The New York Times have published a feature on the Epic Games Store, the new and somewhat contentious kid on the block when it comes to the digital distribution of PC games. The store has picked up a number of big name exclusives including The Division 2 from Ubisoft.
Most publishers and developers cite Epic’s policy of taking just 12% of the price of the game to cover their costs, compared to Steam’s 30% cut, as the reason they prefer the EGS, and that is definitely the case with the French publishing giant. Chris Early, Ubisoft’s vice president for partnerships and revenue, spoke about Steam’s larger cut. “It’s unrealistic, the current business model that they have,” he said. “It doesn’t reflect where the world is today in terms of game distribution.”
Other developers have welcomed the competition. “What’s a Sony without a Microsoft and a Nintendo?” said Greg Kasavin, creative director of Supergiant Games, “The console cycles were always best when the rivalry is heated.”
Recently publisher Bigben has confirmed that three of its games, Bee Simulator, WRC 8, and Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory will be Epic Games Store exclusives on PC when they launch later this year. They join Oddworld: Soulstorm, Tetris Effect, Metro Exodus, Heavy Rain, Twin Mirror, Borderlands 3, Control, and many more.
Although many PC gamers complain about the store it seems to be successful, “Epic Games store has exceeded our expectations in terms of sales in actual units of both Metro Exodus and Satisfactory during the quarter,” explained THQ Nordic’s CEO Lars Wingefors earlier this year. “Epic Games store is in fact the group’s leading digital platform in terms of revenue generated by units sales in the quarter ending March.”
In the wake of their aggressive push for exclusivity, often drawing in crowdfunded games, Epic’s Tim Sweeney has also stated that the company will cover any refunds for dissatisfied backers of Shenmue III and any other crowdfunded games that go exclusive to EGS.