World War Z has exceeded its sales expectations, in part due to its exclusivity for PC in the Epic Games Store. The title released in mid-April, promising a fun co-op zombie apocalypse third-person shooter. Although it initially had some issues with connectivity, a patch was released quickly to fix that problem.
World War Z takes inspiration from the 2006 novel and 2013 movie of the same name. In the film, Brad Pitt starred as a United Nations investigator desperately trying to stop the spread of a contagion that has begun to turn the people of the world into zombies. In the game, four players cooperate in fighting their way through zombie hordes in Moscow, Jerusalem, Tokyo and New York. In their adventures, they also must escort survivors to safe locations, as well as complete a series of objectives. So far, the game has done well, particularly in the UK, where it hit one million units sold, topping sales charts there in its first week.
A press release posted on Gamasutra reports that the PC version of World War Z has sold beyond expectations. Among the over one million copies sold, over 25 percent of those sales came from the Epic Games Store, particularly outside of the U.S. The game has also seen over 70,000 people playing at once across all platforms, including PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch particularly mentioned that its success has a lot to do with the Epic Games Store:
"Saber is extremely thrilled by the performance of the game on all platforms. On the PC specifically, we are performing way above expectations thanks to the support we have received from the Epic Games Store. Moving forward, we’ll continue to work on growing the game and its community with new improvements, stability updates and bonus gameplay content, beginning very soon with a special new mission for the Tokyo episode."
Epic initially released a trailer for the Epic Games Store at the 2018 Game Awards, and immediately set itself up as the first real competitor to Steam, which is owned by Valve Corporation. Since its launch, Epic has shaken up the PC gaming market and continues to do so by offering up game exclusives that are only available through its store. Although some players resent the idea of exclusives in the PC games market, Epic recently explained that exclusive games have given its store a quick foothold in a market once dominated by Valve alone.
However, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has stated that exclusives on its Store will end when Steam decides to give developers a better cut of profits. As it stands, Steam caps revenue shares at 80 percent, although games that do not sell under $10 million generally get capped at 70 percent. In contrast, the Epic Games Store offers 88 percent of revenue share to developers. Epic understands that providing competition to Valve is healthy and, in the end, it will benefit both gamers and developers alike.