Now that The Division 2 is out, I've figured out the real reason for Ubi choosing Epic store

Nooblet

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Oct 25, 2017
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Hi all, so I thought i'd make this thread for information. This is NOT an Epic store vs Steam thread so please try to keep that discussion out of here.
Basically I had my suspicion over why Ubi decided to ditch steam and go for Epic store and my suspicions were confirmed today. For starters I'll explain how Ubi-steam integration worked in the past and how the Epic integration is entirely different and benefits Ubisoft.

So up until now as you know every ubi game had a "uplay version" and a "steam version", depending on how your purchased the game. The "steam version" always required you to have steam installed and running in background even if you could launch the game from uplay itself. Take this example for Rainbow Six Siege. I own the "uplay version" and the "steam version" both as I originally purchased the uplay version and then later on bought the game on steam which meant I got "two copies" on my uplay account...but one of them requires me to launch steam and the other doesn't:





But the "steam version" is more than just a shortcut. As I've already mentioned it requires you to run steam in the background but that's not it, the biggest differentiation is that when you actually try to make an ingame purchase through the "steam version" you absolutely HAVE to process the payment through steam. You don't get any other option at all. What this means is that steam made a 20% cut (since the cut was lower for big publisher) not only on every game purchase but every single mtx. As you can see below:


Now if I were to look at the same store after launching the "uplay version" the payment options changed for me. Now I can process the payment on uplay itself and Ubi gets 100% of my mtx money:




When Ubi went EGS exclusive, I suspected that in return for being the 3rd party exclusive for one of the biggest games this year Epic may allow Ubi to have a lot more control over the non Uplay version than steam and I was absolutely right ! Basically the Epic store version is truly nothing more than a shortcut. Once you install it on epic launcher the game links to your uplay and adds the game in your uplay account. After this point you can pretty much uninstall Epic Launcher if you want to and run the game from uplay entirely as the Epic launcher is NEVER used for anything else. But wait there's more ! Not only is this the case but also the ingame store is now entirely managed through uplay....regardless of whether you boot the game from uplay or epic store.


The Division 2 store as it appears when you launch the game from uplay:



The Division 2 store as you get when you launch from Epic launcher:




Absolutely no difference ! This brings me back to a comment Ubi made about how they will make "select tittles" exclusive to Epic store. I originally guessed that they meant all of their GaaS titles, with their non GaaS/light GaaS titles being available on steam too. Since mtx is how these games make money it would make sense for Ubi to make it Epic store exclusive so that they make 100% of the mtx money from every single transaction.
 
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Ge0force

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That makes sense. MTX/DLC money was the reason why EA left Steam as well if I remember correctly.

This said, I'm more worried about Ubisofts boycott against 3rd party keystores. This isn't good at all...
 
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Fliesen

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Oct 25, 2017
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It's still a gamble, but i suppose a worthwhile one.

They're trading a smaller number in sold copies for a higher profit margin in both sales, as well as microtransactions. (+ whatever they got upfront)

It's the same reason that Fortnite wasn't put on the Google Play store or how certain service providers (Amazon) try to circumvent having to pay Apple a share on new Prime subscribers.
It's the same reason Origin exists, to begin with ...
 

JaseC

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Does EGS even have a Steam Wallet equivalent? I suspect the lack thereof is the actual reason Epic is leaving microtransaction revenue on the table.
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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It's still a gamble, but i suppose a worthwhile one.

They're trading a smaller number in sold copies for a higher profit margin in both sales, as well as microtransactions. (+ whatever they got upfront)

It's the same reason that Fortnite wasn't put on the Google Play store or how certain service providers (Amazon) try to circumvent having to pay Apple a share on new Prime subscribers.
It's the same reason Origin exists, to begin with ...
Not sure about the smaller number of sold copies because their preorders were higher than the first game.
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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Does EGS even have a Steam Wallet equivalent? I suspect the lack thereof is the actual reason Epic is leaving microtransaction revenue on the table.
yea but it doesn't explain why the EGS version is essentially a shortcut for a game that....doesn't even require EGS to be installed on your PC.
 

Fliesen

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Oct 25, 2017
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Not sure about the smaller number of sold copies because their preorders were higher than the first game.
"Smaller number" compared to what's possible when you're on Steam as well. - not compared to the previous game.
Potential Sales (Epic Store exclusives) < Potential Sales (Epic store + Steam Store)
 
Nov 8, 2017
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They were also extremely pleased that the shift to EGS resulted in a huge increase in how many people bought it from uPlay directly. We heard this straight from the horses mouth. That is, when given the choice between uPlay or Steam, people want it on Steam, but when given the choice between EGS and uPlay, people prefer uPlay in much greater numbers.
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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Because Epic Store is half baked product that they are dealing with on the fly. It is that simple.
So why do other games on Epic store require you to run Epic launcher in the background then? It's not as simple as you're making it out to be. They won't just go "fuck it we don't have that functionality" and make a deal for what is essentially one of the biggest release this year.
 

LewieP

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Oct 26, 2017
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I imagine that even if Epic wanted their method for handling this stuff to mirror Steam, their extremely basic client would not support that functionality.
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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That makes sense. MTX/DLC money was the reason why EA left Steam as well if I remember correctly.

This said, I'm more worried about Ubisofts boycott against 3rd party keystores. This isn't good at all...
Yea it makes little sense that they'd get rid of stores that sell copies of their own store. But I suspect this was in their agreement with Epic that in return for having full control over the Epic store version payment wise they don't sell the game anywhere else other than uplay and EGS.
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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Oct 25, 2017
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DRM. Ubisofts games are using uPlay's own DRM.
I know that...as you can see I own quite a few games on uplay :P

Regardless of that DRM steam was still required for the steam copies, and Epic seems to have their own version of DRM that they run when you launch a game bought off Epic store. But innthis game there is none of that and only the uplay DRM.
 

texhnolyze

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Oct 25, 2017
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Yes, it was obvious from the start. It's to make Ubisoft more money, it's not rocket science. It's also a move to screw over customers like me. Without Steam wallet, there's no way for me to buy microtransactions. Ubisoft only supports Paypal and it's not as accessible as Steam wallet for me, and it's way more pricey.

But hey, let's cheer for their relationship, shall we? What a great decision that was. Screw Steam for taking 20% from Ubisoft, etc etc.
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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Oct 25, 2017
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I imagine that's because Epic didn't anticipate carrying games with third-party clients and so there's no way for EGS to interface with them.
Possibly. But you'd think they'd do it for the biggest launch on EGS yet and get help from Ubi since Ubi has been doing it for a while. I really think this is more down to the agreement they reached rather than their inability to do so.
 

Wulfram

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Mar 3, 2018
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Steam wanting part of the microtransactions was I think the reason given for EA no longer releasing on Steam
 

stan423321

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Oct 25, 2017
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Wait a moment. EGS dev TOS doesn't have a clause that at least forces those things to be available on EGS, nevermind only there? That's hilarious.

Actually I need more info about this. How does EGS handle DLC? Is there any other non-Epic EGS game with microtransactions, and if so, how do they work?
 
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Nooblet

Nooblet

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Oct 25, 2017
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Yes, it was obvious from the start. It's to make Ubisoft more money, it's not rocket science. It's also a move to screw over customers like me. Without Steam wallet, there's no way for me to buy microtransactions. Ubisoft only supports Paypal and it's not as accessible as Steam wallet for me, and it's way more pricey.

But hey, let's cheer for their relationship, shall we? What a great decision that was. Screw Steam for taking 20% from Ubisoft, etc etc.
I get that but someone will always be screwed over as it's not optimal for them. I did not like being limited to steam wallet for example as in my case and I wanted to pay without using it...but couldn't.

And this thread isn't about cheering anything or steam Vs epic. I've already said it's meant purely for information.
 

ChippyTurtle

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Oct 13, 2018
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Doesn't the Epic store also not have user reviews? They probably love that.
Meh, the Division 2 seems on first look to be good.

Anywho, interesting theory OP. Sounds sound to me. Epic gets a stab at encouraging their storefront, Ubisoft gets more Uplay adopters, the mtx money, and epic money. As for the 3rd party resellers, I wouldn't be surprised if Ubisoft wanted to cut them out, (despite creating the Ubisoft Connect integration, a sort of key redemption system), but I primarily think Epic needs more potential sales and Ubisoft obligated.
 

Ge0force

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Regardless of that DRM steam was still required for the steam copies, and Epic seems to have their own version of DRM that they run when you launch a game bought off Epic store. But innthis game there is none of that and only the uplay DRM.
Yeah, it seems there's a more 'advanced' interaction between uPlay and Steam. Ubisofts latest games were using Steam achievements for example. As someone else already pointed out, Epic doesn't probably have this interaction (yet).
 

JaseC

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Oct 25, 2017
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Possibly. But you'd think they'd do it for the biggest launch on EGS yet and get help from Ubi since Ubi has been doing it for a while. I really think this is more down to the agreement they reached rather than their inability to do so.
I don't think there was really any time for Epic and Ubi to work on client integration. The exclusivity deal was announced just a few weeks before the closed beta, and there's no reason to assume the ink had been dry for quite some time (see: the Metro Exodus deal being struck after the game went gold).
 

UberTag

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Oct 25, 2017
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Steam wanting part of the microtransactions was I think the reason given for EA no longer releasing on Steam
Steam got greedy and it's going to cost them their foothold in the AAA gaming space. So many of those games are MTX-driven now and there's absolutely no way any of those publishers are going to be willing to give up a slice of their DLC revenue when precedent has shown that Steam's direct competitors will happily allocate the whole enchilada.
 

BernardoOne

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Oct 25, 2017
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Thats because Epic doesn't have the features on their client to support that. Ubisoft accepted because of the moneyhat. They'd still be on EGS even if it didn't lack such basic features.
Doesn't have to be about the wallet. The EGS version launched through uplay and skipped EGS' payment pipeline.
there's no payment pipeline on EGS for in-app purchases for third parties.
 

spineduke

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Oct 25, 2017
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I doubt this is intentional, its more like the launcher doesn't have a way to integrate mtx into their payment scheme. Otherwise every dev will launch a F2P game on epic and just go ham with the mtx
 

LewieP

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I doubt this is intentional, its more like the launcher doesn't have a way to integrate mtx into their payment scheme. Otherwise every dev will launch a F2P game on epic and just go ham with the mtx
Yep. Free demo + $20 unlock to get the full game.

Edit: I am thinking about this not being something that they will allow in the future when they have said they will open the store up more.
 

stan423321

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Oct 25, 2017
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I doubt this is intentional, its more like the launcher doesn't have a way to integrate mtx into their payment scheme. Otherwise every dev will launch a F2P game on epic and just go ham with the mtx
Epic will just block F2P stuff so that's not a realistic scenario, but this certainly looks like either a special Ubi deal (since they could have just forced uPlay without EGS instead) or a short-sighted move.
 

Inki

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Oct 30, 2017
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Plus you have to figure as well 200 million people have fortnight accounts, even if only 25% (a guess) of them are on PC, that's 50 million people (example of high number user base) who may ONLY play fortnight and not even know about steam and uplay. It's a win win for Ubisoft. Smaller Cut to Epic (if at all) on MTX, new market with insane player base already established.
 
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Conkerkid11

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Oct 25, 2017
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Makes sense.

I just figured they took a look at their sales, realized how many more people were buying their games on Uplay largely due to key sellers only selling cheap Uplay keys, and thought it'd be more profitable to take the bundle of cash from Epic.
 

LewieP

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Oct 26, 2017
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Plus you have to figure as well 200 million people have fortnight accounts, even if only 25% of them are on PC, that's 50 million people who may ONLY play fortnight and not even know about steam and uplay. It's a win win for Ubisoft. Smaller Cut to Epic (if at all) on MTX, new market with insane player base already established.
That's a lot of assumptions.

We don't know how many fortnite players are on PC (I expect mobile and console are the majority), we don't know how many of them even have payment details associated with their account (I expect that the majority do not).

I think if these numbers were favourable to Epic's pitch for Epic Store, we'd have seen those numbers.
 

Deleted member 1759

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I just wonder why Ubisoft even bothered with EGS in the first place then? Do we know that Epic paid them for it?

Because otherwise, it would make more sense to make the game uPlay exclusive and keep selling game keys through official resellers. But now that I think about it, resellers will probably take a higher cut than Epic (because 12% seems to be unsustainable).
 

Inki

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That's a lot of assumptions.

We don't know how many fortnite players are on PC (I expect mobile and console are the majority), we don't know how many of them even have payment details associated with their account (I expect that the majority do not).

I think if these numbers were favourable to Epic's pitch for Epic Store, we'd have seen those numbers.
The 200 Million is from an article, the 25% is an assumption/guess, yes. All I was trying to get across was that there is a new marketplace that gives them a better cut (assuming the OP is correct) with an already large user base. Win, Win for Ubisoft. (edited original post).
 

LewieP

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Oct 26, 2017
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The 200 Million is from an article, the 25% is an assumption yes. All I was trying to get across was that there is a new marketplace that gives them a better cut (assuming the OP is correct) with an already large user base. Win, Win for Ubisoft. (edited original post).
Many of these people will only play Fortnite. I don't see how that is preferable to the Steam audience, which have a clear track record for buying and enjoying many games.

I think pulling the game from Steam and putting it on Epic store is nothing to do with the Fortnite audience, I think it's to do with the big bag of money Epic gave to Ubisoft to pull their game from Steam.
 

Inki

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Many of these people will only play Fortnite. I don't see how that is preferable to the Steam audience, which have a clear track record for buying and enjoying many games.

I think pulling the game from Steam and putting it on Epic store is nothing to do with the Fortnite audience, I think it's to do with the big bag of money Epic gave to Ubisoft to pull their game from Steam.
I have to respectfully disagree (to the fortnite association), potential is a powerful word in the world of sales. While it might not have been the deciding factor on the epic store consideration, it was not overlooked or ignored by Ubisoft in any way. Establishing yourself within a thriving marketplace (yes THRIVING) is a good thing and drives up sales by association.
Please understand I'm not disputing that money paid by Epic isn't a factor as well. I think it's a culimation of things. But if Ubisoft thought it would be a negative thing overall they wouldn't have done it.
 
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dex3108

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Oct 26, 2017
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I have to respectfully disagree (to the fortnite association), potential is a powerful word in the world of sales. While it might not have been the deciding factor on the epic store consideration, it was not overlooked or ignored by Ubisoft in any way. Establishing yourself within a thriving marketplace (yes THRIVING) is a good thing and drives up sales by association.
Sergey from Epic published article where he showed that users who play F2P games don't have tendency to buy games. He used Dota 2 to show that.
 

Ge0force

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I have to respectfully disagree (to the fortnite association), potential is a powerful word in the world of sales. While it might not have been the deciding factor on the epic store consideration, it was not overlooked or ignored by Ubisoft in any way. Establishing yourself within a thriving marketplace (yes THRIVING) is a good thing and drives up sales by association.
Fortnite is thriving, not the store itself. We don't know how many people are using Epic's client only as a launcher for Fortnite, without ever visiting the store.
 

texhnolyze

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I get that but someone will always be screwed over as it's not optimal for them. I did not like being limited to steam wallet for example as in my case and I wanted to pay without using it...but couldn't.

And this thread isn't about cheering anything or steam Vs epic. I've already said it's meant purely for information.
Is there a problem with payment through Steam? Do they not offer the same payment options or something?

Sorry, that wasn't directed at you. These deals always screw customers in the end, and there are too many people here who prefer to take publishers' side than customers'.

I have to respectfully disagree (to the fortnite association), potential is a powerful word in the world of sales. While it might not have been the deciding factor on the epic store consideration, it was not overlooked or ignored by Ubisoft in any way. Establishing yourself within a thriving marketplace (yes THRIVING) is a good thing and drives up sales by association.
Please understand I'm not disputing that money paid by Epic isn't a factor as well. I think it's a culimation of things. But if Ubisoft thought it would be a negative thing overall they wouldn't have done it.
Free to play people don't buy games, it's that simple. They'd rather spend their money on microtransactions of their beloved f2p games than buy premium games. There's some charts about Steam users who play Dota 2, that's basically all they play and they very rarely buy any other game. Compared to users who play CS:GO (which was a paid game), the difference was pretty noticeable.
 

spam musubi

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Oct 25, 2017
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yea but it doesn't explain why the EGS version is essentially a shortcut for a game that....doesn't even require EGS to be installed on your PC.
I mean, does EGS offer something equivalent to steamworks that provjdes many of the features that steam provides? I don’t think so, so they can’t do much with their store running even if they wanted to.