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Epic Games Store Would Stop Snagging Exclusives If Steam Adopted Their Revenue Model

The Epic Games store launched with a major feature that its main competitor, Steam, hasn’t been willing to offer so far -- an 88/12 revenue split model in favor of developers. Epic's CEO this week said that if Steam would adopt the same model and share 88% of game revenues with all developers, it would drop the exclusivity deals it sometimes makes with certain game developers.

Sweeney Takes A Swing At Steam

"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," he said via Twitter, adding. "Such a move would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come. Then stores could go back to just being nice places to buy stuff, rather than the Game Developer IRS."

That no strings attached would mean Valve wouldn't prevent game developers from using other stores or tax them for targeting more than one platform. An open store should simply allow gamers to find the games they like, with no arbitrary restrictions: Games can use any online systems, like friends and accounts, they choose, games are free to interoperate across platforms and stores, the store doesn’t tax revenue on other stores or platforms (e.g. if you play Fortnite on iOS+PC).

More “no major strings attached”: if you play the game on multiple platforms, stuff you’ve bought can be available everywhere; no onerous certification requirements. Essentially, the spirit of an open platform where the store is just a place to find games and pay for stuff."

Epic vs Steam Store Revenue Split Models

The Epic Games store currently takes only 12% of a game's revenues, with the rest going to the developers. In comparison, Steam takes 30%, or two and a half times more, as commission from games making under $10 million. Those who make more than $10 million in sales from a popular game can have that commission reduced to 25%, while those making over $50 million in revenue from their games have to pay 20%, which is still significantly more than Epic’s 12% fee.

Steam’s current tiered revenue split seems to mostly favor larger developers and hurt indie developers, which could help Epic in the long term.

Epic Games’ store is still very much in its infancy, but if it keeps getting more popular with developers due to the low commission rate, it could become a larger threat to Steam. Epic has also promised to launch its store for macOS and Android in the near future

  • Frag Maniac
    That's one thing I'll agree with Epic on that Valve takes too big a cut from devs for using Steam distribution, which also affects game prices for the consumer. It's why so many games on Steam stay at launch price for so long. If the Epic Games Store keeps attracting devs as it has, Valve will eventually have to cave and at least lower their cut, if not match Epic's cut.

    Another way devs may be saving money soon though is Stadia. If it gets to the point where even 1/3 of the games made are available on Stadia, a TON of devs are going to want to develop exclusively for it just because it cuts out tons of development and testing time for multi platforms, plus anyone can play Stadia games without even needing a gaming system.
    Reply
  • pocketdrummer
    This is something that's easy for Epic to say, since they don't have anywhere near the same overhead as Steam, given their substantial feature deficit. I think Valve should counter by saying they'll do it once Epic has feature parity and still offers that rate. Also, I really want to see that money in the pockets of the development team, not just the publishers.

    Honestly, I don't think Epic has any intention of stopping what they're doing. They're trying to run a hearts and minds campaign to get gamers onto their platform. We know their primary objective is to make more money, and all this press over a baseless tweet is free advertisement. Way to go TH...
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  • Deadhound
    This is dishonest by Sweeney. And not ony by the virtue of steam offering so much more to devs than Epic Store (not the engine)
    and Steam having steam keys that they do not take a cut from, so devs/publishers can sell them on their own st
    Who pays the transfer fee in the two stores?
    In steam, it comes from Valves cut, and in Epic Store it comes from the consumers cut, raising the price even more for new games, and making the price shown in the store not the full one.
    and in Steams case it can be atleast 10-15%, from the Steam Gift Cards. and by Sweeneys account, some transfer methods can cost upwards to 25% (though Im pretty sure epic doesn't use those, but Steam might as they have so many different methods for paying)
    https://www.resetera.com/threads/epic-store-and-12-cut.110333/
    Reply
  • Frag Maniac
    pocketdrummer said:
    This is something that's easy for Epic to say, since they don't have anywhere near the same overhead as Steam, given their substantial feature deficit. I think Valve should counter by saying they'll do it once Epic has feature parity and still offers that rate. Also, I really want to see that money in the pockets of the development team, not just the publishers.

    Honestly, I don't think Epic has any intention of stopping what they're doing. They're trying to run a hearts and minds campaign to get gamers onto their platform. We know their primary objective is to make more money, and all this press over a baseless tweet is free advertisement. Way to go TH...
    Oh please, Steam has tons of ads, which brings in a lot of revenue to pay for those features, Epic Store doesn't. It also took Valve 10 years to get it to that point. Epic have already promised a lot of the same features too, including reviews, cloud saves, achievements, and social features. As far as I know they also already have the same kind of refund policy as well. They don't seem to be intent on having a forum, but honestly, the Steam Forums are pretty bad, and poorly moderated.

    Also, Epic doesn't designate whom the savings go to, that's up to the contract between the pubs and the devs. There's certainly much better chance of the devs saving more with a 60% lower distribution fee than Steam though. And distribution is part of marketing , pubs generally handle those costs, that's part of their responsibility.

    And Valve hasn't done the same with Steam by enticing gamers, developers, publishers AND advertisers? Don't kid yourself, they're all out to make money on this kind of thing. All you can really say about it is it will take Epic a LOT more volume to net the same amount with such a smaller cut, especially since they don't take in anything from ads. If anything that makes Valve look like the greedy ones. They've amassed so much revenue from Steam they don't even need to develop anymore. Valve are very eccentric, ask anyone who's worked there and been fired for not going along with their regime. They wasted tons of money experimenting on Steam Box only to fail miserably. That's what their wads of cash from high distribution costs has done to them.

    @Deadhound,

    All the gamer is going to see is that games have more chance of costing less when there's a substantially lower distribution fee paid by the publishers. That's why World War Z on PC is $35 instead of the $40 it was going to be on Steam.
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  • kickstand
    After buying Metro Exodus and losing my saved game (not backed up on cloud like Steam) I would never buy another game from them, even if I miss out on the title. I use 3 different gaming PCs and no cloud backup is a deal breaker for me. I will continue to support Steam, but not Epic Store.
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  • DotNetMaster777
    Stream is better from my point of view and preferable for me !
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  • Frag Maniac
    kickstand said:
    After buying Metro Exodus and losing my saved game (not backed up on cloud like Steam) I would never buy another game from them, even if I miss out on the title. I use 3 different gaming PCs and no cloud backup is a deal breaker for me. I will continue to support Steam, but not Epic Store.
    As I stated above, and is well known by those whom have done the research, cloud saves are just one of many features in the works for Epic Games Store. Don't forget Steam had a lot of problems at launch too.

    Seems a lot of people just look at first impressions and assume a lot. AMD's ReLive was also scoffed at a lot, but in just a couple years it already has more features than ShadowPlay, which came out many years ago.
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  • Deadhound
    Frag Maniac said:


    @Deadhound,

    All the gamer is going to see is that games have more chance of costing less when there's a substantially lower distribution fee paid by the publishers. That's why World War Z on PC is $35 instead of the $40 it was going to be on Steam.

    So I thoguht I replied to this earlier, but seems it didn't go through or whatever.

    Have you checked the price on the three AAA games that are on epic store? Metro exodus, The Divison 2 and Borderlands 3 are all at the "usual" new release price of 59,99$ (+transfer fee), so that's not a really good argument imo. And if you care about price you can ether wait for sale, buy from steam keys from developers own store (where the devs get 100% of the money (bar transfer fee)) or from shady 3rd party key sites

    AND World war Z is only cheaper on epic if you have a payment method that have under 15% transfer fee, which in the western world it normaly is roughly 5% I belive (making the game cost 1.75$ more than shown price) . but with a steam card or other payment methods (see link in the earlier post) means that you can reach this above this.


    Also what kinda ads does Steam have? You mean adds inside of Steam?
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  • Frag Maniac
    Deadhound said:
    So I thoguht I replied to this earlier, but seems it didn't go through or whatever.

    Have you checked the price on the three AAA games that are on epic store? Metro exodus, The Divison 2 and Borderlands 3 are all at the "usual" new release price of 59,99$ (+transfer fee), so that's not a really good argument imo. And if you care about price you can ether wait for sale, buy from steam keys from developers own store (where the devs get 100% of the money (bar transfer fee)) or from shady 3rd party key sites

    AND World war Z is only cheaper on epic if you have a payment method that have under 15% transfer fee, which in the western world it normaly is roughly 5% I belive (making the game cost 1.75$ more than shown price) . but with a steam card or other payment methods (see link in the earlier post) means that you can reach this above this.


    Also what kinda ads does Steam have? You mean adds inside of Steam?
    At the end of the day, the argument is still valid when you consider not all publishers are willing to pass the savings on to the consumer. Also, $1.76 seems silly to argue when some of us live in states that insist any online businesses collect sales tax, which sadly is growing in popularity across the US.
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  • Deadhound
    Frag Maniac said:
    At the end of the day, the argument is still valid when you consider not all publishers are willing to pass the savings on to the consumer. Also, $1.76 seems silly to argue when some of us live in states that insist any online businesses collect sales tax, which sadly is growing in popularity across the US.
    1.76$ was just an example of lower bound, though it's a small amount.
    I do not know how sales tax work in US much, though in Norway we to have sales tax (VAT) on online stores. Atleast on Steam, though I do think the others also have it. But it's shown in the shop-price, so it doesn't come as a suprise when you are about to pay (which atleast transfer fee on epic does, if I remember correctly).
    Reply