- Epic Games is the veteran game development studio that created "Fortnite", in addition to many other games over the past 25 years.
- At the end of 2018, Epic exploited its massive "Fortnite" player base to launch an important new initiative: The Epic Games Store.
- In the following months, Epic made several moves to conquer Steam – the main digital showcase for PC games – and some people are furious.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
With hundreds of millions of players, "Fortnite" continues to be the biggest game in the world – but it won't last forever.
The creator of "Fortnite" Epic Games is aware of it, and it is not surprising that the company is making moves to exploit its massive "Fortnite" player base in something longer term: The Epic Games Store.
In the last three months, Epic Games has taken its showcase from the burgeoning disinherited to serious competition. The way Epic went about that climb has ruffled some feathers in the gamer community and is leading to unfortunate consequences for developers.
Here's what's happening:
1. December 2018: Launch of The Epic Games Store.
The maximum weight in the world of PC games is Valve's Steam service, a gaming and digital store platform that acts as a virtual console: it has friends list services, results and many other features that people expect from services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.
Especially for the hundreds of millions of Steam users, the service is a digital library. It's where you buy games that are then updated and managed by Steam: offers the order to the chaotic and Balkan world of PC games. All your games, all your friends, all in one place.
For game makers, Steam is the largest PC gaming marketplace in the world: it offers a massive exposure and a cohesive platform.
And for Valve, Steam is a tremendously profitable company: for every dollar spent on Steam, Valve gets a cut. Traditionally, that cut has been around 30%.
Steam is the entrenched leader and the Epic Games Store is the newcomer. It has far fewer features than Steam, far fewer games in its library and – above all – a much higher profit margin for anyone selling games.
The most basic way in which Epic Games is facing Steam is to take a much smaller cut of 12% compared to those who sell games on its storefront. And this is extremely interesting for game producers.
At the same time, it attracts many of the millions of "Fortnite" PC gamers: anyone with an Epic Games account to play "Fortnite" already has an Epic Games Store account.
2. Epic has organized a series of high-profile exclusive offers and this has upset some people.
Valve / Steam
To be clear, nobody is upset by Epic Games that offers a wider cut to sales to game makers.
The first big problem involved a game called "Metro Exodus" – the third game in the "Metro" series of first-person shooters set in a post-apocalyptic Russia.
Just two weeks before the game's launch date of February 15th, Epic Games announced that "Metro Exodus" would be an Epic Games Store exclusive – it will arrive on Steam a year later.
But the game's Steam store page was already live and some people had already booked. Many others have played the previous two games via Steam. And some of these were quite upset to know that the game could only be used on a PC through a completely different store.
So Valve issued a statement on the game's pre-order page (underlining our):
"Sales of" Metro Exodus "have been suspended on Steam due to a publisher's decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.
The developer and publisher have assured us that all previous sales of the game on Steam will be met on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future upgrades or DLC via Steam.
We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers who expected it to be available for sale by the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and allowed limited time to let everyone know. "
What happened next portends an oncoming trend: the so-called "revision bombardment".
3. In retaliation, people have "bombed" previous franchise games that have become exclusive to Epic Games Store.
Valve / Steam
After "Metro Exodus", Epic Games announced a series of other high-profile exclusive games coming to its PC store: "The Division 2", "Borderlands 3" and a variety of others.
Like previous games in the "Metro" series, both "The Division" and "Borderlands" had previous games available on the Steam store – and were the target of so-called "revised bombs".
Since the Steam store has a review function for users, regardless of whether they have a game or not, the system can be played. Steam users can attack a game's review score in an attempt to send a message to the game's producer. And that's exactly what they did with the previous "Metro" games, as seen above.
See the rest of the story on Business Insider
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