimately vote with our wallets, but it would incredibly foolish and naive to expect that Tim Sweeny would just like that make decisions based on our wishes. It is his company, not ours. For example, I wish Valve would not reject some erotic/pornographic games, but allow others. I don't care about such games myself, but it seems a bit doublestandard-ish. But at the end of the day, it's not my company, so I don't get a say.
I agree about GOG and Steam. I disagree about the Epic Game Store. Yes, it is missing features, but they are working on them. Calling it the opposite is quite a claim. You cannot expect all of those to be added overnight. I think they are doing a decent job at implementing features. Steam was also bare bones initially, it took quite a while for it to become the feature-rich platform we see today. People seem to forget that.
On the certain games not being allowed, I sorta agree in some instances - there was a game called something like "Rape Day" that Steam said no to, and quite honestly I'm glad they did, that's just some really sick stuff, IMO, but at the same time I understand your opinion on that as well. "For the most part" I would like minimal censorship.

The thing with Epic missing features is this - they have no problem getting out their wallet to lock down exclusives...but the storefront is still a pile of crap. They could EASILY hire a massive number of developers to match Steam in under 12 months in terms of features with their wallet and Tencent backing them, but they don't...yet they keep up the exclusives. There's been reports about crunch for their developers, and quite simply, minimal progress with the store ever since they came out with their roadmap last year (which they have since scrapped because it had become a hilarious meme all over the internet making fun of them missing basically every milestone).
NRANM
Also, some of Epic's policies are actually good. Automatically refunding money to users who had purchased a game at a higher price shortly before it went on a sale. Or retroactively refunding the difference to developers after they reduced their cut.
People seem to either forget these things as well, or are conveniently omitting them.
I agree with you, those are good features.
NRANM
That is true, but it goes both ways. If a user just so happens to use only Epic, and there is game he/she wants to play that is available only on Steam, that user would feel forced to use Steam. Granted, this is very unlikely due to games available on Steam and the Epic Game store, but the principle stands.

And is this it? Is this your argument? That users are would need to install another launcher? Sure, technically, it is an inconvenience, but is it really that much of a hurdle to overcome? Just installing another program on your computer? Is this this the best argument you can come up with?
* Lacking a customer review system
* Lacking message boards
* The aforementioned exclusivity with games like Shenmue 3 pulling the rug out from under backers, and removing freedom of choice from gamers in that respect.
* Additional fees with certain payment options (Games/comments/af9gtz)
* Epic is over 40% owned by Tencent - and while I am not saying China makes the calls with Epic, that's a TON of stake for a Chinese company to own in Epic which makes me seriously uncomfortable with the idea of ever doing business with them.
* No investment in Linux or MAC - not saying it's a lot of users, but to storefronts like Steam's credit, they do put forth some effort in that department where Epic does not.
* Tim Sweeney (here are some quotes from him over time, a number of them quite hypocritical that make me never want to support his gaming storefront - steamuserimages-a.akamaihd.net/ugc/782978066674182923/8D5D7EBC0EED03D1A21961517D29B44291863594/ - I don't like the idea of supporting a guy like this.
* Lack of community tie-ins (this goes somewhat hand-in-hand with the reviews / messageboards entries above, but more specifically things like Achievements that many folks like, the ability to build your own profile as again, some (not all) gamers are into those types of community building amongst their friends that they play co-op / multiplayer games with, and the like. I use some of the features myself.

These are just some of the items that stand out to me - I know there are plenty more, and there are even charts out on the web comparing the various storefronts and Epic is way at the back in those comparisons. This is why exclusives are bad - if you're going to lock a game down to your storefront, make sure your store is actually good if you want people to stick around and have incentive to do business there. Epic's just gone about this in a very poor manner.
NRANM
Yes, it does indeed "take two to tango". Like I said, I don't think the developers/publishers should be blamed either, but I guess it's nice to see some consistency. Still, I do not remember seeing anyone put the blame on the developers/publishers, I see Epic being the one taking all of the blame, but I could be wrong on that.
Epic definitely takes the majority, but I'd recommend checking some messageboards. I've seen many folks over the the last year reference specific devs, but more often publishers that they don't intend to buy from in the future (Take Two is a big one, along with Coch Media & Deep Silver), and devs like Glumberland that got nuked on the Steam messageboards, I can't remember the dev name, but the one that did Metro Exodus - I mean they got friggin' destroyed on Reddit to the point that youtubers and gaming journalist sites started covering the blowback. The devs definitely receive criticism, especially in the instances where they pull the rug out from under Kickstarter backers on games like the aforementioned Shenmue 3, and Phoenix Point.
NRANM
Regarding DARQ's developer, my opinion will be quite unpopular. I think he behaved abhorrently. Let me explain.
Epic approached him with an offer. He refused. Good for him. It should have ended there. What he did afterwards was simultaneously brilliant and devious. He offered to donate 100% of his revenue from the Epic store to charity, provided Epic agrees to a non-exclusivity deal.
It was brilliant because either way Tim Sweeny kind of loses: if he rejected the counter offer, he would look like a greedy asshole who hates charities; if he accepted it, he would be basically setting a precedent for the future.
It was devious because DARQ's developer was well aware that many people disliked Epic, so even if Tim Sweeny accepted the counter offer, virtually nobody would have purchased the game on the Epic store if it was also available on Steam and GOG, either because users are much more likely to already have an account for the two aforementioned stores, or because "Epic bad". This provided him with a lot of positive press, made him look like a saint, he made even more money, and nothing went to charity.
You can call me cynical, but that's how I saw it. Using the idea of charities to make money like that is despicable in my book.

I think Tim Sweeny should have made a counter-counter-offer to donate Epic's entire cut (or double) to the same charity if DARQ's developer would accept the exclusivity offer. Fight fire with fire.
Ya I definitely disagree with your view on the DARQ dev. Here's his side of it with screenshots of some of the e-mail exchanges - medium.com/@info_68117/why-i-turned-down-exclusivity-deal-from-the-epic-store-developer-of-darq-7ee834ed0ac7
Epic comes off looking absolutely awful here, to me. Even in your version, I think Epic comes off looking like the bad guy - as you said in the scenario you described, there were better options from Epic's angle. Just awful.
NRANM
The interesting part is, however, that after everything you have said, I still did not see any practical arguments as to why store-exclusive games are bad for gamers. All I saw were moral/ethical arguments and personal preferences.
As you should already know, morals and ethics take a back seat in the business world. Not just in gaming, but everywhere.
Personal preferences are just that... personal. You have every right to have your feelings and opinions, and you also have every right to make decisions for yourself based on said feelings and opinions, but they are not the same as logical arguments or empirical evidence.
You should probably take another look. I've explained pretty clearly the differences (and there are more even than I've provided here, I've simply focused on those most important to me) between some of the storefronts and where Epic lacks pretty significantly in a number of areas. The behavior of Epic particularly in the realm of the kickstarter situations where they've literally pulled games away right before launch that were promised releases to backers on a different storefront are particularly shameful. You may simply be in a group of folks who don't mind installing 18 different launchers, or using vastly inferior storefronts that lack features, but not all of us like that, especially from a store that treats people the way Epic has in some the instances I've described here, which is why exclusives, particularly to such a subpar storefront are bad. I am greatly in favor of choice. I like when games are released at all storefronts, including Epic so people can buy the game where they want. CD Projekt Red sets a great example with that.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment