Things are getting a bit recursive around here. Epic Games today announced the addition of several PC apps, including the Itch.io game platform, to the Epic Games Store.
Itch.io is mostly known for indie titles, many of which are free or cost very little, but it also hosts “game jams” that encourage developers to create something based on the parameters set by the event’s organizers.
Bringing the platform to the Epic Games Store essentially means that a marketplace primarily focused on games will feature another marketplace primarily focused on games. Hopefully someone goes further down the rabbit hole at some point.
Itch.io isn’t the only program heading to the Epic Games Store. The marketplace has also expanded to include the iHeartRadio client, the Krita painting app, the Brave browser and the KenShape model generator as part of this push outside gaming.
Epic Games said that social platforms Houseparty (which it owns) and Discord will also be added to the Epic Games Store "in the future." These additions don’t appear to be included with the store’s public roadmap, but that might change.
The company also indicated that games and apps won’t necessarily be confined to their own silos by announcing that "Fortnite Crew Members will receive three free months of Spotify service" if they don’t yet have a Premium membership. Spotify is another Windows app that is already available on Epic.
For anyone who isn’t in the know: Fortnite Crew is a subscription that offers access to each season’s battle pass, additional V-Bucks and other benefits in exchange for $11.99 per month. Now those benefits appear to be expanding beyond Fortnite.
All of these additions make it clear that Epic Games didn’t just want to compete with the likes of Valve and GOG when it released the Epic Games Launcher. It’s actually creating its own app store that just happened to launch with a focus on games.
That might lend some additional context to the company’s dispute with Apple over app distribution on iOS and iPadOS devices.
For now, however, it seems that Epic Games isn’t content with offering an alternative game marketplace for Windows 10 users. It has a long way to go before apps become a core part of the Epic Games Store, but this is a sttart.