For PC gamers, arguably the biggest war in the past year has been between the Epic Games Store and Steam. The latter has been the dominant force in PC gaming for more than a decade and finally last year when the Epic Games Store opened, Steam had a worthy competitor. Epic has been pushing for PC games exclusive to their store and we’ve seen a lot of pushback from PC gamers such as review bombing titles. The latest example of that is Borderlands 3, which will be a timed-exclusive on the Epic Games Store. Epic has now drawn a line in the sand, saying that they would stop their exclusivity push if Steam changes for the better.
Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, took to Twitter to answer some questions about Epic Games Store exclusivity, Steam and PC gaming as a whole. For those who don’t know, the Epic Games Store has an 88/12 revenue policy, while Steam has a 70/30 revenue policy. Yes, developers get 18% more profit from sales of their games on the Epic Games Store than they do on Steam and it is a very big deal.
In a string of tweets, Mr Sweeney explained that the biggest problem for PC developers and publishers is that huge 30% profit share Steam takes from game sales. Epic is determined to fix this at all costs and will continue to push for exclusivity until Steam changes. The tweet below says it all.
If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2019
Mr Sweeny continued to explain that: “Such a move would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming, and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come. Then stores could go back to just being nice places to buy stuff, rather than the Game Developer IRS.”
Steam isn’t perfect and I doubt that Valve will get pushed around so easily. Further, many gamers love Steam and even refuse to grab free games from the Epic Games Store out of principle. With that being said, it could be great for everyone involved if Steam decides to drop their 70/30 policy to a lower rate. The question remains: How would Valve respond to such an open and public line that has been drawn in the sand.
What do you think about Tim Sweeney’s comments and do you think Valve will respond? Let us know in the comment section below.