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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184 Replies. 10 pages. Viewing page 9.
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24.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:26
24.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:26
Jun 26, 2019, 14:26
 
First off, exclusivity deals are not "disruptive". Consoles have been doing it since forever.

But Tim Sweeney is so smart that I feel like he's lying to keep publicity on the good side. Because he has to know that lowering revenue split is not a good way to compete with exclusives; *getting your own exclusives* is. Valve can take that extra revenue and use it to pay studios or partially fund development, like consoles already do (or Epic supposedly does). Or only offer a good revenue split only for big publishers (which they already do) in exchange for an exclusivity deal. Or start refusing to give out free keys to indie devs unless they sign an exclusivity agreement, indie devs who don't have a choice if they aren't picked up by the heavily curated Epic store whose audience is mostly Fortnite children.

Tim Sweeney HAS to know all this, so what's his play here?
23.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:23
23.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:23
Jun 26, 2019, 14:23
 
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 car is now $37000

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.


A Toyota Camry LE was $19,740 in 1999. It's $24,497 today. If it had kept up with inflation, it'd be $29,900 today.

Trucks have changed, because mid-sized trucks didn't sell in the US and they've been pulled from the market - no more Ford Ranger. But you can still buy a Nissan car for under $13k. And a Nissan Frontier starts under $20k.
22.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:23
22.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:23
Jun 26, 2019, 14:23
 
21.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:22
21.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:22
Jun 26, 2019, 14:22
 
And let's all remember, the money that Epic is using to fund this expedition are from the vanity sales in a game mode they pretty much ripped off from pubg.

Fortnite was a struggling zombie survival game when PUBG was released "early access" in March 2017. PUBG quickly became the most popular PC game in the world and most popular game ever on Twitch at the time.

September 2017: Fortnite introduced a new game mode, Battle Royale, based on PUBG's format: 100 players, airship over the map, play zones that get smaller, crate drops, medkits and bandages, squad members getting "knocked out", etc.

Today: Tweets explaining how copying something is better for all of us...
Avatar 57294
20.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
Verno
 
20.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
 Verno
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:10:
priorities Grin

Well hey, you've got the market on "obsessively smash reload and reply to everything EGS" all sewn up on here. Just finding my niche! Grin Grin
Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
Avatar 51617
19.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
19.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:54:
grudgebearer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:02:
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:21:
I don't mind the color of the store where I buy my games.
Surprised that Blue hasn't added an “Epic Employee" tag to your account yet.
har
dee
har
har

It would be funnier if it wasn't damn close to being true.
Avatar 57294
18.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
18.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:15
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.



Avatar 15604
17.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:13
17.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:13
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.
"Everyone worse than me is a newb. Everyone better than me has no life."
Avatar 58585
16.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:12
16.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:12
Jun 26, 2019, 14:12
 
Verno wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:06:
"Trickle down economics totally works!"

Gotta bookmark this thread for irony/ammo in future political discussions

Not quite, but I get your point.
I'm in now way saying that this won't just result in money going into the pockets of devs and publishers.
But look at the auto industry. We're constantly getting better products for the same prices. As cars become cheaper to produce over time, they're reinvesting those cost savings into better products. The economics behind it are obviously different, but companies do frequently reinvest efficiencies and savings into improved products.

More importantly, with the break even lower, we absolutely will see more sequels. There's no real denying that. Given how many products we've wanted sequels for that haven't quite sold well enough, this is a pretty good thing.
15.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:10
15.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:10
Jun 26, 2019, 14:10
 
Verno wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 14:06:
"Trickle down economics totally works!"

Gotta bookmark this thread for irony/ammo in future political discussions
priorities Grin
Avatar 58135
14.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 14:06
Verno
 
14.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 14:06
Jun 26, 2019, 14:06
 Verno
 
"Trickle down economics totally works!"

Gotta bookmark this thread for irony/ammo in future political discussions
Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
Avatar 51617
13.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:54
13.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:54
Jun 26, 2019, 13:54
 
grudgebearer wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 13:02:
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:21:
I don't mind the color of the store where I buy my games.
Surprised that Blue hasn't added an “Epic Employee" tag to your account yet.
har
dee
har
har
Avatar 58135
12.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:50
12.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:50
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.


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). (2).

In the meantime, their vaunted "roadmap" that he first showed off two months ago is now more behind than Anthem's, as not a single feature from said roadmap has actually made it into his client.

So, rejoice! Tim Sweeney is here to save all of us! Rolleyes
Avatar 15604
11.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:45
11.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:45
Jun 26, 2019, 13:45
 
Get off the DRM launcher bandwagon and I'll buy stuff from the EGS store. Champion it like Jobs did with the Music industry for iTunes.

Otherwise, 1 is enough.... which happens to be well established.

If I can wait for stuff to come on to GOG... I can surely wait for exclusives of newer games to "expire" for Steam. (Which would be patched and most likely discounted by that point)

Bottom line... the exclusives strategy, by itself, won't work.
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
Avatar 19499
10.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:33
10.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:33
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.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."
Avatar 25394
9.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:33
9.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:33
Jun 26, 2019, 13:33
 
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.

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Yes, shareholders are all our economy seems to care about these days. But no, budgets are made based upon forecasts. Forecasts change when costs get cut. Budgets are often tied to an expected margin. When the costs permanently go down, the margin improves. Often, this is reinvested, rather than seen as a windfall.
8.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:21
El Pit
 
8.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:21
Jun 26, 2019, 13:21
 El Pit
 
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.
"There is no right life in the wrong one." (Theodor W. Adorno, philosopher)
"Only a Sith deals in absolutes." (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi)
7.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:18
7.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:18
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.
6.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:02
6.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:02
Jun 26, 2019, 13:02
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jun 26, 2019, 12:21:
I don't mind the color of the store where I buy my games.


Surprised that Blue hasn't added an “Epic Employee" tag to your account yet.
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.
-Robert Heinlein
Avatar 17580
5.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 13:01
5.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 13:01
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.
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