Monday, June 15th 2020

Has The Epic Games Store Helped or Hindered the PC Gaming Market?

When Epic Games launched the Epic Games Store back in December 2018 most people wrote it off as a glorified Fortnite launcher which could never compete with Steam's reach and features. While the Epic Games Store is still lacking in features compared to Steam it has come a long way since it's launch slowly adding in new features.

The Epic Games Store surprised many when it offered Subnautica for completely free on the store and so began the tradition of the Epic Games Store's weekly game giveaways which have given away over 100 different games in the last 18 months. While pursuing this strategy of game giveaways to attract new users to the platform Epic Games also secured many exclusives for the launcher which wasn't nearly as well received.
The Epic Games Store has given away roughly 110 games since it's launch with a total value of 2298 USD RRP or 668 USD based on the lowest recorded sale price. When analyzing all the games given away it is interesting to see that most had previously been on sale for under 10 USD with just over half of the games going on sale for under 5 USD. When looking at the data we can see Epic Games isn't slowing down with the two recent giveaways of Civilization VI, and Grand Theft Auto V being some of the highest value games offered.

While the Epic Games Launcher has arguably upended a very complacent market with their free game giveaways it also employed the extremely unpopular strategy of launcher exclusive games such as with Metro Exodus. The Epic Games Store now holds over 100 exclusives and 30 more in the pipeline which limits competition and locks consumers into their platform.

What do you think, has Epic Games done more good with their free game giveaways or hurt the industry with exclusivity deals?

You can view the full table of games below:
Sources: Pro Game Guides, IsThereAnyDeal
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105 Comments on Has The Epic Games Store Helped or Hindered the PC Gaming Market?

#101
NRANM
AusWolf
You only need one RUNNING at a time, but you need all of them installed if you want your games installed. And you have to remember which game uses which launcher. And you have to open your launchers to look for your games. And you might notice that the game you wanted is associated with a different launcher, so you have to close it, and open another one. And if you don't run ALL of them in the background, you won't get updates for your games, so when you actually open a launcher to play a game, you might have to wait for the updates to download.

How much simpler would it be to have only one launcher running in the background keeping your games up to date, so whenever you want to play something, you know it's there in that one launcher, and it's ready?

As for me, I run Steam, GOG Galaxy, Origin and Uplay in the background all the time just to keep my games up to date. Not that it's hard to do with modern hardware, but basically half of my system tray icons are game launchers. For some people, it's alright. For me, it's unnecessary complexity.
Is this really where we are at? Complaining about having multiple launchers installed. Complaining about having to close a launcher, and then open a different one. The horror...

Can't spare the 3 seconds it takes to close a launcher? Can't spare the 10-20 seconds it takes to open another one? Okay, I get it. It is technically an inconvenience. It is technically more convenient to have all games in one launcher. But if this is the worst it gets, man, we have it good. I mean, this just screams first world problem to me. Hell, it's probably a... zero world problem.

Updating games also seems like a non-issue, unless you have a very slow Internet connection, so you cannot wait for the game to be updated right before playing it. If you have a decent connection, game updates should not be a problem. How often do games have these huge updates that even a fast Internet connection cannot complete in a reasonable time before playing them? Or maybe you have a ton of games installed simultaneously so that there is always something that needs updating, but having that many seems very ADHD-ish.

Oh, and you don't really need to manually open a launcher to check if the game you want to play is on it, if you have a shortcut for your game, and you double click it, it will (usually) simply open the necessary launcher as well. You would still need to wait all those torturous seconds while the launcher is loading, but it would eliminate the need to check multiple launchers.
I feel silly mentioning this, but I assume, if you knew it, you would not have complained about the need to check multiple launchers for your game.

And another fun fact (that people should be aware by now, but still..): not all games that use the Epic launcher actually need it to run. I can't begin to guess percentages, but I have tried the following games: Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Metro 2033 Redux, Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden, Surviving Mars, and The Messenger. Only the first one could not launch directly (complained about licensing), and it didn't automatically open the Epic launcher either. The remaining games start without any issues, as if they are DRM-free.
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#102
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
AusWolf
You only need one RUNNING at a time, but you need all of them installed if you want your games installed. And you have to remember which game uses which launcher. And you have to open your launchers to look for your games. And you might notice that the game you wanted is associated with a different launcher, so you have to close it, and open another one. And if you don't run ALL of them in the background, you won't get updates for your games, so when you actually open a launcher to play a game, you might have to wait for the updates to download.
I get what you're saying and it might be hard for some, but it's really not THAT big of a deal. I have about 320 games on Steam, over 400 on GOG, 20 on Uplay, 15 on Origin and 10 on EGS. Someone can name any game I have and I know where it is. it's not a long laborious search. I bought the games and I installed them. I know where they all are.
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#103
Vayra86
NRANM
Is this really where we are at? Complaining about having multiple launchers installed. Complaining about having to close a launcher, and then open a different one. The horror...

Can't spare the 3 seconds it takes to close a launcher? Can't spare the 10-20 seconds it takes to open another one? Okay, I get it. It is technically an inconvenience. It is technically more convenient to have all games in one launcher. But if this is the worst it gets, man, we have it good. I mean, this just screams first world problem to me. Hell, it's probably a... zero world problem.

Updating games also seems like a non-issue, unless you have a very slow Internet connection, so you cannot wait for the game to be updated right before playing it. If you have a decent connection, game updates should not be a problem. How often do games have these huge updates that even a fast Internet connection cannot complete in a reasonable time before playing them? Or maybe you have a ton of games installed simultaneously so that there is always something that needs updating, but having that many seems very ADHD-ish.

Oh, and you don't really need to manually open a launcher to check if the game you want to play is on it, if you have a shortcut for your game, and you double click it, it will (usually) simply open the necessary launcher as well. You would still need to wait all those torturous seconds while the launcher is loading, but it would eliminate the need to check multiple launchers.
I feel silly mentioning this, but I assume, if you knew it, you would not have complained about the need to check multiple launchers for your game.

And another fun fact (that people should be aware by now, but still..): not all games that use the Epic launcher actually need it to run. I can't begin to guess percentages, but I have tried the following games: Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Metro 2033 Redux, Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden, Surviving Mars, and The Messenger. Only the first one could not launch directly (complained about licensing), and it didn't automatically open the Epic launcher either. The remaining games start without any issues, as if they are DRM-free.
Well about updating games... the way new versions fly around its pretty mental. Even if you play some games daily you will find yourself waiting on updates multiple times a week. Its not always convenient and in some cases it really does kill your gaming plans - some games have a habit of large, multiple gig downloads, or just give you the whole god damn package to redownload (Creative Assembly, looking at you, dickheads...).

Its a lovely post otherwise though :)
AusWolf
For me, it's unnecessary complexity.
Is it unnecessary? After all, you want to play them games, right? You don't always get things the way you want - and you're always free to choose not to get something. You already do that, but it seems strangely selective in having all the rest but not another one. If its for the right reasons, by all means though.
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#104
AusWolf
NRANM
Is this really where we are at? Complaining about having multiple launchers installed. Complaining about having to close a launcher, and then open a different one. The horror...
Can't spare the 3 seconds it takes to close a launcher? Can't spare the 10-20 seconds it takes to open another one? Okay, I get it. It is technically an inconvenience. It is technically more convenient to have all games in one launcher. But if this is the worst it gets, man, we have it good. I mean, this just screams first world problem to me. Hell, it's probably a... zero world problem.
It is definitely a first world problem, I agree with that. I'm not saying that the situation is unbearable, it's just that I would prefer to keep my games in as few launchers as possible, because it's more convenient.
NRANM
Updating games also seems like a non-issue, unless you have a very slow Internet connection, so you cannot wait for the game to be updated right before playing it. If you have a decent connection, game updates should not be a problem. How often do games have these huge updates that even a fast Internet connection cannot complete in a reasonable time before playing them? Or maybe you have a ton of games installed simultaneously so that there is always something that needs updating, but having that many seems very ADHD-ish.
If you live in a small town in the Midlands region of the UK, then believe me, the speed and reliability of most internet services is absolutely awful. I have a top-of-the-line broadband with a theoretical maximum of 35 Mbits/s download, so in order to download any modern game that takes up tens of GB of space, I have to leave my PC running overnight. If my girlfriend is watching YouTube videos on TV, I can't talk to my parents on Messenger using WiFi. Yes, it's that bad.
NRANM
Oh, and you don't really need to manually open a launcher to check if the game you want to play is on it, if you have a shortcut for your game, and you double click it, it will (usually) simply open the necessary launcher as well. You would still need to wait all those torturous seconds while the launcher is loading, but it would eliminate the need to check multiple launchers.
I feel silly mentioning this, but I assume, if you knew it, you would not have complained about the need to check multiple launchers for your game.
That is true, but if I don't leave the launcher running, clicking the game icon might just initiate an update, which brings me to the problem above. The solution is running all of my launchers in the background all the time, which is (as I said) more of an inconvenience than a problem.
NRANM
And another fun fact (that people should be aware by now, but still..): not all games that use the Epic launcher actually need it to run. I can't begin to guess percentages, but I have tried the following games: Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Metro 2033 Redux, Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden, Surviving Mars, and The Messenger. Only the first one could not launch directly (complained about licensing), and it didn't automatically open the Epic launcher either. The remaining games start without any issues, as if they are DRM-free.
That is actually cool. :) (although you can do the same thing with GOG)
Posted on Reply
#105
NRANM
AusWolf
it's just that I would prefer to keep my games in as few launchers as possible, because it's more convenient.
I understand that. I would prefer to have just one launcher as well, but I realize this is unlikely to happen. I would also like for many of the people I communicate with to drop Skype and Viber, and move to Telegram, so I myself won't have to deal with garbage software (Skype and Viber) anymore, but I know this won't happen.

I feel all this constant complaining about minor issues isn't doing anybody any favors, and ironically the most affected are those who complain all the time. They seem to seed themselves with hatred and anger over trivial stuff, instead of getting over it and enjoying some solid games.
AusWolf
If you live in a small town in the Midlands region of the UK, then believe me, the speed and reliability of most internet services is absolutely awful. I have a top-of-the-line broadband with a theoretical maximum of 35 Mbits/s download, so in order to download any modern game that takes up tens of GB of space, I have to leave my PC running overnight. If my girlfriend is watching YouTube videos on TV, I can't talk to my parents on Messenger using WiFi. Yes, it's that bad.

That is true, but if I don't leave the launcher running, clicking the game icon might just initiate an update, which brings me to the problem above. The solution is running all of my launchers in the background all the time, which is (as I said) more of an inconvenience than a problem.
I sympathize, but I still think it is more of an inconvenience than an actual problem, just like you said.

However, I would say this is an area where all launchers can improve. Why not include some kind of background update mode, in which a resident system service keeps all installed games up-to-date. That's it. No UI, just that service. For example, for Steam that would be SteamService.exe. When closing Steam, close all remaining processes (steam.exe and all 10526 instances of steamwebhelper.exe), but leave the service running so it would take care of keeping things updated.
AusWolf
That is actually cool. :) (although you can do the same thing with GOG)
Well, for GOG that is kind of mandatory, considering DRM-free games is their primary selling point. :)
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