Much has been said about Epic Games’ practices of signing exclusivity deals with major releases, which has seen the likes of The Outer Worlds, Borderlands 3, and Control – to name just a few, not to mention all the others that have already released – dropping Steam releases and pledging timed exclusivity to the Epic Games Store.
Some feel it is better for the long-term progress of the PC gaming market and presents healthy competition to Steam, which has been largely dominant for a number of years. Meanwhile, many feel like it introduces console-like splintering to a market that has traditionally been largely free of it- and the masses have shown their displeasure time and time again.
Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, recently took to Twitter to speak of Epic’s practices. When asked about what scenario would see the company dropping its exclusivity signings, Sweeney said that the if Valve were to ever drop their 30 per cent revenue charges – as opposed to the 12 per cent charged by the Epic Games Store – for games on their storefront, Epic would drop its exclusive deals.
As per Sweeney, the 30 per cent revenue split is “the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood”, and Epic remains “determined to fix it”. Exclusivity signings for the Epic Games Store, as per him, are “the one approach that will effect major change.”
Considering the fact that the 30 per cent revenue split is an industry-wide standard that is followed across all platforms and by all companies – be it Valve, or Nintendo, or Sony, or Microsoft, or Apple – it seems a little strange to single out Steam for the same. Suggesting that Epic is signing exclusivity deals to change that industry standard also seems inconsistent with Sweeney’s own previous stance, with him having said in the past that said deals and revenue sharing are, for Epic, the primary way of competing with Steam and finding a foothold in a market that has largely been dominated by Valve’s storefront for years.
You can read Sweeney’s tweets below.
That’s a loaded question! But Epic will stay the course. 30% store dominance is the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood. We’re determined to fix it and this is the one approach that will effect major change.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 24, 2019
If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2019