Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that other digital stores for PC games tend to "fleece" developers. Although Epic Games is known most for its creation of the Unreal Engine and the development of the highly-successful Fortnite, the company announced in 2018 that it would open the Epic Games Store.
The idea behind the Epic Games Store is to offer an alternative to the Valve-owned Steam which had a monopoly on digital PC game sales. Steam has spent the past few years under fire by the industry, thanks to questionable policies and business practices. Steam has also faced criticism over how little the site compensates game developers. Even former Valve employee Richard Geldreich stated that Steam was killing PC gaming recently. With Steam being the only big player in the digital PC game store market, most developers took what little they could get from the retailer to have their title listed on the site where an extensive collection of players could see it.
That all changed with the opening of the Epic Games Store, which promised more of a cut of profits to developers. Whereas Steam only offers 30 percent revenue share with developers, the Epic Games Store offers a whopping 88 percent. Since the Epic Game Store's launch, Sweeney has been vocal about how he feels other developers get treated by competitors. Sweeney recently took to Twitter to state that he thought that other stores "fleece" developers. Although he doesn't specifically mention it, Steam is certainly qualifies as one of the other stores.
Now the Epic Games store critics are flocking here to grouse. But, fact is, the best goose games will be on EGS, while the stores they support continue to fleece developers.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 15, 2019
Epic Games has proven itself a capable competitor to Steam by offering a series of timed exclusives, including Metro: Exodus and Borderlands 3. The company also recently announced that it will be the exclusive retailer of the PC version of Shenmue III, which angered many loyal Steam fans. However, Epic Games reiterates that although it believes that the idea of exclusives is flawed, they are necessary to win over gamers to the site. The Epic Games Store insists it only has exclusives to create a worthy competitor to Steam and that it will continue to offer them until Steam gives developers a better share of revenue on its site.
Sweeney's comments aren't entirely incorrect, but they do add more fuel to the fire that is the battle between Steam and the Epic Games Store. Meanwhile, online PC games retailer Discord is also offering more revenue share to developers. Opening up digital PC sales to competition means that game creators, particularly those that aren't AAA developers, get more of an opportunity to make money off of their games, which in turn, allows them to continue to make games. Healthy competition is not just a win for developers, but for players, too.
Source: Tim Sweeney/Twitter