Epic Store, we need to talk. I want to trust you. I did trust you at the beginning. You announced that devs were going to get a good chunk of the revenue. But things have processed downhill from there. Already done a big old article on my feelings, so let’s just delve into the latest controversy, shall we?
Epic’s latest acquisition is actually a company: Psyonix, best known for the futuristic moto-football multiplayer game, Rocket League. As such, it appears that Rocket League will, in some form, become Epic exclusive.
“The PC version of Rocket League will come to the Epic Games store in late 2019. In the meantime, it will continue to be available for purchase on Steam; thereafter it will continue to be supported on Steam for all existing purchasers.”
It is worth noting that this is a new circumstance for the Epic Games Store. Obviously, it is not new to see acquisitions from this company. There have been exclusivity deals. Games exclusively on Steam are now also the EGS. This is the time we have seen both. With this news, we have seen the first post-launch exclusivity deal that has been brokered. It seems that not even being on Steam for several years guarantees its safety. But this new deal raises a number of questions on the specifics.
It seems like the bulk of the purchase of Psyonix revolves around purchasing this game. As the game is launched on the EGS, it will vanish from the Steam store. But what does “supported on Steam” entail? Most likely, the game will still be available to launch through Steam browsers to previous customers. But then what about in-game purchases? So then, does Steam receive part of the money?
It’s difficult to see why Epic would enter this deal. Similarly, Steam would take a cut of microtransactions through their platform. It’s fair to say that regardless of the simple quote explaining the situation, there is enough miasma in the details that require inspection. Either way, the fans aren’t happy if the recent slew of review bombs landing on Rocket League’s steam page is any indication.
As I researched my feature on Epic, I found some people theories. A company, backed by foreign money, was going to try and build a new monopoly. Bulldozing the sleeping giant of Valve, and using tactics not to create competition, but to supplant it. I thought this was worth considering, but ultimately paranoia. This story makes me less confident in that sentiment.
Epic is doing a lot to dominate the market while doing little to improve its own user experience. Epic has said that it wants to make fewer acquisitions, but with all the attention and probably revenue it is accruing, it has all the incentives to go full speed ahead.