Epic founder Tim Sweeney took it to Twitter recently to explain the reason behind Epic Games Store exclusives. Sweeney admitted that the exclusive strategy is unpopular but it will benefit the gamers and the gaming industry in the future.
In response to a Tweet by GOG Galaxy 2.0, Sweeney said that bringing PC exclusives to Epic Games Store is the only effective way of changing 70/30 revenue split between developers and publishers in the gaming industry. That does make sense since Epic Games Store only takes 12 percent and gives the remaining 88 percent revenue to publishers or developers.
This leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts and by the key Epic Games store releases compared to their former Steam revenue projections and their actual console sales.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) 26 June 2019
Furthermore, Sweeney said that Epic is helping developers and publishers even more by paying all of the studios to release their games as Epic Games Store exclusives.
Sweeney continued further to point out that 70/30 revenue split is a disastrous situation for both developers/publishers.
If the Epic strategy either succeeds in building a second major storefront for PC games with an 88/12 revenue split, or even just leads other stores to significantly improve their terms, the result will be a major wave of reinvestment in game development and a lowering of costs.
Afterward, Sweeney said that he believes that the company’s approach passes the “test of ultimately benefiting gamers” but will have to wait for the developers to “reinvest more of [the] fruits of their labour into creation rather than taxation.”
Interestingly, Epic is not interested in making money or becoming more powerful but instead, it wants to Epic’s pricing model to be implemented across the market so more money is given to developers and publishers than Valve’s current revenue split via Steam.
It’s true that the strategy of Epic exclusives is working out. Recently, World War Z developer Saber Interactive announced that Epic Store is its top and best digital platform. According to Saber Interactive, World War Z has sold almost two million copies yet and 700K copies on the Epic Games Store. Metro Exodus is another example of Epic Store’s success.
Tim Sweeney’s detailed explanation of Epic policies to the fans is a good thing. And something which other video game executives should also try to do.
The current list of Epic Games exclusives is as follows.
- Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (also available via Uplay)
- Metro: Exodus (will launch on Steam in February)
- Ashen (will launch on Steam)
- Hades ( currently in early access)
- Unreal Tournament
- Rebel Galaxy Outlaw (timed exclusive)
- Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures
- The Walking Dead: The Final Season
- Hello Neighbor: Hide and Seek (will arrive on Steam later)
Given the success of Epic Games Store exclusives, it’s obvious that the company will continue to grab more exclusives.