Gamers may not like the fact that Tim Sweeney is snatching up exclusives left and right for his store, but the Epic CEO claims it’s for a righteous cause. Sweeney explained in a series of recent tweets that his endgame is increasing the standard payout for developers.
While the Epic Games Store already offers a more generous cut, that’s not enough to convince Steam and other storefronts from adopting its 88/12 percent revenue split. Sweeney suggests Epic has to become a bigger threat for competitors to revise their policies, and the only way to do that is by getting as many exclusives as possible.
For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5% of Steam’s scale. Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 26, 2019
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) June 26, 2019
The 30% store tax usually exceeds the entire profits of the developer who built the game that’s sold. This is a disastrous situation for developers and publishers alike, so I believe the strategy of exclusives is proportionate to the problem.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 26, 2019
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.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 26, 2019
So I believe this approach passes the test of ultimately benefitting gamers after game storefronts have rebalanced and developers have reinvested more of their fruits of their labor into creation rather than taxation.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 26, 2019
Sweeney went on to add that this tactic, while aggressive, is “proportionate to the problem it addresses” – that being the 70%/30% cut. Epic’s end goal is lowering stores’ cuts across the industry. Failing that, Epic would still end up with a store selling dozens of anticipated games and an avenue for developers to sell their games at higher potential profits.