By now you already know Epic Games is working on a Steam Store rival that offers better deals to developers. According to Epic Games, developers will get 88% of the revenue from games distribution.
Tim Sweeny recently spoke about the upcoming store and stressed the need for more competition in the digital storefront space for the sake of the developers. It is an interesting move and one that makes sense since the world is moving to digital storefronts.
But in order to succeed in this space Epic Games would need to maintain a quality threshold.
The Epic Games store is launching with a small selection of handpicked games and will grow over time. As we work toward opening up generally to developers in mid-2019, we plan to set a reasonable quality threshold.
As the catalog expands more we will see more PC and mobile games added to Epic Games’ store. However, since consoles have dedicated storefronts of their own, console games won’t be added to the store for the foreseeable future.
Consoles are a different market, with dedicated game machines whose hardware costs are often partly subsidized by software revenue. Epic doesn’t seek to operate a storefront on console platforms, but as an engine maker, we do everything we can to enable cross-platform interoperability.
It is interesting how Steam made changes to its revenue share policy days before Epic Games announced its own store. Someone has an inside track it seems. Steam is offering a 70/30 revenue share for games take made $10M in sales which doesn’t do much for smaller studios. Meanwhile, anything from $10M to $50M will bring Steam’s revenue to 25%. If the revenue exceeds $50M Steam will take 20%.
The entire policy change seems structured to benefit larger publications like Activision, Ubisoft, Bethesda, and others. Meanwhile, Epic Games’ policy is most beneficial for smaller studios as well as allow larger studios to make more money from sales.
Under the previous agreement, Steam was splitting the revenue 70/30 so nothing has changed for smaller studios who make less than $10M.
This is a long-term effort from Epic Games so we will have to wait and see how it turns out. Epic Games has made a significant amount of money from Fortnite and Unreal Engine. The company is expanding its horizons and a storefront seems like a perfect point to start.