We knew from earlier this week that Epic Games was planning to launch its own digital storefront, competing with the likes of Steam and GOG. And they did so very shortly after, with the Epic Games Store going live during the recent Game Awards.
And even at launch, Epic Games has immediately distinguished itself, looking like it will be a serious contender and a threat to Valve / Steam’s long-term dominance of the PC gaming market.
Firstly, Epic Games is giving developers a much larger percentage of revenue for the games they make. While Valve takes a 30% cut for each game purchased from Steam, Epic Games will only be taking 12%. An 18% difference in profit is absolutely no joke, and will provide a huge incentive for all developers to turn to the new storefront – especially when it comes with an already enormous established user-base thanks to all those Fortnite accounts.
Epic Games is obviously trying to lure in the players too, with temptations such as a new free game every 2 weeks, and what appear to be exclusive games.
Let’s start with the free games. The two that we know of are both pretty solid – the critically acclaimed open-world adventure game, Subnautica, is available from December 14 for two weeks. This will be subbed out on December 28 with the awesome, challenging platformer Super Meat Boy. If the freebies in 2019 continue to maintain the high quality of these two initial offerings, I can see Epic Games’ user-base increasing very quickly.
The other thing that sets the Epic Games Store apart is the focus it seems to be putting on exclusives. Currently, the store only has three games available – the rogue-like Hades (in early access), the incredible looking Ashen, and the prequel to Hello Neighbor, titled Hide & Seek. The thing is, you can’t find any of these games on Steam right now – all three are, at least for now, exclusive to the Epic Games Store. The long overdue PC-adaptation of Journey will also only be available on the store when it releases soon. And based on the Store’s launch trailer, it looks like a few other upcoming games will also be exclusives to this platform.
The store itself is preeeetty barebones right now, missing basic features such as a review system or even a search function. But it’ll be interesting to see how it develops and evolves in the upcoming weeks, months and years. It’ll be equally as interesting to see how Steam and Valve responds to what looks like a formidable new contender.