Tim Sweeney Calls Out Steam After Launching Self-Publishing Tools for Epic Games Store: “Steam Has Created a Real Problem for the Industry”

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Image: Epic Games Store

The Epic Games Store launched self-publishing tools for game developers and publishers today, and while Epic has assured that they will enable developers and publishers to efficiently release games, maintain their store presence directly, and reach a growing audience of over 68 million monthly active users, the announcement has also prompted Tim Sweeney to talk some more trash about his main competitor. Speaking to PC Gamer, the Epic CEO stated that Steamworks, Valve’s own set of tools that help developers and publishers build their games on Steam, has “created a real problem for the industry,” claiming that it results in broken releases on other platforms. Epic’s game submission guidelines have dictated that multiplayer games must have crossplay with other PC stores, with another rule being no pornographic games.

“They have a classic lock-in strategy where they build these services that only work with their store, and they use the fact that they have the majority market share in order to encourage everybody to ship games that have a broken experience in other stores,” Sweeney said. “And we were bitten by this early on with a number of multiplayer games coming to the Epic Games Store. Steamworks didn’t work on our store, so they had either a reduced set of multiplayer features or none, or they were just limited to a much smaller audience back in the launch days of the Epic Games Store, so you had a lot of multiplayer games that really felt like they were broken. And remember, Call of Duty went through a debacle launching on the Windows Store a while back in which you could only matchmake with other Windows Store players, and that is not how PC should work.”

From an Epic Games Store post:

Notable Epic Games Store Requirements

  • PC Crossplay for Multiplayer Games: Multiplayer games must support crossplay across all PC stores. This ensures that players who purchase a multiplayer game on any store can easily connect with other players, regardless of where the game was purchased. To achieve this, you can implement crossplay yourself, use a third-party SDK, or use Epic Online Services for free. Learn more: enabling PC crossplay functionality
  • Epic Games Store Achievements: All games onboarded to the Epic Games Store publishing tools after March 9, 2023 are required to enable Epic Games Store achievements if the game has achievements on other PC stores. This helps standardize the player experience regardless of where the game was purchased. Learn more: configuring achievements
  • Age Ratings for Regional Distribution: The Epic Games Store has partnered with the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) to help developers obtain ratings directly where required. This service is provided at no cost to you by the Epic Games Store. If your game already has a rating from an official rating system, it must be displayed on your store game page. Learn More: ratings 
  • Prohibited Content: Certain types of content are prohibited on the store, including but not limited to: hateful or discriminatory content; pornography; illegal content; content that infringes on intellectual property you do not own or have rights to use; scams, frauds, or deceptive practices, such as fake games or malware. Learn more: prohibited content.
  • Game Quality: Games must download, install, launch and function consistently with the assets and descriptions you provide on the game page. Epic reserves the right to reject games that we don’t feel are sufficient in quality and functionality. Learn more: content guidelines.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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