Tim Sweeney: “If Valve commits to a permanent 88% revenue share, we’ll stop making new exclusive deals” (Read Staff Post)

Sirhc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
652
What's unsustainable is that the capital investment of developing games is greater than that of running a digital store and the ratio is more than 70/30. What's unsustainable is that Steam has a monopoly on game distribution.

I want games to be more profitable for developers and publishers because I love the medium and want more projects to become financially viable.
Wut? You know you can buy PC games other places other then steam correct? GoG? Origin? Uplay? Windows store?

Just because devs and publishers choose to release only on steam sometimes doesn't mean they have a monopoly, it means they have the best place to sell their product.
 

Vatrak

Banned
Apr 23, 2019
7
Fortunately Valve have never exploited employees. I'm all for shitting on Epic when it comes to bullshit statements like there but lets not make Valve into heroes when they've been involved in arguably worse shit over the years.
What "worse shit"? Nobody is getting exploited at Valve. In fact, Valve is one of the most carefree place to work. It's literally the opposite of how most AAA game developpers work. You can literally work on any projects you want, whenever you want.
Meanwhile people are working 80hours/week at Epic and not getting paid overtime. How are these 2 situations even remotely comparable.
 

Johnny

Member
Oct 28, 2017
481
I don't get why that makes sense considering Steam gives devs more options and tools than Nintendo and that's without their own hardware ecosystem.

Unless you're saying that because they spent more money on doing their own hardware they're entitled to more money even though they offer less features to devs and consumers.
There's no entitled in business. But we should compare apples to apples. Nintendo and Valve don't have the same business model so they don't need the same gross margins to make a profit. Both have a monopoly in a distribution channel. Nintendo on Switch, Valve on PC. Both choose the 30% cut as their monopoly pricing because that's the ceiling, not the floor.
 
EGS discussion guidelines

Morrigan

Armoring
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
10,481
Official Staff Communication
Given the volatility in recent Epic Game Store related threads we have decided that some clearer guidelines are required to cultivate healthier discussion.
  • Do not enter these threads in bad faith. If we conclude that your goal is to misrepresent the concerns of other users or rile people up, you will be moderated. Intent matters here. Honest questions or commentary about the differences and similarities between the Epic Games Store and other storefronts are fine. Deliberately and dismissively attempting to troll concerned members on those topics is not okay. These discussions must be held in good faith and in a civil manner.
  • As a reminder, antagonizing or engaging in personal attacks on other members is still against the rules. We have a large community with a wide range of preferences and personal priorities. Not everyone will feel the same way as you do on any given topic. If you feel a post is breaking a rule please report it and do not respond with hostility. If you choose to engage do so politely. We always check to see which users have a history of trouble in this area.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to want to wait for a game to be released on the storefront of your preference (ex: "I'll just wait for the Steam release.") It is not acceptable to troll threads because of storefront exclusivity timed or otherwise (ex: "So the real PC release is going to be a year later.") The latter is needlessly inflammatory and distracts from discussion. We will be scrutinizing these posts more closely going forward.
  • Do not advocate, defend, or admit to piracy under any circumstances. This is explicitly against our Terms of Service. There are no justifications that will make this acceptable.
Addendum: It's fine and often healthy to be critical of media coverage (ex: "I don't think this article is good and here's why"), but please avoid going down any rabbit holes with excessive vitriol and conspiracy theories (ex: "This outlet is clearly paid off because I don't agree with their coverage"). We've long had a general policy against hyperbolical vilification of the media and that rule has not been suspended.
 

packy17

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,274
How is he getting away with this narrative? 70/30 is still the standard pretty much everywhere. It's not a problem and it's not "killing" anything.

Sure, it's nice for publishers that Epic's share is more favorable for them, but with zero forward facing benefits to consumers coming from it, people aren't ever going to stop being bitter about exclusive deals. Nor should they.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,530
Nintendo develops their own hardware ecosystem which means a lot of fixed costs and risk. So do Microsoft and Sony. Valve builds on the existing PC ecosystem. If anything your question proves my point. They are charging developers the same as Nintendo without creating their own hardware ecosystem.

Also, Nintendo has a monopoly on the Switch store, so them charging 30% shows that this is probably the equilibrium monopoly pricing (they can’t raise it any further without hurting demand for their store). So yeah, this comparison doesn’t put valve in the best light.
Not gonna lie i think you have it out for valve for the normal reasons aka no reason in particular.

Steam didn't parasite onto some ecosystem. They went into a market that was getting hammered by publishers and retailers (and oh operating system makers) who couldn't figure it the fuck out.

They created and grew a whole ecosystem in that market. Huge retailers and indies sell steam keys off their own websites and find a place in the market. And steam os a substantial technology platform that im sure you know nothing about.

It cool for them to take the 30% like every major player does because what they do with the money is no less impressive than a console manufacturer of all things.

I would not waste my time typing all this out for a brick wall. Id like to note that this effort however little is for people reading on.
 
Nov 8, 2017
3,459
What's unsustainable is that the capital investment of developing games is greater than that of running a digital store and the ratio is more than 70/30. What's unsustainable is that Steam has a monopoly on game distribution.

I want games to be more profitable for developers and publishers because I love the medium and want more projects to become financially viable.
They have such an unbreakable monopoly that every major publisher in the West runs their own storefront, and several of them are fully exclusive to them or in the process of transitioning to full exclusivity. Their monopoly is so vast and all encompasing that most of the biggest games in the world aren't even on Steam.

The cost of setting up a digital distribution network and engineering a launcher is comparatively small for a major publisher that sells millions of copies of their games. It's actually very difficult for small companies to do this. So the value of steam is far larger to a small company than to a big one. Large games do not require organic exposure to sell, because they pay for huge marketing budgets. Thus, Steam is more valuable to smaller budget games than larger budget games. Large games with large budgets can engineer their own matchmaking, leaderboards, or whatever else. These features cost much more of the budget proportionally for a small game from a small company. So again, the value you get from Steam is proportionally higher for small games.

The "monopoly" that Steam has, if it has one at all, is on low budget and indie games that either would not even be permitted to be sold on other store fronts (, or would generally sell poorly on them. GDC data confirms that most PC developers sell most of their PC copies on Steam. Even then, there's nothing stopping a multi launcher release, as indeed many do. Several of these other storefronts also typcially charge somewhere around 30%.
 

Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
2,000
Hey Tim, you know what is also a big issue for developers?

Working more than 80 hours in a fucking week you fucking billionaire narcissist

Convenient this PR fucking stunt comes after the Polygon story..

Please keep deflecting shit. Also convenient that your 88/12 split and exclusivity deals has benefited mostly big publishers while you activitely moderate and reject real indie developers.

Never change Tim. Never change.

PS: So Tim, you are all about the devs, right? Looking forward to your twitter posts on unionization so developers don't have to break their fucking ass for putting out new skins for a GaaS.

Btw, if you are mindlessly parroting Epic's PR talking points without considering the Epic's other big issues like their overworking of their own staff and how anti-consumer their storefront is, you are part of the problem.
 
Last edited:

HK-47

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,542
Monopolies are never sustainable and challenging them is a good thing. I'm not an Epic fan and don't care to defend them. I just think that challenging Steam's monopoly in an aggressive way is a good thing.
You keep using that word but I don’t think you know what it means
 

Roshin

Member
Oct 30, 2017
726
Why are people mad at Epic instead of Steam and their unsustainable monopoly pricing of 30%? I thought Era was pro-developers?
He’s probably telling the truth. It’s got to get old giving someone 30% for practically zero reason.
You know, I'm old enough to remember PC gaming before Steam. Back then, indie devs sold their games themselves and took all the profits. The PC is still a free platform and nothing has really changed. You can still do that. You don't have to go through a digital client like Steam or GoG. If you have faith in your game, then put it up for sale on a website and go your own way.

Edit: The above contains slight sarcasm.

What is more interesting (and probably worth keeping an eye on) is where these unfounded anti-Steam sentiments really come from and who is fueling them.
 
Last edited:

sabrina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,888
newport beach, CA
Nintendo develops their own hardware ecosystem which means a lot of fixed costs and risk. So do Microsoft and Sony. Valve builds on the existing PC ecosystem. If anything your question proves my point. They are charging developers the same as Nintendo without creating their own hardware ecosystem.

Also, Nintendo has a monopoly on the Switch store, so them charging 30% shows that this is probably the equilibrium monopoly pricing (they can’t raise it any further without hurting demand for their store). So yeah, this comparison doesn’t put valve in the best light.
Well said.
 

Dalik

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,452
They only need to say it a few more times, everybody knows that you have to say "monopoly" 322 times for it to become true
 

GHG

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,648
Monopolies are never sustainable and challenging them is a good thing. I'm not an Epic fan and don't care to defend them. I just think that challenging Steam's monopoly in an aggressive way is a good thing.
Johnny, can you tell me how Steam's "monopoly" has negatively impacted you as a PC gamer over the years?
 

AHA-Lambda

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,856
Why are people mad at Epic instead of Steam and their unsustainable monopoly pricing of 30%? I thought Era was pro-developers?
Jesus Christ, Steam is not a monopoly! Stop with the fake news crap

And I hope you've never argued against anything that wasn't good for a studio's book balance like lootboxes
 

NarohDethan

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,807
Coca-Cola: were are going to stop using HFCS in our product if Pepsi drops their prices 30%, for realsies ;)

People talking out of their ass on this thread, as is custom of all EGS threads. That's why Tim can keep saying the stupid shit he always says.
 

plié

Banned
Jan 10, 2019
1,613
I era basically mad at this guy for buying exclusives? What's the big deal here?

Buying exclusives is a ok in my book. I don't get the controversy.
 

NaDannMaGoGo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,744
I era basically mad at this guy for buying exclusives? What's the big deal here?

Buying exclusives is a ok in my book. I don't get the controversy.
Well, educate yourself and read any one of the billion threads on this topic.

PC gamers have no reason to "be ok" with this garbage. We care for good features and what have you, not companies buying exclusives because they're rich and nothing else.
 

Johnny

Member
Oct 28, 2017
481
Jesus Christ, Steam is not a monopoly! Stop with the fake news crap

And I hope you've never argued against anything that wasn't good for a studio's book balance like lootboxes
I'm willing to admit my mistake if anyone has data to show. But it needs to be specific to the U.S region (monopolies can be local).
 

Alienous

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,404
I don't believe Epic would put their own games on Steam but I do believe the exclusivity agreements would end, only because they know they would lose to Steam.

I'm curious what Steam will do, if anything, to stifle the Epic store, and I hope whatever they do is petty.
 

Mushroomer25

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,081
Johnny, can you tell me how Steam's "monopoly" has negatively impacted you as a PC gamer over the years?
Considering how many indie devs seem to take issue with Steam's lack of curation and storefront management over the past few years, I would say that does in fact pose a problem to me - as somebody who enjoys indie games, and would prefer if the people who developed them could easily afford to do so full-time.

This isn't to say EGS' solution is perfect. But part of being a responsible consumer means considering how the market reflects all individuals operating within it - not just your individual perspective. Epic has a long way to go if they want to make EGS a more sustainable alternative to Steam. But right now, I'm just interested that somebody is trying. If the pressure Epic can supply forces an industry-wide shift, that's a good thing.
 

Dragon's Game

Alt account
Banned
Apr 1, 2019
1,624
I can feel "its just an icon on your desktop" post coming soon.
And more importantly have his devs work 80 hours a week
wait how did Tim get so rich

like you would think the richest figures in gaming would be people like Gabe Newell or Sam Houser how the hell did Tim get so much money. Epic is big, but not that big at least pre-fortnite
 

Johnny

Member
Oct 28, 2017
481
Johnny, can you tell me how Steam's "monopoly" has negatively impacted you as a PC gamer over the years?
Steam is an amazing company and they have an amazing product, by far the best. I love them and use them all the time. It's not about me though, it's about the entire ecosystem. We need more competition in distribution because as far as I know, Steam is extremely dominant.
 
Oct 25, 2017
693
What's Steam's market share of PC game sales in the U.S? Maybe they are not as dominant as I thought. According to Wikipedia, they had approximately 75% market share in 2013. Has that collapsed since?
Again, since you seem to need to know what a monopoly is.

Market situation where one producer (or a group of producers acting in concert) controls supply of a good or service, and where the entry of new producers is prevented or highly restricted. Monopolist firms (in their attempt to maximize profits) keep the price high and restrict the output, and show little or no responsiveness to the needs of their customers. Most governments therefore try to control monopolies by (1) imposing price controls, (2) taking over their ownership (called 'nationalization'), or (3) by breaking them up into two or more competing firms.
If you mean to say market leader please say that instead.
 

dex3108

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,760
Considering how many indie devs seem to take issue with Steam's lack of curation and storefront management over the past few years, I would say that does in fact pose a problem to me - as somebody who enjoys indie games, and would prefer if the people who developed them could easily afford to do so full-time.

This isn't to say EGS' solution is perfect. But part of being a responsible consumer means considering how the market reflects all individuals operating within it - not just your individual perspective. Epic has a long way to go if they want to make EGS a more sustainable alternative to Steam. But right now, I'm just interested that somebody is trying. If the pressure Epic can supply forces an industry-wide shift, that's a good thing.
Then show us what Epic did for those small struggling studios? I can show you what Steam did.
 
Nov 8, 2017
3,459
What's Steam's market share of PC game sales in the U.S? Maybe they are not as dominant as I thought. According to Wikipedia, they had approximately 75% market share in 2013. Has that collapsed since?
I can find 2017 stats that indicate that out of Global PC revenue, ~18-25% went through the Steam storefront. Retail games, key sellers, browser games, and other launchers can absolutely make bank. Think about it this way - Minecraft, League of Legends, and Fortnite are not on Steam, even if you want to disregard browser stuff as "not true games" or whatever. Blizzard games, which are huge, are not on Steam. Electronic Arts, the biggest publisher in the West, is not on Steam. Call of Duty and Destiny, as of last year, are not on Steam (other major Activision games probably to follow).
 

eathdemon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,220
that 88/12 cant last ether, they just want a foot in the door, my gues it becomes 80/20 by end of next year.
 

Death Penalty

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,631
Nintendo develops their own hardware ecosystem which means a lot of fixed costs and risk. So do Microsoft and Sony. Valve builds on the existing PC ecosystem. If anything your question proves my point. They are charging developers the same as Nintendo without creating their own hardware ecosystem.

Also, Nintendo has a monopoly on the Switch store, so them charging 30% shows that this is probably the equilibrium monopoly pricing (they can’t raise it any further without hurting demand for their store). So yeah, this comparison doesn’t put valve in the best light.
Did you seriously ignore the well thought out post of someone who knows how these things work so that you could do some armchair economics 101 speculation about equilibrium pricing?

Here's the post again for you.
It's not. I have more experience here than basically anyone on this forum TBH.
I have both worked with Valve/Steam for close to a decade and also spent 5 years running an independent digital store (playism)

Valve offers an absolute great value at their 30% cut because compared to other digital stores it is not a goddamn headache to release a game and
actually has easy to access data and marketing features. Not to mention the fact that you get unlimited keys (within reason) basically for free, which is not the case on any other platform.