Earlier in the year, Epic took the fight to Steam by launching its own PC storefront. Epic’s plan is to undercut Steam by offering developers and publishers a larger percentage of their sales – while Valve starts off by taking 30% of each sale made on Steam (a cut that shrinks as games sell more copies), Epic only takes 12% of each sale for itself. That, combined with the built-in reach of the Epic Games Store thanks to sharing a launcher with Fortnite, could potentially make Epic’s storefront an attractive place for developers to publish their games.
Now that Epic has launched its challenger to Steam, it’s apparently gearing up to launch a similar war on mobile. Epic is said to have plans to launch an app store all its own, again with the main selling point being that it takes a smaller cut of each sale than Google and Apple do.
Unfortunately, Epic’s plans are rather vague at this point. The company only tells The Wall Street Journal that it will begin selling Android apps at some point in 2019, with the same 12% fee it charges developers and publishers on its PC storefront. Apple and Google, for the record, take keep 30% of each sale, just as Valve does with Steam.
Epic’s mobile strategy pretty much starts and ends with Android, as there isn’t really a way to break into the app space on iOS. Still, Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter told WSJ that making Google change its revenue split could force Apple’s hand in doing the same, so even though Epic won’t have a way to directly sell apps for iOS, its foray into the world of mobile app stores may bring about change nonetheless.
We’ll just have to see how everything shakes out once we’re into the new year and Epic’s plans become a little more concrete. It is worth pointing out that the company has turned Fortnite into a success on Android while bypassing the Google Play Store entirely, so if anyone can take the fight to Google, it’s probably Epic.