Epic Games to Launch Own Digital Store for Games

Fortnite avatars in the dusk.

Photo Credit: Epic Games

Epic Games, the developers of the most popular battle royale game in the world, Fortnite, are now bringing their own digital shop for video games. They will be an indirect competitor to Steam for the time being.

Epic Games’ Digital Shop in the Age of Steam

Epic Games, the multi-billion company that has developed, Fortnite is now planning to revolutionize another segment – that for video games and specifically the way we purchase them. So far, Steam has been the dominant digital marketplace, becoming the go-to spot for anyone who wants to purchase a game in a digital format.

However, Steam has also come with a hefty 30/70 revenue split, biting into the profits of small game developers and indie games. Epic Games intends to change that, charging merely 12% from the revenue studios will generate through the sale of their products on the platform.

This is not intended as a move to compete directly with Steam, though, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has explained.

We’re not looking to crush Steam any time soon. We’re just building a store with a fair deal for developers that creates new opportunities for content creators. – Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney

Indeed, Mr. Sweeney is known for not looking to pick a fight, but rather leading his company ahead in its own unique way, allowing it to amass player base, revenue, and investment. Fortnite has been a perfect example for all of the above, with Epic Games raking in over $300 million monthly from Fortnite, and recently concluding a $1.25-billion funding round.

Epic Games revenue split.

The upcoming digital store will only feature a select few titles at first, with the list expanding gradually in 2019. The first games will be announced during The Game Awards event on Thursday, December 6, but more will follow.

Mr. Sweeney also elaborated on the policy of the company, indicating that Epic Games will not try to police the content uploaded on the shop, other than ensure that adult content is categorized properly.

It will mostly focus on the technical side of things and general quality. Except for adult-only content, we don’t plan to curate based on developers’ creative or artistic expression.

It’s very likely that recent talks about changing the revenue-sharing model of Steam has prompted Epic Games to respond with an ever better alternative. Still, it would be interesting to see how Epic will actually charge customers.

Steam is known to charge slightly different prices in different currencies, especially when it first introduced its shop, with people in Europe buying in euros (the stronger currency at the time) and US customers enjoying the comparatively mild dollar and therefore acquiring the games slightly cheaper.

A pricing model like this would not exactly hurt the community as Steam users are already accustomed to it and they have amassed respectable libraries in the past.

More interestingly, Epic Games will allow developers using the Unreal Engine to keep the bulk of the revenue, charging them only 5% for the sale of their products on the future platform.


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