Epic Games has today announced the launch of its own game store which aims to offer developers a bigger slice of overall sales.
It seems like everyone’s coming after Steam, first, we’ve got Activision launching Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 via Battle.net, Bethesda launching Fallout 76 via Bethesda.net, and even Discord launching its own curated store, now Epic Games with the Epic Games Store.
Where Epic Games Store differs from its obvious Valve competition is that they’re promising a higher revenue share to developers – as much as 88%, and even more if they use Epic’s Unreal Engine. This is quite a big leap to Steam’s 70/30 split, with games on the Epic Games Store earning 18% more than those on Steam.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Epic CEO Tim Sweeny explained how this will be a profitable business for the company:
“While running Fortnite we learned a lot about the cost of running a digital store on PC. The math is quite simple: we pay around 2.5% for payment processing for major payment methods, less than 1.5% for CDN costs (assuming all games are updated as often as Fortnite), and between 1% and 2% for variable operating and customer support costs. Fixed costs of developing and supporting the platform become negligible at a large scale.
“In our analysis, stores charging 30% are marking up their costs by 300% to 400%. But with developers receiving 88% of revenue and Epic receiving 12%, this store will be a profitable business for us,” he added.
In addition to the high revenue split, Epic Games will also waive all royalties it’d be due for revenue generated through Epic Games Store. That’s not to say that the store won’t support games built on other engines, it’s just a much sweeter deal for those with UE4 titles.
Adding to this, Epic aims to also support YouTube and Twitch creators with a “Support-A-Creator program which rewards them for highlighting developers’ titles. This makes sense, considering how creators have played a massive part in making Fortnite as big as it is today.
“Previously, most creators were not compensated by game developers for their work and instead had to rely on donations. By matchmaking creators with developers, the Epic Games Store makes it easier for players to discover games, and rewards content creators for their efforts,” Sweeny said.
To begin with, the Epic Games Store will offer a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, with more games being added throughout the next year and beyond. In an effort to bring more players to their store over others, they’ll be offering one free game every two weeks, which Epic themselves will fund so that players can explore the different titles on offer.
Epic Games is yet to announce when the Epic Games Store will launch and which games will be available on that store (though we can likely expect Fortnite). So stay tuned for more information to come soon.