Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact

A lengthy series of tweets from Tim Sweeney looks to address some of the concerns gamers have expressed over Epic Games Store exclusives and other issues:
This question gets to the core of Epic’s strategy for competing with dominant storefronts. We believe exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry.

For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5% of Steam’s scale. Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures.

This leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts and by the key Epic Games store releases compared to their former Steam revenue projections and their actual console sales.

In judging whether a disruptive move like this is reasonable in gaming, I suggest considering two questions: Is the solution proportionate to the problem it addresses, and are gamers likely benefit from the end goal if it’s ultimately achieved?

The 30% store tax usually exceeds the entire profits of the developer who built the game that’s sold. This is a disastrous situation for developers and publishers alike, so I believe the strategy of exclusives is proportionate to the problem.

If the Epic strategy either succeeds in building a second major storefront for PC games with an 88/12 revenue split, or even just leads other stores to significantly improve their terms, the result will be a major wave of reinvestment in game development and a lowering of costs.

Will the resulting 18% increase in developer and publisher revenue benefit gamers? Such gains are generally split among (1) reinvestment, (2) profit, and (3) price reduction. The more games are competing with each other, the more likely the proceeds are to go to (1) and (3).

So I believe this approach passes the test of ultimately benefitting gamers after game storefronts have rebalanced and developers have reinvested more of their fruits of their labor into creation rather than taxation.

Of course, there are LOTS of challenges along the way, and Epic is fully committed to solving all problems that arise for gamers are for our partners as the Epic Games store grows.
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44.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:43
44.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:43
Jun 26, 2019, 16:43
 
Creston wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:15:
Beamer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:12:
But look at the auto industry. We're constantly getting better products for the same prices.

No, we are not. Where the fuck are you getting this idea from??

The average sale price of a new car is now over $37000

That's nearly double from where it was 20 years ago.

You used to be able to buy a truck for under 20 grand. Now, unless you don't mind sitting on a church pew and having literally NOTHING on it, you can't get one for under 30.




$37K today was $24K 20 years ago. So that sounds about right. Inflation has been 50% over the past 20 years.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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43.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:43
43.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:43
Jun 26, 2019, 16:43
 
Cutter wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 16:40:
jdreyer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:53:
Cutter wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:33:
Fion wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:43:
Want to break the 30% standard?

Better start competing with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo on their platforms too, because they all use that standard!

The moment games start selling for $45 on EGS, while they are $60 everywhere else - because EGS takes a smaller piece of the pie - is the moment I'll believe any of this bullshit and install the software.

But we all know that's never going to happen.

Thank you. Was just going to say the same thing myself. Oh so this is all for our benefit is it? Yeah. Sure.

Except that Steam won't let you sell for a different price on a different store. Exclusives are the only way that happens.

What do you mean? There are always sales on other storefronts - Fanatical, GMG, etc. - where games that activate on Steam are cheaper than they are on Steam. I don't know of any game that's exclusive to Steam alone, let alone can't set it's own price.


Sales aren't listings.
42.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:40
42.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:40
Jun 26, 2019, 16:40
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:53:
Cutter wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:33:
Fion wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:43:
Want to break the 30% standard?

Better start competing with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo on their platforms too, because they all use that standard!

The moment games start selling for $45 on EGS, while they are $60 everywhere else - because EGS takes a smaller piece of the pie - is the moment I'll believe any of this bullshit and install the software.

But we all know that's never going to happen.

Thank you. Was just going to say the same thing myself. Oh so this is all for our benefit is it? Yeah. Sure.

Except that Steam won't let you sell for a different price on a different store. Exclusives are the only way that happens.

What do you mean? There are always sales on other storefronts - Fanatical, GMG, etc. - where games that activate on Steam are cheaper than they are on Steam. I don't know of any game that's exclusive to Steam alone, let alone can't set it's own price.

"She's such a groovy lady. She makes my heart go hi-dee hey-dee. She is the chick I spend my nights dreaming of...."
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41.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:28
41.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:28
Jun 26, 2019, 16:28
 
Dravnt wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:13:
Beamer,

I think you do have a good point but the problem is the powerful greed driving decisions by individual companies.

For example, windfall and increased resources have not changed the buggy mess the SaaS games produced for the last 2+ years from EA. Individual users are now the test monkeys for games, which is why so many of them are either buggy messes on release or games stay in "alpha/greenlight" mode for years.

I think the best example of how to do it right is CD Projekt Red (Witcher series, Cyberpunk 2077) and Rockstar (GTA series, Red Dead Redemption, etc.). I really don't like how Rockstar games are SaaS and how they have a secondary login for cloud saves/purchases but DLC is free and there's no question about quality. And CD Projekt Red is doing amazing work with not only their games but also their supported store front GoG.

Another company doing it right is HumbleBundle, who let's you choose how much percentage goes to the publisher, storefront and developers.

Upshot is we, the gamers, get what we pay for and if we pay a company that encourages pure exclusives while blowing smoke up our asses claiming "it's all for the gamers!", then we only have ourselves to blame for the current state of the industry.

And 30% is very much industry standard among all players (Microsoft Xbox, Android apps, iOS apps, PlayStation, Steam, etc.). It was actually Microsoft that originally set that percentage more than a decade ago and every company followed suit. While it would be nice to dream of a lower percentage charged and with more cash going to developers, it is most likely going to take more than Epic/Sweeney's tiff with Steam/Gabe to change the industry standard.

To be clear, I'm with you, I want change, I want developers to have more cash in their pockets to create games but I also want games to drop back down to $45 for a triple A game, for games to not be exclusive on storefronts, and for DLC to be proper paid expansions. I'd also like for companies to allow modding on their games.

All of this is out the window though as long as big gaming corp is driven by greed and as long as gamers are okay with SaaS software/games.

We are in a worse and worse state of affairs as time goes on because we allow it.

Today a AAA game is $60. In 1999, it was $50. However, $50 in 1999 is the same as $75 today. So AAA games are in fact cheaper than they were 20 years ago, and get relatively cheaper every year.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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40.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:22
Slick
 
40.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:22
Jun 26, 2019, 16:22
 Slick
 
Avus wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 15:06:
I DON'T CARE how much game developer % cut when I buy game. It is fxxking stupid for consumer to care about this. I as a gamer (consumer) only care if I can buy this game with a great price, software quality, post support, digital store features...

If a game developer cannot survive with 30% digital store cut, too bad, it is on the dev management. There are many dev don't make profit with 30% cut but there are also MANY can. Try go back to good old retail route and see how far can you go...

When you buy your Big Mac, Ford Mustang, Samsung TV do you fxxking care how much profit the food suppliers, automaker or Samsung actually made?? I would care about PRICE, store/sales quality and support instead. When fanboys come to game, they just throw their logic out the windows. This is why all these AAA dev made so much $$ off them by DLC, lootbox. Their favorite dev never wrong...

You can hate Valve for many things, but complain them taking 30% from dev is the most stupid.

The only complaint is people who would otherwise want to buy a Big Mac, Ford Mustang, or Samsung TV, but will ONLY buy it from Wal-Mart.

If the studios don't want to give a fucking storefront that had exactly nothing to do with building the game take MORE MONEY than the studio, then fuck yeah, they have every right to sell it elsewhere.

It's on the dough-headed consumers who refuse to buy the game that they otherwise want to buy, because they only shop at Wal-Mart.

Since when are gamers loyalty to a payment processor higher than the level designers, audio engineers, texture artists, writers, directors, coders, testers etc. etc. etc. who actually make the art we love?

Pretty fucked up if you ask me.

For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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39.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:21
39.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:21
Jun 26, 2019, 16:21
 
Creston wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:50:
If the Epic strategy either succeeds in building a second major storefront for PC games with an 88/12 revenue split, or even just leads other stores to significantly improve their terms, the result will be a major wave of reinvestment in game development and a lowering of costs. significantly higher bonuses for Bobby Kotick, Andrew Wilson et al.

EA and ActiBlizz games are mostly sold through their own websites where they keep 100% of revenue (minus the seven non-EA games sold by EA last year, and old Activision games sold on Steam), so the revenue split discussion doesn't affect them very much. Thanks for playing though.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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38.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 16:16
Slick
 
38.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 16:16
Jun 26, 2019, 16:16
 Slick
 
"The 30% store tax usually exceeds the entire profits of the developer who built the game that’s sold."

THIS.

This is the only salient argument you have to defeat when you complain about EGS.

The game is the same weather you buy it in one store or another, with the obvious exception if it makes use of something like the Steam Workshop. The workshop is great, and adds value for gamers. Weather it's worth the store making more money than the people who actually put their blood sweat and tears into making the game is up for debate.

But if the game doesn't use Workshop? It's a no-brainer, the game is exactly the same.
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
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37.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:49
37.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:49
Jun 26, 2019, 15:49
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 15:11:
Competition is good for the industry including consumers like us.

Where is that competition from EGS? Where is it right now?

And it's not like there's not already tons of other stores already. Uplay, Origin, Battlenet, Itch.io, GOG, Windows store etc.

What's the only special thing about EGS compared to the others? They bribe for exclusives, that's it... Exclusives have nothing to do with competition, it's the opposite of competition.

This argument makes zero sense and it never will.

His argument about the cut of the sales isn't either, for the reasons outlined in my previous comment's linked video in this thread which I guess I'll link again in case anyone missed it:

The Epic Narrative - The Mortiel Fallacy: May 9, 2019

grudgebearer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 15:45:
What demonstrable benefits are consumers receiving from EGS exclusivity?

None, zero, nada, zilch. Quite the opposite, it only had negative impacts.
36.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:45
36.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:45
Jun 26, 2019, 15:45
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 15:11:
Competition is good for the industry including consumers like us.

What demonstrable benefits are consumers receiving from EGS exclusivity?
Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishfull thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.
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35.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:35
Verno
 
35.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:35
Jun 26, 2019, 15:35
 Verno
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:59:
What about the exclusives then? Because that hasn't been happening with them either. Epic is asking us to use a feature barren, insecure store and literally offering no incentive to do so beyond "The devs get more money" (which shouldn't be the consumer's concern) or "It'll lead to lower prices maybe" (which it hasn't.)

You compete by doing things better than the other guy, not by spending the money you could be using to do that, to bribe other companies in an attempt to strongarm your way into a market you aren't prepared for.

Nailed it, well said.

"Competition is better for consumers! But the publisher sets the price so it's not their fault!" So in other words I can only buy the game in less places than before and I get no benefit for doing so. Wow I'm convinced, this competition is so wonderful!
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34.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:34
34.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:34
Jun 26, 2019, 15:34
 
I am going to become irrationally angry over something that doesn't monetarily effect me and vent my spleen including pejoratives and ad hominems.
"No matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Banzai

There are two types of computer users: Masochists and Linux users.

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33.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:11
33.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:11
Jun 26, 2019, 15:11
 
Competition is good for the industry including consumers like us.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
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32.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:06
32.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:06
Jun 26, 2019, 15:06
 
I DON'T CARE how much game developer % cut when I buy game. It is fxxking stupid for consumer to care about this. I as a gamer (consumer) only care if I can buy this game with a great price, software quality, post support, digital store features...

If a game developer cannot survive with 30% digital store cut, too bad, it is on the dev management. There are many dev don't make profit with 30% cut but there are also MANY can. Try go back to good old retail route and see how far can you go...

When you buy your Big Mac, Ford Mustang, Samsung TV do you fxxking care how much profit the food suppliers, automaker or Samsung actually made?? I would care about PRICE, store/sales quality and support instead. When fanboys come to game, they just throw their logic out the windows. This is why all these AAA dev made so much $$ off them by DLC, lootbox. Their favorite dev never wrong...

You can hate Valve for many things, but complain them taking 30% from dev is the most stupid.
“I am not a Mac user unless under duress.” - John Carmack
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31.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 15:02
31.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 15:02
Jun 26, 2019, 15:02
 
Are these going to be the new Star Citizen threads?

Personal opinions: exclusives are bullshit tactics that only harm consumers, whether it's a hardware or software platform exclusive. Epic seems to be staffed with a bunch of assholes, at least at the top.

jdreyer: No offense, but I think you're a little off:

Except that Steam won't let you sell for a different price on a different store. Exclusives are the only way that happens.

I've bought plenty of games on Gog, that are also on Steam, that are at least TEMPORARILY discounted on Gog only. Gog doesn't even run their sales at the same time as Steam anymore. Unless you're referring to some listed non-sale price fine print somewhere, which wouldn't surprise me.

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30.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:59
30.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:59
Jun 26, 2019, 14:59
 
jdreyer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:42:
You can't sell for $45 on EGS and $60 elsewhere.

What about the exclusives then? Because that hasn't been happening with them either. Epic is asking us to use a feature barren, insecure store and literally offering no incentive to do so beyond "The devs get more money" (which shouldn't be the consumer's concern) or "It'll lead to lower prices maybe" (which it hasn't.)

You compete by doing things better than the other guy, not by spending the money you could be using to do that, to bribe other companies in an attempt to strongarm your way into a market you aren't prepared for.
Parallax Abstraction
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29.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:53
29.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:53
Jun 26, 2019, 14:53
 
Cutter wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:33:
Fion wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:43:
Want to break the 30% standard?

Better start competing with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo on their platforms too, because they all use that standard!

The moment games start selling for $45 on EGS, while they are $60 everywhere else - because EGS takes a smaller piece of the pie - is the moment I'll believe any of this bullshit and install the software.

But we all know that's never going to happen.

Thank you. Was just going to say the same thing myself. Oh so this is all for our benefit is it? Yeah. Sure.
Except that Steam won't let you sell for a different price on a different store. Exclusives are the only way that happens.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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28.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:51
28.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:51
Jun 26, 2019, 14:51
 
El Pit wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:21:
Beamer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:18:
Bumpy wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:01:
Fion wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:43:
The moment games start selling for $45 on EGS, while they are $60 everywhere else - because EGS takes a smaller piece of the pie - is the moment I'll believe any of this bullshit and install the software.

QFT.

What if, instead of lowering the price, they increase the budget for the game, resulting in a game that has some combination of more content, fewer bugs, better graphics, etc.? Or they make no changes but they reduce the break-even volume, and therefore the game is more likely to be considered a success and be supported longer, get more DLC, and be more likely to get a sequel?

Would that make you happy? I doubt it, because those are invisible benefit that most people would still be very angry about.

It only this would be true... Our economy works like this: any money you don't invest or can even rip out of a product is given to the shareholder and does not go back into the production or the wallets of the employees. It is like Apple does it: cut the productions costs where possible but keep the price up and give all the bonus to the shareholders. And be loved by them.

Most game publishers on Steam are not publicly traded. There are no shareholders.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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27.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:48
27.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:48
Jun 26, 2019, 14:48
 
Verno wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:52:
18% isn't going to be sufficient and Sweeney already said as much previously. There is a reason he won't commit to this revenue split going forward, they are just trying to gain marketshare and it was always intended to be temporary. How fucking generous of him to speak for all gamers out there and claim that this is some big benefit. From where I sit this is no benefit at all, objectively it is a worse situation than having a product be sold on multiple storefronts.

Also as a gamer I don't really care about revenue splits, that shit does not matter to me. I don't care if the developer or publisher makes more money, they sell me a product, not shares in the fucking company. This is just silly PR.

As explained, devs are going out of business due to the 30%. I was listening to Attend games founder on a podcast yesterday. His revenues are way down, because Steam not only takes 30%, but also doesn't curate, so the long tail that made some kinds of games viable have gone away.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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26.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:42
26.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:42
Jun 26, 2019, 14:42
 
Fion wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:43:
Want to break the 30% standard?

Better start competing with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo on their platforms too, because they all use that standard!

The moment games start selling for $45 on EGS, while they are $60 everywhere else - because EGS takes a smaller piece of the pie - is the moment I'll believe any of this bullshit and install the software.

But we all know that's never going to happen.

You can't sell for $45 on EGS and $60 elsewhere. The other stores stipulate that you must sell on their store at the same price as other stores, or you can't use their platform.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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25.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:40
25.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:40
Jun 26, 2019, 14:40
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:21:
I don't mind the color of the store where I buy my games.

Good to know you're not a storist.
'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence? - GC
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