The revenue sharing arrangement in the gaming industry has been set in stone since time immemorial (read: since the days of the NES). The platform holder takes 30% of everything sold on their platform. This is the case with PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, yes, but also the iOS App Store, iTunes, Kindle Store, Google Play, and, yes, Steam (although Valve has recently announced changes to how it will share revenue going forward).
And it is at that last one that it looks like Epic’s newest announcement is squarely aimed. Today, the company announced that it will be launching its own storefront for PC, and it will be open to any and all games on PC, not just games made using Unreal Engine. The incredible thing here is the revenue sharing arrangement: Epic has promised it will take away only 12% of the total revenue from a sale on their store, leaving you with 88% of your game’s earnings, and going against a full industry standard.
That’s not even all- Epic also promises that if you sell your Unreal Engine game on their storefront, they will waive any and all Unreal Engine fees for you, making the Unreal subscription functionally free if you are selling your game on their storefront.
Speaking in a press statement, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney recognized that the success of Fortnite had made this kind of aggressive move possible for the company.
“As a developer ourselves, we have always wanted a platform with great economics that connects us directly with our players,” Sweeney said. “Thanks to the success of Fortnite, we now have this and are ready to share it with other developers.”
This sounds like the kind of thing that will greatly incentivize developers to try and sell their game via Epic’s store; the question now is how long it will take users to start using it too. With users, Steam has an indelible hold on the market that may not be easy to break.