Sweeney sees it as the only way.
The PC scene is a pretty polarizing one right now. We’ve reported on it, many others have as well. The Epic Games Store has become an unexpected disruption in the ecosystem that has led to many upset players. At the forefront of that is the CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney. He’s not been shy about the strategy of buying exclusive games for the storefront, the crux of many’s issue with the store. Don’t expect it to stop anytime soon, either, because Sweeney thinks it’s the only way to realistically combat Steam.
Steam became the de facto PC standard years ago when Valve launched the storefront in a time where mainstream development had moved to consoles almost entirely. Since then, it’s been built up with multiple features, largely becoming synonymous with PC gaming in the process. Because of that, Sweeney was dismissive of ideas that a ‘feature war’ against Steam was ever a viable strategy due to how ingrained Steam has become. That’s why he says that Epic has pursued exclusive storefront games as their primary source of trying to take that market share. You can see the lengthy explanation at the man’s official Twitter below.
In the end, his logic does follow. Steam has become an institution in and of itself for PC gaming, so even if Epic had tried to launch with some unique feature, would it have made the same splash? After all, GOG has something Steam doesn’t with DRM-free games, but it doesn’t seem to have helped its overall market share all that much.
But things do get a little more dicey, especially since the features on the Epic Games Store are also severely lacking even basic things (it doesn’t even have a shopping cart as of the writing of this article), and there’s been a lot of controversy when they’ve pulled games that were crowdfunded, such as Shenmue 3 recently.
Only time can really tell if Epic’s strategy will work in the long run. Until then, don’t expect ‘exclusive to the Epic Games Store’ to go out of fashion any time soon.
Here’s a tweet storm on the topic of “Why Exclusives”? https://t.co/SZgD6OhuiQ
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 26, 2019