The Epic Games Store’s inaugural store-wide sale has hit a few snags. In addition to several publishers avoiding the sale by withdrawing their games, the store’s anti-fraud measures are preventing customers from actually buying more than a few games. There is evidence that people buying around five or more games are being blocked from further purchases.
This issue was brought to the public’s attention by streamer Patrick Boivin. After buying five games during the store-wide discount, Boivin received a notice blocking his account from making purchases. According to Nick Chester, a senior PR for Epic, this is a result of the Epic Store’s “aggressive fraud rules”.
HAHAHA OH MY GOD THIS FUCKING STORE IS SO BAD pic.twitter.com/LLz9dGJyeI
— Patrick Boivin (@AngriestPat) May 16, 2019
“This was a result of our aggressive fraud rules,” he said. “If players run into this issue, they should contact player support so we can investigate.” It isn’t quite clear why Epic’s fraud alert would trigger during an account buying multiple games during a massive sale.
This is made worse by the lack of basic storefront features, such as a shopping cart. The fact that players can’t buy games in bulk on the store means that it is more likely to trip off automated systems like Epic’s fraud alarm. Whilst affected customers should be able to fix their accounts through Epic’s customer service, it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
It is somewhat understandable that a new store will go through some teething problems. However, when competitors like Steam and GoG Galaxy have had that kind of basic infrastructure for years, a new entrant in the market lacking them becomes hard to accept. This are central to why many gamers are reluctant to move to the Epic store when Epic acquires another exclusive. Epic’s store simply lacks many important features that gamers have grown to expect.
Overall, it demonstrates a lack of preparation on Epic’s part. It didn’t set up systems like a shopping cart before it went live. It also should have anticipated that, without a shopping cart, people are going to be making a lot of single purchases, and the fraud systems probably shouldn’t be preventing that. The fact that the sale applied to every product on the store, and discounted up to 75% off the retail price, meant that Epic really should have expected a lot of traffic.
For what it’s worth, the Epic Store roadmap published in March puts a shopping cart as a long term priority. This puts it after other important features, such as User Reviews and Wishlists. No sign on when they’re selling games with pricing in Australian dollars, but in fairness, that took Steam 15 years. Have fun checking out some of Epic’s huge discounts, just be careful when buying in bulk.