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

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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.

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).

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.

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 ( https://www.reddit.com/r/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 - https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd....923/8D5D7EBC0EED03D1A21961517D29B44291863594/ - 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.

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.

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 - https://medium.com/@info_68117/why-...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.

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.
 
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Well gotta give people SOME reason to sign up to his irrelevant platform.
 
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The one thing we can agree on here is that competition is good.
I'm glead we agree on something at least.

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.
If Valve reacts in a way that can be considered a response to something Epic has done, then Epic is indeed actually providing a competition. So far Valve has done nothing of the sort because it doesn't feel threatend.
Regarding Shenmue 3 and any crowd-funded game, I see no reason to blame Epic for "pulling the rug", especially for cases when the developer on its own accord goes to Epic (like it was with Phoenix Point), but either if Epic approached the developer with the offer, it is up to the latter to decide whether to honor their promises or not.

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.
While I do agree that the game's idea was kind of sick, its existence doesn't really bother me. Just because I don't like something, doesn't mean I want it censored/removed. I simply ignore it and move on. Of course, it is Valve's right to remove anything they deem unacceptable, as it is their store, I am simply annoyed at the slight double standard.

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).
I disagre it is a pile of crap. Yes, features are missing, and it isn't as good as Steam, but calling it crap is quite an exaggeration. While I agree that they can probably speed up its development a bit, I'm also inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt since I have no solid information exactly why it is going as slow as it is.
And yes, their roadmap was perhaps overly ambitious. I agree that it was a bit of a blunder. Still, let's not forget that Valve's track record when comes to meeting deadlines is not exactly stellar. Quite the opposite in fact.

* 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 ( https://www.reddit.com/r/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 - https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd....923/8D5D7EBC0EED03D1A21961517D29B44291863594/ - 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.
Customer reviews is indeed something that should be on top of their priorities list, and should be implemented as soon as possible.

I have already explained that the argument "lack of choice" does not apply, or that if it does, then it should also apply to all games that are available on Steam and nowhere else. It is still "lack of choice", I do not have a choice where I can purchase that game.

The additional fees are regrettable but passing on expenses to consumers is not something that is exclusive to Epic. Apparently, some payment processors charge outrageous fees, and as the Epic developer says in that Twitter thread, why would anyone support that. I don't know if Epic has tried to "eat" some of the fees, perhaps they have, and perhaps they haven't. I don't know how much of the fees Steam "eats" and how much is passed on to the customer. I assume they can "eat" more of such fees due to their higher cut. Still, I do not have all the information to make a definitive statement as to who is to blame and how much.

Regarding Tim Sweeny and his statements, I don't see the problem. He has made some stupid/silly statements. And? I mean, if his statements bother you so much, then sure, boycott. If I based my purchasing decisions based on what CEOs or companies/PR/marketing say on social media, I wouldn't be playing almost any games, hell, I wouldn't even have a computer.

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 - https://medium.com/@info_68117/why-...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.
I've seen their exchange. I see nothing aggregious or contradictory in it. At least, not with certainty. I'm assuming the issue is that Tim said that multi-store is the future while he is trying to secure exclusives. The thing is, he didn't say anything about all games being available on all stores. He said "multi-store", which implies multiple stores where users can purchase games. Perhaps he did mean "all games on all stores", and that would indeed contradict his behavior, but he did not say that. That statement is too unclear in my opinion.
I believe people need something to hate. That is why they use every tiny thing they can find to just pounce and indulge their urge to hate on Epic. Can't hate on Steam, that's where people buy their games. Can't hate on GOG, they don't use DRM, so it would be wrong to hate on it. Epic is a newcomer, it's also a huge company, so it fits the bill. So many people seem to love to hate something: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Linux, EA, Ubisoft, and the list goes to infinity.

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.
You outlined reasons why you disike the Epic store, which is fine. You are entitled to your reasoning and preferences. None of it however explains why store exclusivity harms gamers.

And stop blaming Epic for the developers' lack of integrity! If a developer makes a promise, it is their responsibility to keep it. Period. Nobody else is to blame.

And, actually, I do not mind having another launcher. I'm not jumping for joy but I am not particularly bothered by it. Is it the required disk space that bothers people? What else is there? It doens't have to run all the time, gamers can start it, play a game, and close it. Some games do not even require starting the Epic Games Launcher at all. Are the additional two clicks and 15 second load/wait time that bother people? Are these hurdles really that huge?
And yes, for me Epic's launcher is sufficient: I can find the game I want to obtain, purchase it, then play it. I have no need for "socializing" or achievements, or badges, or whatever. The only thing I'm actually missing is the user reviews. Of course, I'm not arrogant enough to think that my preferences should be the default ones. If someone finds the lack of forums or the lack of achievements, or anything else, to be a dealbreaker, that's fine. But I still think people overexaggerate the negatives.

As I have stated in other threads, as a gamer I go where the games are. To me, games are more important than stores. If I want to play a game, I will go to the store where the game is. I don't care if that is on Steam, GOG, Uplay, Origin, Epic. I find Origin to be a perfectly serviceable store but out of those that I mentioned, I find Origin to be the worst. Yet, if Ori and the Will of the Wisps was released exclusevely on Origin, I would not hesitate to purchase it there.
 
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I think we've both certainly had a healthy exchange of our viewpoints. We definitely don't agree on much, and we're not going to walk away with that having changed, but I'm glad we were able to have an amicable exchange of viewpoints without a bunch of personal attacks as that's somewhat rare these days.
 
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