Early in December, Epic Games announced that they would be joining the likes of Steam and GoG.com in the creation of a store front for digital PC game sales. Immediately entering the market with a behemoth of the industry like Steam is not easy as market share (sales, those searching the store, games on the store, etc) is difficult to come by.
Epic believes they can make a quick start out of the gate on their store front for two reasons. First, they are the developers of Fortnite, currently the world’s most popular game with 200 million registered users and some 78 million players a month. Fortnite uses the Epic launcher to start the game on PC, the same launcher that now hosts the Epic Store. This puts a lot of eyes on potential advertising of other games hosted on the store. Second, Epic is doubling down on Steam’s recent changes to their host fees by offering even lower fees themselves. Every PC store front (Apple, Google Play, Steam, GoG.com, etc) collects a percentage of sales as their fee for hosting and advertising. The industry standards is a take of 30% of the sales going to the store front. Steam recently announced a tiered system that drops down to 20% after $50 million in sales. Epic is going all in with a low 12%. Tim Sweeney, Epic’s founder and CEO, gave an interview to GamesIndustry.Biz describing why he believes this will work for Epic going forward.
The opening of the Epic Store is good news for gamers and it will hopefully mean continued competition for the sales of digital games. Yes, it means you need yet another launcher beside Steam, Origin, Uplay, Bethesda, Battle.net, and the like, but Epic has a chance of really making something good. Also, for those interested in free stuff, Epic has announced that they will be making a game available every fortnight (see what they did there?) until the end of 2019. Yes, every two weeks you will be able to add a game for free to your library. The first one up is Subnautica, a highly rated game of exploration and survival in the ocean (and one on my list), set to be offered starting December 14. Go sign up for your Epic account and enjoy what the store has to offer.