Epic Games Store and Why it’s Controversial

Epic is on the right track to becoming a great competitor, but they still have a lot more to improve upon.

The Epic Games Store launched in December 2018 as both a website and a standalone launcher. The store came about as a chance to give back to the developers by undermining the 30% standard fee set by Valve. Epic Games initially thought they could have plenty of profits with just an 8% fee but they quickly realized they needed to raise the fee to 12%. 

Not only will epic give back more to developers, but it also provides a free game every week to the consumers.

Mal Tolbert

Steam requires a $100 application fee to get your game on the store as well as a 30% cut of the revenue. The $100 application will be returned once the game has generated $1,000 in revenue. Microsoft recently started to offer a full library similar to Steam but their cut is also 30%. Epic requires no application fee, takes a 12% cut, and also has an exclusivity deal. In exchange for exclusivity, Epic provides financial support for development and marketing.

Epic Exclusivity Controversy

The exclusivity deal is what got Epic into hot water. PC gamers weren’t necessarily used to exclusivity as Steam was essentially a monopoly. Typically we see exclusivity all the time with companies. Apple and Samsung did it between AT&T and Verizon. Microsoft, Playstation, and Nintendo all have exclusive titles and will continue having exclusive titles. Not to mention, exclusivity is how companies get a competitive advantage. Without exclusivity, Steam would continue to be a monopoly as there would be no reason to use Epic Games Store.

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Epic Free Games

Not only will epic give back more to developers, but it also provides a free game every week to the consumers. There’s no other company out there providing a game completely for free. All it requires is an account. The games aren’t half bad either, titles like Celeste, Batman Arkham Trilogy, and Subnautica. For a full list, you can visit Pro Game Guides. Epic is using this as leverage over the fact that their execution is immature. It’s definitely a good idea, but they should have polished their app before pushing it out the door. I can only imagine that they rushed it to match the Borderlands 3 timeline.

Great Idea, Immature Execution

Epic has a great business idea as there were no real competitors to Steam other than the recent moves from Microsoft. The financials of the operation were on point for a great competitive advantage however their launcher falls far in comparison to Steam.

The UI is lacking in features and settings. It would be acceptable if it was a launcher for their games only, similar to Blizzards. However, we’re talking about a launcher for all games.

You can’t review games, categorize games in your library, nor throttle downloads. The download speeds are also nowhere near what you get when downloading from steam. Epic is on the right track to becoming a great competitor, but they still have a lot more to improve upon.