Epic Games puts Steam on notice by launching its own store

Eric Abent - Dec 4, 2018, 10:57am CST
Epic Games puts Steam on notice by launching its own store

Now that Fortnite is well on the path to world domination, Epic has decided to take the fight to Steam. Today, Epic announced that it’s launching a game store of its own, complete with an aggressive revenue sharing model that seems to be entirely focused on disrupting digital distribution. When you consider the built-in userbase that Epic already has thanks to Fortnite and its in-house launcher, there’s the potential for this new store to become popular very quickly.

Epic says that it will offer developers an 88/12 revenue split on games sold through its new store. That means developers get to keep 88% of every sale while the remaining 12% goes to Epic. For years now, a 70/30 split has been the most common one we’ve seen for digital distribution platforms, and that’s the baseline that Steam works with.

Just yesterday, Valve announced new revenue sharing tiers for Steam that give developers more money per sale as their game gets more successful. Until a game hits $10 million in sales, the split stays at 70/30, but between $10 million and $50 in sales, it drops to 75/25. After reaching $50 million sales, the split drops once again to 80/20, but under these new tiers, it never gets to a point where it challenges Epic’s 88/12 model.

In a blog post to its official site today, Epic explains that it has even more incentives to use its store, especially if developers are using Unreal Engine to create their games. Games made with Unreal Engine and sold through Epic’s store will be exempt from the 5% engine royalty Epic typically charges. The graphic above shows just how much of a swing there is between Unreal games hosted on Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Epic says that the store will also allow developers to connect with content creators and Twitch streamers through the Support-A-Creator program it originally launched for Fortnite. All engines will be supported, with Unity specifically being mentioned alongside Unreal. Epic says that its new store will launch soon with a “hand-curated set of games.” We’ll see it launch first for PC and Mac before eventually spreading to Android and other platforms next year, and we’ll find out what some of those launch titles are at The Game Awards later this week. Stay tuned.

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