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Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives "PROCOMPETITIVE"

DSOGaming notes a series of posts on Reddit from Tim Sweeney have more from the Epic Games CEO on what's going on in the Epic Games Store, where Epic's discounted take is adding a little disruption to the online games market. One post on Reddit Sweeney defends the practice of signing games to exclusive distribution deals, saying that this is a "PROCOMPETITIVE issue and the PC remains an open platform." Here's a bit:

Yes, and the PC remains open, and there is more robust competition among PC stores than ever before. There's Steam offering Valve games, Origin offering EA games, Battle.net offering Activision and Bungie games, Epic Games offering games from many publishers.

I get that you guys don't like store-exclusive games, but that's a completely separate, and PROCOMPETITIVE issue, compared to closing down platforms like Windows to monopolize distribution, as iOS does, and as Microsoft was trying to do with UWP and locked-down versions of Windows -- which failed, and whose proponents are now gone and replaced with great leaders like Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer who are driving Windows forward as an open platform!

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97. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 20, 2019, 11:11 Orogogus
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2019, 07:33:
You're right that consumers wouldn't use this if there were no exclusives, which is why there are exclusives. it's literally impossible to have feature parity at launch, nor to get it without a user base. So if people want a second viable digital games store, this is the only way.

Ya. Which, whatever. People can be mad about it. Origin has been there for years now, and I still don't see why anyone would buy a non-exclusive from them. As far as I know they're around because that's where you buy their first party titles. Which is great for them, since they don't have to pay Valve 30%. A little sucky for consumers but, well, life's tough.

What I don't really get about Epic is that I think their storefront is feature-deficient enough that as a consumer I would just buy my exclusive and leave. Just like Origin -- no reviews/ratings, no shopping cart. I don't think it's a viable window shopping experience. What I've seen of their roadmap doesn't even aim as high as the level of feature parity Oculus eventually achieved. So if I were Epic I would have held off on buying exclusives until I thought my product was good enough that I might put up double digits against Valve. Saving themselves 30% is a totally valid reason to launch a storefront, but buying exclusives is generating ill will while initiating a race to the bottom and probably not generating significant side sales of non-exclusives. You don't usually make much money on sweetheart exclusive deals, and the downside would seem to outweigh the benefit.
 
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96. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 20, 2019, 08:44 Beamer
 
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 20, 2019, 08:33:
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2019, 07:33:
Even the first Tesla was 99% a Lotus, but with more torque and far more hassle.
That number is more like 7%.
https://www.tesla.com/blog/mythbusters-part-2-tesla-roadster-not-converted-lotus-elise

In their estimate. It was higher. Not 99%, but still, Tesla needed to buy off-the-shelf components to build its first car, and its first car wasn't competitive. There were no superchargers at the time. It wasn't a great car, and was a huge hassle. But it got people into the system, which enabled them to continue funding the better cars they had coming.
 
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Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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95. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 20, 2019, 08:33 RedEye9
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 20, 2019, 07:33:
Even the first Tesla was 99% a Lotus, but with more torque and far more hassle.
That number is more like 7%.
https://www.tesla.com/blog/mythbusters-part-2-tesla-roadster-not-converted-lotus-elise
 
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I want to shut the noise out and reconnect to my inner thoughts on the road to feeling more at one with myself. Fleabag
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94. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 20, 2019, 07:37  dsmart 
 
Orogogus wrote on Mar 20, 2019, 03:30:

I can't speak to software, but in manufactured goods, if you don't have feature parity or a pricing edge, you're often not viable. Why would I buy a non-exclusive game from the Epic store? Steam has streaming and broadcasting, global controller rebinding, the mods workshop, gifting, wishlists and sale notifications, tags, gift cards, a shopping cart, DLC, remote access, VR support, family sharing, family view, a music player, the ability to add non-Steam games, and cloud saves. Epic's big customer-facing features are not having forums or reviews. I feel like I'd have to be stupid to buy from them if I have a choice.

Amen. And as I said in my tweet threads, despite the fact that Tim Sweeney has clearly stated why they're doing exclusives; even acknowledging that EGS is still not on par with Steam in terms of features let alone content, some people still don't get it.
 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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93. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 20, 2019, 07:33 Beamer
 
Orogogus wrote on Mar 20, 2019, 03:30:
jdreyer wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 18:08:
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 13:37:

I'm sure they are. But, as you know, building something like that takes a very long time, and requires a lot of testing. It took Valve about a decade to do it. No one launches with all those features, because the tens to hundreds of millions it takes is a foolish gamble, but if you're already driving revenue and consumers are coming, you can keep iterating and building.
Exactly right. This is how you build good, usable software. Start with a minimum viable product, then iterate features.

I can't speak to software, but in manufactured goods, if you don't have feature parity or a pricing edge, you're often not viable. Why would I buy a non-exclusive game from the Epic store? Steam has streaming and broadcasting, global controller rebinding, the mods workshop, gifting, wishlists and sale notifications, tags, gift cards, a shopping cart, DLC, remote access, VR support, family sharing, family view, a music player, the ability to add non-Steam games, and cloud saves. Epic's big customer-facing features are not having forums or reviews. I feel like I'd have to be stupid to buy from them if I have a choice.

The one that really baffles me is the shopping cart. Origin and the Oculus store don't have one either, and I don't get it. When Steam has a big sale sometimes I'll go through my wishlist and put some games in my cart, prune it down and buy a bunch at once if I make my save against buyer's remorse; with the other storefronts I have to roll against that with every single title I purchase. I don't know why the Oculus store even bothers to have themed sales. Is it that there's a super expensive patent on electronic shopping carts, and that's why these guys don't have it?

That said, Oculus seems to have a much better hook than Epic or Origin in that it's tangibly easier to browse and buy stuff from inside their headset compared to Steam. I think it's the only storefront that actually puts up numbers comparable to Steam on multiplatform titles (comparable meaning 20-40%; I gather GOG, Origin, itch.io and the like are lucky to get mid-single digits). I've hardly bought any non-exclusives from them, but I can at least see why people would. For Origin and Epic I just don't see it at all.

Software is infinitely harder than packaged goods, and most packaged goods brands start by white labeling something. Even the first Tesla was 99% a Lotus, but with more torque and far more hassle.

You're right that consumers wouldn't use this if there were no exclusives, which is why there are exclusives. it's literally impossible to have feature parity at launch, nor to get it without a user base. So if people want a second viable digital games store, this is the only way.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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92. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 20, 2019, 03:30 Orogogus
 
jdreyer wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 18:08:
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 13:37:

I'm sure they are. But, as you know, building something like that takes a very long time, and requires a lot of testing. It took Valve about a decade to do it. No one launches with all those features, because the tens to hundreds of millions it takes is a foolish gamble, but if you're already driving revenue and consumers are coming, you can keep iterating and building.
Exactly right. This is how you build good, usable software. Start with a minimum viable product, then iterate features.

I can't speak to software, but in manufactured goods, if you don't have feature parity or a pricing edge, you're often not viable. Why would I buy a non-exclusive game from the Epic store? Steam has streaming and broadcasting, global controller rebinding, the mods workshop, gifting, wishlists and sale notifications, tags, gift cards, a shopping cart, DLC, remote access, VR support, family sharing, family view, a music player, the ability to add non-Steam games, and cloud saves. Epic's big customer-facing features are not having forums or reviews. I feel like I'd have to be stupid to buy from them if I have a choice.

The one that really baffles me is the shopping cart. Origin and the Oculus store don't have one either, and I don't get it. When Steam has a big sale sometimes I'll go through my wishlist and put some games in my cart, prune it down and buy a bunch at once if I make my save against buyer's remorse; with the other storefronts I have to roll against that with every single title I purchase. I don't know why the Oculus store even bothers to have themed sales. Is it that there's a super expensive patent on electronic shopping carts, and that's why these guys don't have it?

That said, Oculus seems to have a much better hook than Epic or Origin in that it's tangibly easier to browse and buy stuff from inside their headset compared to Steam. I think it's the only storefront that actually puts up numbers comparable to Steam on multiplatform titles (comparable meaning 20-40%; I gather GOG, Origin, itch.io and the like are lucky to get mid-single digits). I've hardly bought any non-exclusives from them, but I can at least see why people would. For Origin and Epic I just don't see it at all.
 
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91. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 18:46 RedEye9
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 13:29:
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 12:31:
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 09:39:
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 00:22:
OMG! I have to download a game from a different colored window. This is an outrage!
nailed it

A different coloured window that has a terrible UI, zero features like cloud saves, overlays, achievements and many more that almost all their competition has, doesn't allow you to buy keys from third-party sites, is rife with security problems and has customer support that barely exists.

But sure, just strawman it all down to "people don't want another launcher."

Yes, none of that concerns me, so don't waste breath. And it doesn't concern most gamers, otherwise we'd all be driving around in green mercedes because that's the color and dashboard that YOU like lmao

In all seriousness, I like having options. If I can buy a game cheaper someplace else, then I'm all for it. I don't give a flying f*** about the color of the window. Why don't you take your whining to Epic's forums and try to convince them not be in business lmao
Dang dude, where'd you get all them nails.
You're on fire!

Also see recent posts from jdreyer, beamer and bizarrely enough
dsmart - those dudebros also got it nailed down tight.

 
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I want to shut the noise out and reconnect to my inner thoughts on the road to feeling more at one with myself. Fleabag
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90. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 18:08 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 13:37:

I'm sure they are. But, as you know, building something like that takes a very long time, and requires a lot of testing. It took Valve about a decade to do it. No one launches with all those features, because the tens to hundreds of millions it takes is a foolish gamble, but if you're already driving revenue and consumers are coming, you can keep iterating and building.
Exactly right. This is how you build good, usable software. Start with a minimum viable product, then iterate features.
 
Avatar 22024
 
The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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89. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 17:57 jdreyer
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:53:
Epic's big differentiator is in the share they take.

That's their differentiation strategy to attract developers and publishers. Exclusives are their differentiation strategy to attract customers.
 
Avatar 22024
 
The land in Minecraft is flat, Minecraft simulates the Earth, ergo the Earth is flat.
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88. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 16:57 Kxmode
 
Slashman wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 10:44:
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 09:39:
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 00:22:
OMG! I have to download a game from a different colored window. This is an outrage!
nailed it

Well sure if you don't car about the state of the house that the Window is in.

We're all looking through the same windows...it just has a different color! Rolleyes

To borrow your analogy.

- Steam is triple-pane glass
- Origin, UPlay, GOG, Battle.net, and so forth are double-pane glass
- Epic Game Store is single-pane glass

Different colored windows sure, but the strength and features of the window is what matters most.
 
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 1: Aboard the rebel ship. / Enter C-3PO and R2-D2. / C-3PO: "Now is the summer of our happiness / Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" / R2-D2 Beep beep, Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, whee!
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87. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 16:46 Kxmode
 
dsmart wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:08:
Kxmode wrote on Mar 18, 2019, 20:42:
But it's not a store. It's a chatting app. It's not the same thing.

It is a store, just like GoG, Humble, GreenManGaming etc

dsmart wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:14:
Kain wrote on Mar 18, 2019, 22:02:
I didn't think Discord really had much of a store anymore.

Discord found out pretty quickly that they simply couldn't compete with ANY already established store. People don't use Discord to buy games.

I said Discord isn't a store but a chatting app. You said no they're a store like GoG. Then in the very next comment, you said People don't use Discord to buy games (In one of my comments, I wrote "Discord is not something I think about when I decide to buy games online."). That makes them primarily a chatting app, not a store. So which is it?
 
Avatar 18786
 
William Shakespeare's "Star Wars" Act I, Scene 1: Aboard the rebel ship. / Enter C-3PO and R2-D2. / C-3PO: "Now is the summer of our happiness / Made winter by this sudden, fierce attack!" / R2-D2 Beep beep, Beep, beep, meep, squeak, beep, whee!
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86. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 14:18 Mr. Tact
 
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 13:29:
... I don't give a flying f*** about the color of the window...
Yeah, the different colored window, that was the point he made.

Despite your statements otherwise, cloud saves, achievements, and a good UI are EXACTLY the kind of things most gamers are looking for. That said, I personally can do without the cloud saves or achievements, but a good UI is a requirement.
 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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85. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 14:03 Kain
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 12:31:
A different coloured window that has a terrible UI, zero features like cloud saves, overlays, achievements and many more that almost all their competition has, doesn't allow you to buy keys from third-party sites, is rife with security problems and has customer support that barely exists.

But sure, just strawman it all down to "people don't want another launcher."

It didn't even have real shopping cart functionality the last time I tried it, about as bare bones as it gets. I'm all for clients with good prices and competitive features, the EGS is simply lacking. I guess they are trying to offset this total lack of feature parity with exclusives but it doesn't really sway me. I have a ton of things vying for my attention these days, I can wait.
 
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84. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 13:37 Beamer
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 12:31:
dsmart wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:05:
That's not Epic's fault. They're using their financial war chest to get exclusives in order to seed their store.

Maybe if they spent that war chest on making a store that was secure, had a decent UI and was even remotely competitive on features with almost any of the other major platforms instead of bribing devs into exclusivity, gamers would be less upset. I know I would be.

I'm sure they are. But, as you know, building something like that takes a very long time, and requires a lot of testing. It took Valve about a decade to do it. No one launches with all those features, because the tens to hundreds of millions it takes is a foolish gamble, but if you're already driving revenue and consumers are coming, you can keep iterating and building.
 
-------------
Music for the discerning:
http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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83. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 13:29 Steele Johnson
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 12:31:
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 09:39:
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 00:22:
OMG! I have to download a game from a different colored window. This is an outrage!
nailed it

A different coloured window that has a terrible UI, zero features like cloud saves, overlays, achievements and many more that almost all their competition has, doesn't allow you to buy keys from third-party sites, is rife with security problems and has customer support that barely exists.

But sure, just strawman it all down to "people don't want another launcher."

Yes, none of that concerns me, so don't waste breath. And it doesn't concern most gamers, otherwise we'd all be driving around in green mercedes because that's the color and dashboard that YOU like lmao

In all seriousness, I like having options. If I can buy a game cheaper someplace else, then I'm all for it. I don't give a flying f*** about the color of the window. Why don't you take your whining to Epic's forums and try to convince them not be in business lmao
 
Avatar 12787
 
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82. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 12:31 Parallax Abstraction
 
dsmart wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:05:
That's not Epic's fault. They're using their financial war chest to get exclusives in order to seed their store.

Maybe if they spent that war chest on making a store that was secure, had a decent UI and was even remotely competitive on features with almost any of the other major platforms instead of bribing devs into exclusivity, gamers would be less upset. I know I would be.
 
Parallax Abstraction
Podcast | YouTube | Mixer
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81. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 12:31 Parallax Abstraction
 
RedEye9 wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 09:39:
Steele Johnson wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 00:22:
OMG! I have to download a game from a different colored window. This is an outrage!
nailed it

A different coloured window that has a terrible UI, zero features like cloud saves, overlays, achievements and many more that almost all their competition has, doesn't allow you to buy keys from third-party sites, is rife with security problems and has customer support that barely exists.

But sure, just strawman it all down to "people don't want another launcher."
 
Parallax Abstraction
Podcast | YouTube | Mixer
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80. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 12:03 Mr. Tact
 
A CEO saying something stupid... I am shocked. SHOCKED! Especially a CEO of a game company.

The exclusivity stuff is garbage. If you don't like the terms offered by Steam, GOG, Origin, or whoever for selling your game that's fine. Simply go public and say, our offer to distributors is X, and we will allow anyone meeting those terms to distribute the game. This way the public can determine if you are actually reasonable, or the pompous airbag you seem to be. Of course, they have no interest in that -- maximizing profit is all they are concerned with.

 
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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79. Re: Epic's Sweeney Calls Exclusives Mar 19, 2019, 11:57  dsmart 
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 09:21:
dsmart wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:26:

Bit out of the loop old man?

You didn't prove a single one of your points; let alone disprove any of mine. All you did was post out of context references to...nuthin'.

 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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78. Re: removed Mar 19, 2019, 11:54  dsmart 
 
dsmart wrote on Mar 19, 2019, 08:26:
* REMOVED *
This comment was deleted on Mar 19, 2019, 11:49.

I have no idea why my post was removed. I didn't divulge any trade secrets or contractual info. All I stated was that free games is paid for similar to how bundles (cheap) are priced. It's not a secret.
 
Avatar 9141
 
Game developers are just human beings who happen to make games for a living. If you want to hold us up to higher standards of conduct, then go ahead
...but don't be surprised if we don't uphold them
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