Jason Kingsley: Epic is "paying through the nose" to build its store

Dinjoralo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,010
The lack of a shopping cart, the correct amount of exclusive titles, or revshare isn't Epic's problem right now: it's that they haven't built or nurtured a consumer audience to advocate the EGS, or guide them to making a better EGS, and none of their publishing so far is conductive to having said consumer audience. So they'll likely do OK on the MAU, revenue targets, and developer sentiment feedback over the next year or so, but that won't be sufficient to achieve critical mass over a Steam like incumbent. My guess is eventually they'll figure this part out, and that's when it'll be exciting - but time will tell.
I know someone else replied to this with the same basic sentiment, but I really do not think Epic is going to stay in the store business for too long. A lot of what they're doing suggests that their strategy involves getting a big market share now. Adding features to the store front takes time they seem to act like they don't have.
 

crazyfunster

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,342
You especially can't if you don't try.

Are you suggesting that it's not possible for Epic to implement cloud saves?
Cloud saves wouldn't make them better- just match, and matching isn't enough when folks have backlogs on Steam/GOG.

Epic spending as much money as they have, and having the ticking time bomb that is Fortnite crashing down, makes me think they're in this for the long haul, or until it threatens their core business. They want another guaranteed revenue stream, and it's much better to be part of the game industry without having to actually make games , so you get the profit while the publishers/devs get the risk (see Valve as an example of this)
 

Eorl

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,925
Australia
Honestly, this is perfectly fine in the sense of being upfront on the reason. Yeah EGS exclusives are fucking shit and I'll attack their store ethos until the day it changes but being rather clear on the choice of exclusivity to a company because of money is at least truthful. Could be worse and be a Shenmue where shit is hidden as hard as possible and fuck everyone over as much as possible.

There is a limit though and even Fortnite money will eventually run out despite the huge popularity. Epic knows this hence the money spree while it is making money so that they can have a store set up ready to go once they pull back. Problem is the 12% cut is tied to Fortnite income and when that stops I really doubt they'll be able to afford such a hefty developer cut but we shall see. I don't see a bright future for Epic's store because of their inept attitude towards building an even half decent one to begin with, let alone the terrible attitude of Sweeny McTrump. Nothing says "avoid this store" like anti-consumer and pro-capitalism behaviour.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,425
Cloud saves wouldn't make them better- just match, and matching isn't enough when folks have backlogs on Steam/GOG.

Epic spending as much money as they have, and having the ticking time bomb that is Fortnite crashing down, makes me think they're in this for the long haul, or until it threatens their core business. They want another guaranteed revenue stream, and it's much better to be part of the game industry without having to actually make games , so you get the profit while the publishers/devs get the risk (see Valve as an example of this)
I don't understand why you seem to think that aiming to at least match the competition has no benefit compared to offering a significantly worse service.

Ideally they would hope to offer an even better service than their competition (much like their competitors are doing with each other), but nothing Epic have said or done suggests that they have anything close to that on their agenda.
 

neon_dream

Member
Dec 18, 2017
3,006
Title had me thinking Epic was spending lots of money to improve their actual store, as in the EGS application and its features.

Epic is paying out the nose for exclusives, is what the actual title should be.
 

Sothen

Member
Dec 15, 2017
450
It's a risky business decision, but even without knowing their finances I do think it's also a shrewd one. They know the Fortnite money train isn't going to last forever, so they're bankrolling their future by strong-arming their way into the Storefront market.

The key question is whether or not they'll manage to establish a lasting foothold, because as much as the money-hatting is working now they can't buy out exclusives forever. I think that's why they need to start making a concerted effort to improve the infrastructure of the EGS.
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,122
I don't understand why you seem to think that aiming to at least match the competition has no benefit compared to offering a significantly worse service.

Ideally they would hope to offer an even better service than their competition (much like their competitors are doing with each other), but nothing Epic have said or done suggests that they have anything close to that on their agenda.
Nobody is saying it would have no benefit, including the poster you said that to. That's a straw man.

I'm sure you're aware of Tim's comments from a couple of weeks ago:

"For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5 percent of Steam’s scale. Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures."

I'm not the only one thinking that feature parity would not lead to significant marketshare.
 

Braag

Member
Nov 7, 2017
854
They should use some of that money to hire people who can actually improve the store and add some much needed features.
I don't care what you're selling as long as that launcher you call a store is so barebones.
 

SFLUFAN

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,062
Alexandria, VA
What "independent stores" could he possibly be talking about? The only one with nearly as many features as Steam is GOG.

The Bethesda Launcher is practically as barebones as Epic's (if not actually worse!), and the other storefronts don't have launchers.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,425
Nobody is saying it would have no benefit, including the poster you said that to. That's a straw man.

I'm sure you're aware of Tim's comments from a couple of weeks ago:

"For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5 percent of Steam’s scale. Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures."

I'm not the only one thinking that feature parity would not lead to significant marketshare.
Which stores have comprehensively better functionality than Steam?

What is stopping Epic from even attempting to do so?
 

Sheepinator

Member
Jul 25, 2018
5,122
Currently the only one that even remotely deserves to be in the same conversation as Steam is GOG Galaxy.

I honestly have no goddamned idea what Tim could possibly be talking about.
Tim said nearly all stores have more features than Epic, and that none of them have much marketshare compared to Steam. What is confusing about that?
 

SFLUFAN

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,062
Alexandria, VA
Tim said nearly all stores have more features than Epic, and that none of them have much marketshare compared to Steam. What is confusing about that?
What stores is he talking about? Fanatical? GMG? Game Billet? Those are actual stores and they have absolutely zero features.

Again, the only store/launcher that's comparable in any way to Steam is GOG.

Bethesda's store/launcher is more comparable to Origin, Uplay, or Battle.net than it is to Steam or GOG in that it exists exclusively to launch Bethesda titles, and it is just as skeletal as EGS.
 
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Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,334
It's a risky business decision, but even without knowing their finances I do think it's also a shrewd one. They know the Fortnite money train isn't going to last forever, so they're bankrolling their future by strong-arming their way into the Storefront market.

The key question is whether or not they'll manage to establish a lasting foothold, because as much as the money-hatting is working now they can't buy out exclusives forever. I think that's why they need to start making a concerted effort to improve the infrastructure of the EGS.
They also have a very popular game engine that they must make a ton of money on.
 

SteveWinwood

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,980
USA USA USA
they could try to implement like one thing thats different than everyone else in order to differentiate themselves

at least more than 'the one that's objectively worse than everything else' then its just 'the one that has x'
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,334
I don't know how the Detroit, Heavy Rain, and Beyond Two Souls deal came to be but if they can get more console only games on PC that would be something. Games that seemingly have no hope of PC ports like Persona.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,425
I don't know how the Detroit, Heavy Rain, and Beyond Two Souls deal came to be but if they can get more console only games on PC that would be something. Games that seemingly have no hope of PC ports like Persona.
It came to be because Quantic Dream's deal with Sony expired and they wanted to put their games on PC.

Lots of people seemed to think that Epic were instrumental in getting a PC port of Journey to happen.

But Flower is also on Steam.

All Epic did was pay to keep those games off Steam for a limited period of time.
 

z1ggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,376
Argentina
Exclusives are the only path they have. Featurewise , GOG and Steam have the market cornered. There's no way you can make a store better than both of those.
Innovation bro, thats the way being disruptive without fucking up consumers. Meanwhile Epic trash money on exclusives (that so far didnt make the store a success or gain some good traction) Valve introduces Index and Steam Labs (thats innovation) that helps both devs and consumers alike, GOG introduces 2.0 with amazing new features.

Like i said before, this isnt the way and EGS will have it rough from now on.
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,334
It came to be because Quantic Dream's deal with Sony expired and they wanted to put their games on PC.

Lots of people seemed to think that Epic were instrumental in getting a PC port of Journey to happen.

But Flower is also on Steam.

All Epic did was pay to keep those games off Steam for a limited period of time.
I'll google for that source, thanks for giving me a heads up. Still doesn't seem like proof that Epic didn't help negotiate with Sony to allow it to come to PC. Since PS1 and the whole Crash and Spyro situation Sony has been adamant about only publishing IP that they own. I think they recently did publish a IP they didn't own, but Sony still own the IP of the 3 QD games coming to EGS iirc, so I'm surprised that they did this just to help QD out.

Anybody know any current gen or last gen Sony games that went to PC on another storefront?

Before the EGS it was kind of clear that Sony had a good relationship and trust with Epic during my time with Paragon. They let them patch whenever they wanted without certification (mid night surprise urgent hot fix? No problem. On top of weekly patches? Sure Epic). Dauntless going to Epic to get in their account system since Sony seem to trust Epic to handle it, or whatever.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,425
I mean it's just like Steam was not instrumental in getting Everybody's Gone To The Rapture or Helldivers on PC.
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,334
Thanks for the game names. Searching for Sony IP on PC just has a ton of PSNow noise haha. Back to google.

Edit, yep, those are very Sony own. Interesting. And Helldivers is the IP I couldn't remember that Sony owned and went to PC.
 

statham

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,777
FloRida
It came to be because Quantic Dream's deal with Sony expired and they wanted to put their games on PC.

Lots of people seemed to think that Epic were instrumental in getting a PC port of Journey to happen.

But Flower is also on Steam.

All Epic did was pay to keep those games off Steam for a limited period of time.
I must say having the Sony graphic logo come up after the first 15 minutes, was interesting.
 

Jroc

Member
Jun 9, 2018
792
Steam has the giant library and all the obscure features. GoG has the whole DRM-free advantage.

I just don't see what would compel someone to buy something from the Epic Store if given the choice. Even if a game I want ever becomes an Epic Store exclusive, it'll still just be a program I launch in the background like UPlay because I have to.
 

Alexandros

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,606
Exclusives are the only path they have. Featurewise , GOG and Steam have the market cornered. There's no way you can make a store better than both of those.
But they tried absolutely nothing else. The only actual incentive they gave to customers was the fire sale that they paid out of their own pocket for.

Tim said nearly all stores have more features than Epic, and that none of them have much marketshare compared to Steam. What is confusing about that?
It's not confusing, it's obfuscating the facts. "Nearly all stores have more features than Epic" actually means that most other stores tick a couple more boxes on the list compared to Epic while Valve is way out in front with almost all the boxes ticked.
 

Mr. Pointy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
3,208
To be fair, if I had a game on PC that Epic wanted to get exclusively, I'd try to squeeze an exorbitant amount of cash out of them as well. At least 3 million sales worth of money.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,735
Exclusives are the only path they have. Featurewise , GOG and Steam have the market cornered. There's no way you can make a store better than both of those.


No it's not.
Better prices, better policies are a thing they can have.

I'll tell you what, the best way to bring people to your service is to make customer feels home.

Sure some people might be an exclusive or two. But they'll just be casual customers.

At some point, there can only be two situations:
- Either Epic and Steam are both on the market selling the same games. In that case, tell me why anyone would buy on Epic ?
- Either all publishers leave Steam. Which I dont see happening.

What's the purpose of Epic then in the whole thing ?

You want to convert people ?
Easy: Do what Steam doesnt.

Here's a list of features they could've had easily:
- Fork Playnite. Which means TV mode and intégration of other launchers. Heck, add some community stuff for customisation like skins, themes, and custom cover arts.
- Have a better sharing policy for games.
- Have a way to return games for money.
- Have a good controller integration.

And last but not least:
- Instead of paying billions for 1 year exclusives, make deals with all major publishers so that people with existing Steam libraries can rethrieve their games on their Epic account. Basically what GoG could never achieve with connect.

You want to know why people dont want muliple launchers ?
Because as opposed to what some ignorants might claim, no, it's not just another launcher. Apart from the convenience argument (Yeah guess what, PC users also have a right to convenience ? Why is it only okay for consoles to claim convenience is important ???) and the features,
There's also the "library safety" argument. People value an ecosystem by its strength. A strong ecosystem means one that gives more value to your library because you're far less likely to loss access to it.
 

crazyfunster

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,342
I don't understand why you seem to think that aiming to at least match the competition has no benefit compared to offering a significantly worse service.

Ideally they would hope to offer an even better service than their competition (much like their competitors are doing with each other), but nothing Epic have said or done suggests that they have anything close to that on their agenda.
It doesn't. Offering feature parity would cause less hate, but that takes time which they believe they don't have.

I don't think their strategy will be successful myself, for this reason. Even if people buy the moneyhat games, they're not going to be making profit on those games, and the poor features of the store itself will mean people will buy the other stuff on Steam/GOG. My guess is Epic's strategy is based on gamers just taking whatever in order to play their games and that they'll eventually accept anything- which is a strategy that has failed before in the PC space (GFWL) , and I don't see a cultural shift that makes the strategy more likely to succeed this time. If anything it's less likely to succeed.

While I'm saying that Epic's strategy isn't stupid, I think it's their most likely way of succeeding, I don't think it will succeed.

Also, cheaper prices would be balked at by publisher. Maybe if Epic took the moneyhatted games and sold them cheaply it might be different.
 

Conkerkid11

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,182
It doesn't. Offering feature parity would cause less hate, but that takes time which they believe they don't have.

I don't think their strategy will be successful myself, for this reason. Even if people buy the moneyhat games, they're not going to be making profit on those games, and the poor features of the store itself will mean people will buy the other stuff on Steam/GOG. My guess is Epic's strategy is based on gamers just taking whatever in order to play their games and that they'll eventually accept anything- which is a strategy that has failed before in the PC space (GFWL) , and I don't see a cultural shift that makes the strategy more likely to succeed this time. If anything it's less likely to succeed.

While I'm saying that Epic's strategy isn't stupid, I think it's their most likely way of succeeding, I don't think it will succeed.

Also, cheaper prices would be balked at by publisher. Maybe if Epic took the moneyhatted games and sold them cheaply it might be different.
Wouldn't it make more sense to reach parity first, then buy timed exclusives?

If timed exclusives are the main draw, then wouldn't people be more likely to stay if they realized the store was actually quite good?

Seems they're doing what they should be doing completely backwards.