Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Says Only Exclusive Deals Can Combat Steam (see staff post for discussion guidelines)

dishonestjest

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,098
Sorry but you are full of shit. Epic paid the developers of Untitled Goose Game to pull the game from both Steam and Itch.io, the latter of which allows devs to get 100% of the revenue with no cut for the platform.

If you really wanted to put as much money in the developer's pockets as possible, you'd be railing against this game's exclusivity because you're now allowed to give the developers less money than you could before.

Full of shit? That's pretty hostile.

EPIC paid the INDIE developer enough money to release exclusively on Epic storefront for a fixed time period. That sounds like a win for the developer. Why? Likely due to the amount EPIC paid them amounting to more than projected earnings for their product on either of those competing platforms.

Otherwise, why would they take on this deal?

Dev strikes deal with Epic, gets (what I assume is) a lump sum - they get to keep the lights on, sell their product on the EPIC store front (12%) and when the exclusivity period is over, get to release their product on Steam / itch.io for those few still holding torches.
 

Wumbo64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
175
The idea that it's the only way is nothing but a fundamental belief. It's an extreme statement, and everything has to follow from there. Twisted.

If epic had a good front end that was solid and nice to use, she's out on resellers where I can shop around oh, some sort of control interface free games mama a nice fun to browse store... And crucially, stopped with the irresponsible moves...I'd shop there.

Yes. If it was a nice system, pleasant to shop and browse. Fun to organize and launch your games from it. They were getting customers. Naturally.

Now go on. Why is that not 'A Way'?
If you want to be as literal as possible, Epic could do everything in their power to be as consumer-facing as possible. It doesn't necessarily mean it would translate into a worthwhile financial venture for a company sitting on one of the biggest middleware engines and pieces of entertainment of all time.

Of course if they made a nice storefront, people would shop there, but that isn't the discussion. The discussion is if enough people will shop and grant them enough of the marketshare to make it worthwhile. Again, I shop at GoG. I know it has a small fraction of the install base something like Steam has, but I personally value the customer service. GoG is not Epic. Their priorities are not the same.

Again, I cannot emphasize this enough. Epic was a company that wasn't doing extremely well a few years ago, then literally exploded into relevance with Fortnite and adoption of Unreal Engine 4. Now they have raised capital from giant companies like Tencent who expect a return on that investment, plus I am sure a guy like Sweeney isn't aiming for small victories. Whether or not you agree with his stances, the guy clearly has ambitions.

So they are making a play for the throat of digital games distribution on PC. The overwhelming popularity and profitability of Fortnite is something far less sustainable than literally controlling a means of distribution millions of users depend on. They are going to act quickly, so it isn't a surprise they went with a really aggressive and disruptive tactics.

Steam pretty much is the PC ecosystem at this point. Their numbers swell month after month. Millions of people use it. Thousands of people have dozens, sometimes hundreds of pieces of software tied to their accounts. In the business world, trying to fight a train traveling with this much inertia essentially requires derailing it.

It's cool you and others claim you would shop there if it was friendly, but we already have example of a store that does almost everything in it's power to be consumer-facing, and it goes almost unmentioned by comparison. That store is GoG. I struggle to think of a store offers customer service like they do. I struggle to think of a store that actually guarantees access and availability to your games through a DRM-Free, consumer-leaning principle. I also struggle to think of a store that tried as hard as GoG to achieve relative feature-parity with a bigger competitor, despite having less resources.

Origin, Uplay, and even the Bethesda launcher likely hit user numbers that compare or exceed GoG in much smaller timetables by offering content people want, but can't get elsewhere. I am not saying it's always a good practice, but it does provide results. Unfortunately, without positive results, a lot of these companies cannot continue to do business.

There really is no perfect solution to this problem that doesn't fuck somebody now or later.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,708
If you want to be as literal as possible, Epic could do everything in their power to be as consumer-facing as possible. It doesn't necessarily mean it would translate into a worthwhile financial venture for a company sitting on one of the biggest middleware engines and pieces of entertainment of all time.

Of course if they made a nice storefront, people would shop there, but that isn't the discussion. The discussion is if enough people will shop and grant them enough of the marketshare to make it worthwhile. Again, I shop at GoG. I know it has a small fraction of the install base something like Steam has, but I personally value the customer service. GoG is not Epic. Their priorities are not the same.

Again, I cannot emphasize this enough. Epic was a company that wasn't doing extremely well a few years ago, then literally exploded into relevance with Fortnite and adoption of Unreal Engine 4. Now they have raised capital from giant companies like Tencent who expect a return on that investment, plus I am sure a guy like Sweeney isn't aiming for small victories. Whether or not you agree with his stances, the guy clearly has ambitions.

So they are making a play for the throat of digital games distribution on PC. The overwhelming popularity and profitability of Fortnite is something far less sustainable than literally controlling a means of distribution millions of users depend on. They are going to act quickly, so it isn't a surprise they went with a really aggressive and disruptive tactics.

Steam pretty much is the PC ecosystem at this point. Their numbers swell month after month. Millions of people use it. Thousands of people have dozens, sometimes hundreds of pieces of software tied to their accounts. In the business world, trying to fight a train traveling with this much inertia essentially requires derailing it.

It's cool you and others claim you would shop there if it was friendly, but we already have example of a store that does almost everything in it's power to be consumer-facing, and it goes almost unmentioned by comparison. That store is GoG. I struggle to think of a store offers customer service like they do. I struggle to think of a store that actually guarantees access and availability to your games through a DRM-Free, consumer-leaning principle. I also struggle to think of a store that tried as hard as GoG to achieve relative feature-parity with a bigger competitor, despite having less resources.

Origin, Uplay, and even the Bethesda launcher likely hit user numbers that compare or exceed GoG in much smaller timetables by offering content people want, but can't get elsewhere. I am not saying it's always a good practice, but it does provide results. Unfortunately, without positive results, a lot of these companies cannot continue to do business.

There really is no perfect solution to this problem that doesn't fuck somebody now or later.
Okay. So exclusives are the most forceful, easy, immediate, reliable and aggressive route to undermining your main competitor.

That's way different than the 'only way'. You see how you have to get away from that extreme position and towards a more nuanced reality to make sense. The reality is that it's the bluntest instrument that's available to them. It's not the only one. There's a choice.

This is not semantics. This is the difference between Sweeney claiming that he has no choice and the stone cold reality that he has a choice.

And good old games is a great example. Epic is going to be going for a more mainstream market, with a ton more resources both financially and in terms of software engineering. They would surely outgun something like good old games. They could no doubt be bigger than that.

'It's the only way' is another fundamental premise like 'valve has a monopoly. ' It's a baseless premise. If you want to argue that it's their best tool, or that it's a big decision but they made the right one, that's sensible. Declaring that they have no choice, or trying to cover your more nuanced position with the language of them having no choice, is flat out wrong.
 

Catshade

Member
Oct 26, 2017
488
I'm not necessarily against time-limited exclusives on PC per se, but the way Epic do it -nabbing soon-to-be-released games that already have Steam preorder pages or promised Steam keys to backers- is shitty and create unnecessary hostilities. I wish they focus more on their Journey/Quantic Dream approach (this previously console-only game is now available on PC!).
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,708
I'm not necessarily against time-limited exclusives on PC per se, but the way Epic do it -nabbing soon-to-be-released games that already have Steam preorder pages or promised Steam keys to backers- is shitty and create unnecessary hostilities. I wish they focus more on their Journey/Quantic Dream approach (this previously console-only game is now available on PC!).
I think that is a not so bad middle ground. They did seem to have something to do with getting the game's over to PC. And if those games can eventually come to steam, that's helping everybody with a move that helps them, too. You're right, there's a huge difference between getting those ports made, and straight paying for games to be pulled from steam.

You get your exclusive in way less time than it would take to develop one in-house, and you bring a game to PC which may not have come otherwise.
 

Wumbo64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
175
Okay. So exclusives are the most forceful, easy, immediate, reliable and aggressive route to undermining your main competitor.

That's way different than the 'only way'. You see how you have to get away from that extreme position and towards a more nuanced reality to make sense. The reality is that it's the bluntest instrument that's available to them. It's not the only one. There's a choice.

This is not semantics. This is the difference between Sweeney claiming that he has no choice and the stone cold reality that he has a choice.

And good old games is a great example. Epic is going to be going for a more mainstream market, with a ton more resources both financially and in terms of software engineering. They would surely outgun something like good old games. They could no doubt be bigger than that.

'It's the only way' is another fundamental premise like 'valve has a monopoly. ' It's a baseless premise. If you want to argue that it's their best tool, or that it's a big decision but they made the right one, that's sensible. Declaring that they have no choice, or trying to cover your more nuanced position with the language of them having no choice, is flat out wrong.
Again, they have an entire spectrum of choices available to them. They could open up a competing store and try and do it the old fashioned way. However, their business partners generating hundreds of millions in capital probably want results more quickly. Instead of paying this to advertising firms to bombard you with Facebook ads you would just block anyway, they pay it to devs so they have an incentive to put their work on their store. They have an internal philosophy mixed with number crunching that backs this up as valid method of achieving their goals. I can't verify that validity, but much prefer it to giving one more dime to the advertising industry.

They could attempt to tackle this from any angle they see fit, should their investors allow it. However, given the scale of the business we are talking about, the overhead of not immediately seeing a promising return would likely bleed half a dozen firms of millions of dollars. I don't think anyone here (myself included) have a full grasp of the macro economics at play. Countless thousands of people and millions of dollars are wrapped up in this. That inevitably entails urgency to generate either a return or at least the solid promise of future return to satisfy everyone holding the bag. To that end, the choices are more limited.

You're right, it's not the only way. It's just the only way to make money fast enough to keep the ship from sinking.
 

Lain

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,047
User Warned: Hostility
Full of shit? That's pretty hostile.

EPIC paid the INDIE developer enough money to release exclusively on Epic storefront for a fixed time period. That sounds like a win for the developer. Why? Likely due to the amount EPIC paid them amounting to more than projected earnings for their product on either of those competing platforms.

Otherwise, why would they take on this deal?

Dev strikes deal with Epic, gets (what I assume is) a lump sum - they get to keep the lights on, sell their product on the EPIC store front (12%) and when the exclusivity period is over, get to release their product on Steam / itch.io for those few still holding torches.
They aren't being hostile. They are stating a fact. You are full of shit and I weep for everyone who tries to engage you on all the disturbingly moronic points you keep trying and failing to make in your posts.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,548
Maybe send an Email to [email protected] and tell him to pay attention, better chance there than here.
Considering that Steam had their first ever (afaik) royalty cut 14 years after launch, and just a few days before EGS was officially announced, I'd say they're definitely paying attention.

People keep saying devs get a bigger cut but isn't that only true if they self publish or have that specifically negotiated with their publisher. Yes, the seller of the game gets a bigger cut, buying a publisher is involved I do not expect any of the extra 18% goes into the devs pocket.
If the publisher is using a third party studio, that studio likely has royalties after costs have been recouped. As for individual devs, a recent survey of nearly 4,000 devs showed about 50% get an annual bonus, about 20% a project bonus, 5% get royalties, and about 33% get stock options/RSU's. In all those case, a game breaking even on fewer units is a positive, plus the secondary effects such as increased job security etc. You may call if trickle down if you wish to diminish it, however if tomorrow all the platforms announced a change to 88-12, the stocks of EA, ATVI etc. would soar, and all the individual devs with RSU's and ESPP would benefit.

The idea that it's the only way is nothing but a fundamental belief. It's an extreme statement, and everything has to follow from there. Twisted.

If epic had a good front end that was solid and nice to use, she's out on resellers where I can shop around oh, some sort of control interface free games mama a nice fun to browse store... And crucially, stopped with the irresponsible moves...I'd shop there.

Yes. If it was a nice system, pleasant to shop and browse. Fun to organize and launch your games from it. They were getting customers. Naturally.

Now go on. Why is that not 'A Way'?
I don't see it. If EGS had all the features of Steam today, at comparable quality, almost nobody on Steam would buy on EGS if they could buy on Steam. Unless perhaps the game was much cheaper, which considering Epic already has thin margins means the devs would need to cut prices, which would upset other platform holders I expect, and also negate the benefit of having a better royalty.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,548
They aren't being hostile. They are stating a fact. You are full of shit and I weep for everyone who tries to engage you on all the disturbingly moronic points you keep trying and failing to make in your posts.
I appreciate the irony of people writing posts like that while accusing others who are writing perfectly sensible and common sense posts that they are full of shit.

The developer knows what their risk profile is, what their sales projections are, their burn rate, etc. If they choose to take Epic's deal they will have factored in all of the benefits of that money plus their projected sales on EGS versus what they lose by not being on itch etc.
 

Sean Mirrsen

Member
May 9, 2018
749
Dev strikes deal with Epic, gets (what I assume is) a lump sum - they get to keep the lights on, sell their product on the EPIC store front (12%) and when the exclusivity period is over, get to release their product on Steam / itch.io for those few still holding torches.
But not if the people holding torches back on Steam and Itch have already burned the bridge. I know I won't be buying the Untitled Goose Game now. There's just too many games out there, good games, for small indie devs to be so careless with seeding animosity against themselves.

The developer knows what their risk profile is, what their sales projections are, their burn rate, etc. If they choose to take Epic's deal they will have factored in all of the benefits of that money plus their projected sales on EGS versus what they lose by not being on itch etc.
But do they factor the risk of customer spite? That they're too small to hope to retain users that give up on them because they went with the radioactive choice?
 

Wumbo64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
175
I appreciate the irony of people writing posts like that while accusing others who are writing perfectly sensible and common sense posts that they are full of shit.

The developer knows what their risk profile is, what their sales projections are, their burn rate, etc. If they choose to take Epic's deal they will have factored in all of the benefits of that money plus their projected sales on EGS versus what they lose by not being on itch etc.
I try to be sympathetic. Like I said, I work retail. It sucks to get the short end as a consumer. I just have a newfound respect for the process of running a business after sitting through meetings and speaking at length about meeting projections with my superiors. It isn't to say people at the top don't make dumb decisions, it's just most of the time, overhead is much higher and margins are much thinner than the average consumer cares to know.
 

dex3108

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,147
So the price competition people often praise only exists so long as Valve decides it will exist. That's not true competition imo, if it can disappear overnight based on Valve's whims, or those of a new owner were it to be acquired.
I don't see you criticize company that did those things. That company is Sony, they for example pulled digital cards from retail stores, pulled game pre-orders from Amazon, removed games from the store, shut down servers of recently released games... And all of that while charging 60$ per year for online access. You are here talking about what if scenarios. What if Epic Store achieves monopoly and raises prices because that is good for the devs?

Valve could do all of those things but as others said they earned trust over the years. Their policies in most cases put consumers at the first place. And they always ask their partners to treat consumers fair. You can see that in many moves Valve does. One of the better ones are payment methods. Valve is looking what consumers want and then they implement that, Epic is looking what is best for them and then they are forcing that to consumers, or transfer fees to consumers if they dare to pick something outside of the standard payment methods.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,548
I try to be sympathetic. Like I said, I work retail. It sucks to get the short end as a consumer. I just have a newfound respect for the process of running a business after sitting through meetings and speaking at length about meeting projections with my superiors. It isn't to say people at the top don't make dumb decisions, it's just most of the time, overhead is much higher and margins are much thinner than the average consumer cares to know.
Yep, and you probably saw in Tim's tweets in the OP his comment that Steams 30% of every sale often ends up being more money than the profit a developer makes. Let's say a game cost $5M to make, sold $10M on Steam, developer got 70% means profit of $2M, Steam got $3M with zero risk and little cost. That's not enough to self-fund the next game.
 

Lothars

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,509
Your post is very 'us vs. them', it's weird and the rhetoric can be scary.You mention pom pom's, which is odd, because my 4 (past, it's been weeks) posts in 4 of the 89 EPIC-bashing threads have taken about 37 seconds out of my day.

If Steam is not paying attention, they should start.

The rampant disdain borders on idolatry.
And your post is a bunch of cluelessness.
I appreciate the irony of people writing posts like that while accusing others who are writing perfectly sensible and common sense posts that they are full of shit.

The developer knows what their risk profile is, what their sales projections are, their burn rate, etc. If they choose to take Epic's deal they will have factored in all of the benefits of that money plus their projected sales on EGS versus what they lose by not being on itch etc.
I hope the developers know that they are screwing the audience and might never get them back by making bad decisions that screw the customer.
 

Cranster

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,366
Yep, and you probably saw in Tim's tweets in the OP his comment that Steams 30% of every sale often ends up being more money than the profit a developer makes. Let's say a game cost $5M to make, sold $10M on Steam, developer got 70% means profit of $2M, Steam got $3M with zero risk and little cost. That's not enough to self-fund the next game.
Except for the fact that the game is selling more copies on Steam than the Epic store. Cutting off Steam as a revenue stream is not smart business wise.
 

NarohDethan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,974
Are we still doing the 'but the dev cut!' argument when it has been said time and again that devs also have the 0% dev cut option on Steam? sheesh
 

Sean Mirrsen

Member
May 9, 2018
749
Yep, and you probably saw in Tim's tweets in the OP his comment that Steams 30% of every sale often ends up being more money than the profit a developer makes. Let's say a game cost $5M to make, sold $10M on Steam, developer got 70% means profit of $2M, Steam got $3M with zero risk and little cost. That's not enough to self-fund the next game.
A notion that breaks once they go over $12M, especially with the revenue cut shifting 5% in their favor past $10M. And even then they'd have to completely ignore off-store key selling and self-distribution options to be that low on profit.
 

Wumbo64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
175
Yep, and you probably saw in Tim's tweets in the OP his comment that Steams 30% of every sale often ends up being more money than the profit a developer makes. Let's say a game cost $5M to make, sold $10M on Steam, developer got 70% means profit of $2M, Steam got $3M with zero risk and little cost. That's not enough to self-fund the next game.
I don't even think Valve's cut is entirely horrid. Developers have had great success despite it. It's just that Epic usually offers an exclusivity contract with upfront cash. There is no assurance that your game will sell on Steam, even if it is good. It's why a lot of developers are eager to get top billing from platform holders like Nintendo. They want a solid chance at success, in the case of the Epic store, you get top billing from a well-known quantity and guaranteed revenue.

I mean, with how often we hear about games failing nowadays, sounds like a no-brainer. Sucks that Steam users can't get their game for 6 to 12 months, but I sympathize more for someone's livelihood than I do for my toy.
 

ghibli99

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,565
USA
Remember Bayonetta 2? Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Street Fighter V? That's the problem here.

As for your second point, developers getting more benefits do not benefit customers in any way.
IIRC, Bayonetta 2 wouldn't have existed or been funded without Nintendo's help, right? I don't think that's the same thing. Tomb Raider was a completely different story though.
 

tet666

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,343
Germany
I'm not necessarily against time-limited exclusives on PC per se, but the way Epic do it -nabbing soon-to-be-released games that already have Steam preorder pages or promised Steam keys to backers- is shitty and create unnecessary hostilities. I wish they focus more on their Journey/Quantic Dream approach (this previously console-only game is now available on PC!).
Again there is no other approach Annapurna/Quantic Dream allrdy planned to release those games on PC and Epic jumped in and grabbed them, there are steam references in Heavy Rain for example so they allrdy had a build ready to go on steam before Epic came with the money bags.
 
Nov 8, 2017
3,691
Yep, and you probably saw in Tim's tweets in the OP his comment that Steams 30% of every sale often ends up being more money than the profit a developer makes.
Just rhetoric unless he can back it up with some kind of stats. If he's counting the enormous number of games that never turn anything close to a profit then it's true, because if Steam makes $1 but the developer made $0 profit then they did better, but ultimately irrelevant unless he can ground that in a more complete context.

Like the median sales of a game on Steam (which includes thousands of zero budget one-person development teams making crap) is ~0, so nobody is probably talking about them. Nobody else wants them at all so they'll be completely off the table when we talk about other store fronts. AAA games are frequently made by companies big enough to just have their own launcher anyway where they get to keep 100% of the revenue. The ones on Steam that do well are now going to be subject to the lower cut now, the 25% and 20% tier as they rise in sales, and in all cases these are multiplatform releases so Steam itself is only ~1/3 (often less) of the pie, which includes retail sales which are less favorable than Steam in revenue, and console digital sales which are not offering any kind of revenue split reduction. The 25% cut kicks in at $10 mil in total revenue (counting sales, DLC, marketplace transactions from steam cards etc), and AAA budgets start at $50 mil and up these days, so only flops wouldn't reach that threshold, it's ~285k copies sold at $35 per copy (factoring in regional pricing, discounts and the like). If the game with that scale of budget is only selling 1 million units overall across all platforms it's completely toast.

What's left over is a band of AA and Indie games in the middle, and we're not even sure what proportion of these have some kind of sink-or-swim difference going on here. Not many games in that band lack a Publisher to begin with, the number of developers privileged enough to have past hits that allow them to fully self-publish is slim. I would love to see rigorous stats, but we can't, because everybody obfuscates it these days and acts like videogame stuff is a state secret.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,548
A notion that breaks once they go over $12M, especially with the revenue cut shifting 5% in their favor past $10M. And even then they'd have to completely ignore off-store key selling and self-distribution options to be that low on profit.
It has been said here that the off-store key selling means the dev gets the same cut and that key seller takes a smaller cut than Steam, and is a minority of sales. Self-distribution is probably negligible in most cases, and that 5% royalty boost you mention is recent and only exists because of EGS.
 

Alexandros

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,040
Even if we ignore the common sense view that their revenue growth is almost certainly faster than costs, we already know they can afford to reduce their 30% take because they did that late last year.
So how do we know that they can reduce it even more, and why should a better service be priced the same as an inferior one?
 

eonden

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,813
Maybe instead of just copying exactly Steam, they could try and do something innovative and see their store grow.

Kinda like what MS is doing right now with their new XBox App. XBox App is still a bit buggy and doesnt have as many function as Steam (or GoG), but it is well formed and has more functionality than EGS.
MS to compete with Steam, seeing they would be unable to provide a much better experience than Steam, decided that the best way to compete was to bring something new to the market, a normal way to compete in other sectors.
MS brought a very valuable service in the form of Gamepass to PC, offering something new-ish (Origin already had their own subscription service but it is less valuable).
Somehow, PC gamers accepted this competition despite having to DOWNLOAD AND USE AN INFERIOR SERVICE because it offered something new and valuable.
 

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,228
Well no shit. When you've got nothing in terms of features or functionality the only audience you'll ever get is a captive one.
 

Euler.L.

Member
Mar 29, 2019
824
Again, if the EGS had anything of value to offer to pubs/devs they will be there regardless. The 88/12 split is enough to get games. No need to artificially create value under the guise of competition by stifling it by lack of choice.
There is no thing as artificially created value. A store has two ways to archive market penetration: service and content.
 

Muad'dib

Member
Jun 7, 2018
874
Considering that Steam had their first ever (afaik) royalty cut 14 years after launch, and just a few days before EGS was officially announced, I'd say they're definitely paying attention.
Baseless speculation, if Valve wanted to play the same game or if they're even threatened by EGS they'd be buying up exclusives and studios too. The reduction was more aimed at AAA developers using their own storefront instead of Steam, like Ubi and Bethesda.

Even if we ignore the common sense view that their revenue growth is almost certainly faster than costs, we already know they can afford to reduce their 30% take because they did that late last year.
Show me receipts.
 

JaseC

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,215
Western Australia
I'm not necessarily against time-limited exclusives on PC per se, but the way Epic do it -nabbing soon-to-be-released games that already have Steam preorder pages or promised Steam keys to backers- is shitty and create unnecessary hostilities. I wish they focus more on their Journey/Quantic Dream approach (this previously console-only game is now available on PC!).
Epic isn't actually involved with those ports. That's just a common misconception born from Galonykin implying by way of omission that Epic has a hand in their creation when he responded to people asking about Uncharted.

Edit: Oh, sorry, I missed tet666's post and now see he said much the same thing.
 
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Sean Mirrsen

Member
May 9, 2018
749
It has been said here that the off-store key selling means the dev gets the same cut and that key seller takes a smaller cut than Steam, and is a minority of sales. Self-distribution is probably negligible in most cases, and that 5% royalty boost you mention is recent and only exists because of EGS.
The revenue boost predates the EGS, the key resellers take as little as 5% (via the Humble Widget), the percentage of key sales is on average a third - so even if a minority it's significant, and self-distribution is a viable alternative that resulted in UPlay, Origin, Bethesda's launcher, and other things.

------------------------------
It also occurs to me that with the closed environment of the EGS, Epic could be reporting any numbers they want and we'd have no way to check on them. Combined with the odd situation with the exclusivity incentive being represented by "number of sold copies", and the lack of any community and progress-tracking features, and it almost makes me imagine a twisted sort of situation where the company has an astroturfing botnet of some description, that exists solely to "buy" exclusive games, allowing the publishers to report "sales numbers" that were actually the 'payout' of the exclusivity deal, rather than actual players buying the games. With no communication, no way to track player stats, leaderboards, achievements, etc, there's no way to determine whether or not such a bot-net exists, and it can well remain hidden until such a time that enough actual users trickle in to mask how barren the storefront really was. Creating the illusion of a successful store to attract actual success, as it were.
 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,899
There is one inherent problem with Tim's thinking (and some of the posters here that argue it is just a launcher)

If the users only follow the games and not their library/store features/friend list/store loyalty/brand loyalty/etc. then why would those users stay on EGS?
They only come for the games, so they won't stay for the store. Epic would have to buy exclusivity forever to get users on the store.
 

Linkark07

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,219
There is one inherent problem with Tim's thinking (and some of the posters here that argue it is just a launcher)

If the users only follow the games and not their library/store features/friend list/store loyalty/brand loyalty/etc. then why would those users stay on EGS?
They only come for the games, so they won't stay for the store. Epic would have to buy exclusivity forever to get users on the store.
Exactly. And that Fortnite warchest won't live forever. Sooner or later the bribe money will dry up and then people won't have a reason to use EGS. Why would companies lock their game in one store if they can get more in Steam and other storefronts? The 12% cut? Don't make me laugh.
Unless Lyin' Timmy intends to improve his store and do something unique that brings a benefit to consumers, EGS is doomed to fail, especially if he continues patronizing people and using tricks from Trump's playbook.
 

ShapeGSX

Member
Nov 13, 2017
862
But not if the people holding torches back on Steam and Itch have already burned the bridge. I know I won't be buying the Untitled Goose Game now. There's just too many games out there, good games, for small indie devs to be so careless with seeding animosity against themselves.
We don't know how well the studio was doing. Hypothetical: So you'd rather that they closed up shop than make a deal like this?
 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,899
Even if we ignore the common sense view that their revenue growth is almost certainly faster than costs, we already know they can afford to reduce their 30% take because they did that late last year.
If 30% is too much
If 20% is too much
Then why should we take Epic's word that 12% is the right amount? Why can't they lower their cut below 12%? Why are they strangling developers with that ridiculous 12% cut? 5% should be enough!

Stating that something is too much while you yourself (the company) operate on a loss is bad faith arguing.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,548
The revenue boost predates the EGS, the key resellers take as little as 5% (via the Humble Widget), the percentage of key sales is on average a third - so even if a minority it's significant, and self-distribution is a viable alternative that resulted in UPlay, Origin, Bethesda's launcher, and other things.

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It also occurs to me that with the closed environment of the EGS, Epic could be reporting any numbers they want and we'd have no way to check on them. Combined with the odd situation with the exclusivity incentive being represented by "number of sold copies", and the lack of any community and progress-tracking features, and it almost makes me imagine a twisted sort of situation where the company has an astroturfing botnet of some description, that exists solely to "buy" exclusive games, allowing the publishers to report "sales numbers" that were actually the 'payout' of the exclusivity deal, rather than actual players buying the games. With no communication, no way to track player stats, leaderboards, achievements, etc, there's no way to determine whether or not such a bot-net exists, and it can well remain hidden until such a time that enough actual users trickle in to mask how barren the storefront really was. Creating the illusion of a successful store to attract actual success, as it were.
The Steam revenue boost predates the EGS by 3 days. If you think Valve had no idea EGS was coming then I have a bridge to sell you, and if you think their first royalty cut in 14 years in the same week as EGS launched was simply a remarkable coincidence, then I have another bridge to sell you.

The rest of your post was some crazy conspiracy theory not worthy of discussion. You almost hit on a point though. I do suspect that Epic guaranteed games X unit sales or $Y revenue, and when EGS did their $10 off everything over $15 sale it wasn't really costing Epic much for any game that was under that guarantee, since they'd be paying that out anyway.
 

spam musubi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,578
There is one inherent problem with Tim's thinking (and some of the posters here that argue it is just a launcher)

If the users only follow the games and not their library/store features/friend list/store loyalty/brand loyalty/etc. then why would those users stay on EGS?
They only come for the games, so they won't stay for the store. Epic would have to buy exclusivity forever to get users on the store.
Yeah, and the thing is, users don’t care about the 12% cut. Unless game prices are lower on EGS because of the cut (and they aren’t), there is no benefit of the 12% cut to the user. He’s not selling the store to customers. He’s selling it to devs. But if the users aren’t there the devs won’t come either. If a dev makes their game epic exclusive and gets the money hat, but they do less sales because of it, while they make a short term gain, they do not gain customers loyal to their brand. The sequel to their game will sell even less because no one played the first. So they essentially become dependent on epic’s cash out to keep making games. And epic ain’t gonna keep paying forever.
 

Kyougar

Member
Nov 3, 2017
3,899
We don't know how well the studio was doing. Hypothetical: So you'd rather that they closed up shop than make a deal like this?
What about the other 1000's devs that are currently struggling? Why don't they get Epic's money? Why are they left to die?

Epic is giving a free fish to specific persons out of a big crowd.
The Steam marketplace (not Valve) is teaching the crowd how to fish.

The devs who take epics money have no incentive to make great games, they get paid nonetheless. They have no incentive to improve their game, to improve their company, to improve their tools, to be more competitive against the other developers. (If the argument is that they would have no success on Steam because reason xyz)


My view is, that if a developer takes charity to make/release a game, the game should be free. It would be unfair to all the other struggling devs who release their game on the free market and compete against each other.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,583
If EGS continues, piracy will rise and sour publishers on PC, which valve nearly single handedly revived in the 00's.
 

ShapeGSX

Member
Nov 13, 2017
862
What about the other 1000's devs that are currently struggling? Why don't they get Epic's money? Why are they left to die?

Epic is giving a free fish to specific persons out of a big crowd.
The Steam marketplace (not Valve) is teaching the crowd how to fish.

The devs who take epics money have no incentive to make great games, they get paid nonetheless. They have no incentive to improve their game, to improve their company, to improve their tools, to be more competitive against the other developers. (If the argument is that they would have no success on Steam because reason xyz)


My view is, that if a developer takes charity to make/release a game, the game should be free. It would be unfair to all the other struggling devs who release their game on the free market and compete against each other.
Epic is a private company. They are free to spend their money as they see fit. They wanted Untitled Goose Game for their store, so they made them a deal.

It's called an "investment", not "charity."

You said, "My view is, that if a developer takes charity to make/release a game, the game should be free. It would be unfair to all the other struggling devs who release their game on the free market and compete against each other."

Most games have some form of investment involved (sorry, "charity"). So most games should actually be free is what you're saying. This is not how the world works.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,548
What about the other 1000's devs that are currently struggling? Why don't they get Epic's money? Why are they left to die?

Epic is giving a free fish to specific persons out of a big crowd.
The Steam marketplace (not Valve) is teaching the crowd how to fish.

The devs who take epics money have no incentive to make great games, they get paid nonetheless. They have no incentive to improve their game, to improve their company, to improve their tools, to be more competitive against the other developers. (If the argument is that they would have no success on Steam because reason xyz)

My view is, that if a developer takes charity to make/release a game, the game should be free. It would be unfair to all the other struggling devs who release their game on the free market and compete against each other.
That's... a take. Devs have every incentive to make great games: to sell more units, to sell more additional content to the players they have, and it's their reputation on the line!

And calling funding "charity", lol.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,454
Sweden
exclusives is how playstation gained a foothold and how xbox gained a foothold

it's even how steam gained a foothold (half-life 2)

so i would say that the claim that exclusives are needed to establish a platform has been borne out by history
 

Custódio

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,184
Brazil, Unaí/MG
exclusives is how playstation gained a foothold and how xbox gained a foothold

it's even how steam gained a foothold (half-life 2)

so i would say that the claim that exclusives are needed to establish a platform has been borne out by history

Wrong. You are talking about first-party exclusives or funded games. It's different paying someone to make a game vs paying someone to not release an already made game in another place.
 

NarohDethan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,974
exclusives is how playstation gained a foothold and how xbox gained a foothold

it's even how steam gained a foothold (half-life 2)

so i would say that the claim that exclusives are needed to establish a platform has been borne out by history
PlayStation entered the market by both introducing state of the art technology on the console market and a innovative business proposal for publishers.

You could make the argument that Half Life 2 forced Steam on people wanting to play it, but we're talking about the times with rampant piracy and no set standards for PC Gaming.