Epic Games, a developer, surprised many in the gaming industry when it announced and launched the Epic Games Store in December 2018. The new digital marketplace is already being compared to Valve's Steam gaming store on Mac and PC. It could also attract Android game developers away from the Google Play Store, which will launch for the OS sometime in 2019.
Why would Unreal Engine and other games such as Unreal Tournament, Gears of War, and Fortnite decide to venture into another industry? Is it possible? We have all the information we can about Epic Games Store. Plus, some speculation on Epic's future ventures.
What are Epic Games?
Tim Sweeney was the founder of Epic Games. He founded it in 1991 as Potomac Computer Systems. Sweeney also released ZZT, his first game. The game was a huge success, and Sweeney gave Epic MegaGames in 1992 a new name. In 1999, the name was changed to Epic Games. As it published both its own games and games from other studios, the company grew. Epic Games released Unreal in 1998. It was a sci-fi first-person shooter. This game used Epic Games' Unreal Engine.
Epic made excellent sales of Unreal and also earned revenue from selling the rights to the Unreal Engine rights to other game developers and publishers. The unreal Tournament and the first four games of the Xbox 360 Gears of War series were released by Epic. Epic released Fortnite in 2017, a survival shooter that quickly became a global phenomenon following the launch of a Battle Royale multiplayer mode.
Fortnite helped to launch Epic Games Store.
Epic's 2017 release of Fortnite may have been a test for its plans to open a digital gaming store. Epic may have planned such a store long before Fortnite was released. It released Shadow Complex Remastered in 2015 via its own storefront. This was a revamped version of its 2009 platform action game. It also launched the now abandoned revamped FPS Unreal Tournament via its store.
Fortnite's launch on Epic's PC gaming storefront and its subsequent release on Android outside of the Google Play Store seems to have been more tests to see if the developer can manage such a business. The Epic Games Store is not just for Epic's current games, but it also offers third-party developers access to the store.
What sets the Epic Games Store apart?
The Epic Games Store stands out from the competition, such as Google Play and Steam, because of three key factors. The first one directly affects gamers, while the second two are important for developers as well as publishers.
Epic promised that it would give away one game every two weeks to gamers until the end of 2019. Epic Games Store will give away one free game every two weeks until the end of 2019, unlike Steam's weekend-long free games. Subnautica, an underwater survival game by developer Unknown Worlds, will be the first giveaway.
Epic also stated that it would take only 12 percent of third-party revenues from the Epic Games Store. This is in contrast to the 30 percent revenue sharing Valve receives from Steam games. Google also takes the same percentage for apps and games published through the Google Play Store. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney stated that even though the revenue is lower, the Epic Game Store could still be profitable.
Epic will also pay a 5 percent royalty if your game is developed using Epic's Unreal Engine 4 and published via the Epic Games Store. This payment is in addition to the 12 percent standard take from the store.
Developers can give content creators, such as bloggers, Twitch streamers, and YouTube video producers, a portion of the revenue from Epic Games Store sales. Epic Games Support-A Creator program allows developers to reach out to content creators. If they refer players to purchase the game, the creators will receive a portion of the sales. Epic has committed to covering the first 5 percent of the revenue generated by content creators through games sold in the store within the first 24 months.
What are the current Epic Games Store games?
The Epic Games Store offers a variety of third-party games in addition to Epic's games (free Epic games like Fortnite and Unreal Tournament and the $14.99 Shadow Complex Remastered). Hades is the first game to be available on the Epic Games Store. It is an exclusive product for the storefront. This fantasy-themed dungeon crawler is developed by Supergiant Games (creators of popular games like Bastion and Transistor) and is based on characters from ancient Greek myths. Ashen, an action RPG by Aurora 44, is another exclusive third-party title. Another exclusive game is Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek, a prequel to the well-known adventure horror game.
The Epic Games Store is the only place where you can find a variety of current and future games for the PC platform. This includes Super Meat Boy Forever and Telltale Games' The Walking Dead- The Final Season. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, Satisfactory, and World War Z. Ubisoft revealed in January that Epic Games Store would be the only third-party store to sell Tom Clancy's The Division 2 PC version. Deep Silver announced in January that the PC version Metro Exodus of its FPS Metro Exodus would no longer be available on Valve's Steam store. Instead, it will be sold exclusively on the Epic Games Store. People who pre-ordered that game on Steam prior to the switch will continue to be supported by that storefront.
Can Epic Game Store compete with Google Play and Steam?
The Epic Games Store will be more attractive for game developers and publishers because it has a higher revenue share than Steam and Google Play Store. This will be especially beneficial for small game studios. Epic will be able to attract more gamers by offering a free game every two weeks.
Game developers will have a smaller market to reach. Epic might be able to lure gaming phone manufacturers into licensing agreements that include pre-bundled alternative stores. This could make this a positive change. It's not clear if this will or can happen, but it's something Google would do its best to avoid.
Epic's attempts to create a "gaming apps store" are not without problems. Epic Games Store has little in the way of social interaction between game developers and fans, aside from a friends list. The store does not have any user reviews, and there are no news feeds to announce game updates. There are no leaderboards or game achievements to unlock. Epic stated that it plans to add these features in the future. In mid-2019, Epic will open the store to developers and games.
The Epic Games Store is short on game titles. This is something Steam and Google Play Store will be able to capitalize on for many years. This advantage may be less important if Epic Games Store is able to attract more quality games by developers.
This is all we know so far about Epic Games Store. We will update this post as more information becomes available, especially when the Android version comes out.
Epic Games Store Exclusives Are Great For Developers
It's hard not to focus on the battles between the gaming consoles when you talk about the major business battles in the video game industry. In an effort to capture the largest market share in the gaming industry, SEGA and Nintendo engaged in a public, sometimes odious, back-and-forth bantering match in the 1990s. While the major console manufacturers are still fighting for dominance in 2019, there is another battle. This is the battle for control over the PC gaming market.
Steam, which was released by Valve in 2003. It was created to allow Valve to push updates to its online games like Counter-Strike. Valve realized the potential of Steam and continued to improve it. Steam was ready to launch its first third-party title on PC in 2005.
Steam grew in power over the PC gaming distribution market as the years passed. It remained strong despite any opposition. According to Steam Spy, the third-party analytical firm Steam Spy, Steam earned Valve $4.5 billion dollars in 2017, an increase of almost $1 billion over 2016's figure. Steam was the dominant player in the PC gaming market, and it had outlasted all competition. This excludes first-party PC distribution platforms such as Uplay and EA Origin, which tend to distribute only their own games.
But, over the past year, an impressive competitor has entered the fray and is looking to challenge Steam's hold on the PC gaming market for nearly two decades. In December 2018, the Epic Games Store launched, promising a higher revenue share to developers than Steam. The Epic Games Store was launched by Fortnite's parent company, the Unreal Engine. However, many didn't think it would change the game in the way it did. Steam has been virtually uncontested for nearly 20 years. So why should it be any different?