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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75.
 
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact
Jun 26, 2019, 20:38
Kxmode
 
75.
Re: Tim Sweeney on EGS' Impact Jun 26, 2019, 20:38
Jun 26, 2019, 20:38
 Kxmode
 
Nearly all have more features than Epic;

This line is a straight-up BS. There's no way big publisher platforms have more features than Steam. Without trying, I can count at least one they don't have, which is user reviews and ratings (I've not included GOG since it is not strictly speaking CDPR's platform. It was started to sell Good Old Games).

Is Tim that delusional?

none seem to have reached 5% of Steam's scale.

Because firstly they don't have the same numbers of registered and active monthly users as Steam. Second, most big publisher platforms have under 300 titles whereas Steam as around 30,000.

It's not gut feeling Tim. It's simple math. Steam is just BIGGER than they and BIGGER than you in every way possible.

This leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts

Another delusional point. There's a considerable distinction between a publisher releasing THEIR products on THEIR storefront and third-party publishers effectively being bribed not to release on a competing platform. Steam has never engaged in bribery. Epic has and numerous times since the beginning of this year.

Is the solution proportionate to the problem it addresses, and are gamers likely benefit from the end goal if it's ultimately achieved?

Consumers aren't benefiting from Epic's exclusivity in several ways:

1. A least one long term preorder on Steam got yanked weeks before release to go EGS exclusive prompting Valve to call the move unfair to Steam customers.
2. Crowdfunded projects with Steam commitments pull a 180 and throw backers under the bus and to the point that a company won't give back the money so a person can buy the Steam copy at a later date.
3. Companies not in need of Epic's cash infusion yet have opted for EGS exclusivity have posted their AAA-titles for preorder at full price.
4. People forced to buy on an inferior platform and one that doesn't have a basic shopping cart. An e-commerce site without a working shopping cart isn't an online store.
5. Neither Epic nor the publishers manage consumer expectations thereby leaving them in a state to wonder or worry that a crowdfunded project they backed years ago nearing completion will get the EGS switch-a-roo even when the campaign promised or eluded to Steam access.
6. Exclusivity has so far brought nothing but anti-consumer choice and artificial delays.
7. Studios purchased by Epic have indicated their products will likely be removed from Steam

As I see it, consumers haven't benefited from EGS exclusivity yet.

If the Epic strategy either succeeds

If? Either? That is not where you should be gambling. If you want to gamble, do it with your platform's success based on its features and merits. Don't do it with consumer choice and artificial gates. Because here's the thing, when you deny people things they get angry and anger has a way of making enemies. The last thing EGS needs as a fledgling store is the ire of something like 90 million active Steam users and 1,000,000,000 registers accounts.

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.

That last part is a total lie!

First, most of the games that went exclusive on EGS for preorder did not appear for less than what it would have costed on Steam. Case in point:

- Borderlands 3 - $60 preorder
- The Outer Worlds - $60 preorder
- Other Wilds - $25 preorder [crowdfunded indie title]
- Phoenix Point - $40 preorder [crowdfunded indie title]

Second, during EGS's $10 off everything promotion fiasco, publishers were either disabling the pre/purchase button or artificially raising the price by $10 to compensate clearly showing they have no desire to give consumers a benefit due to the higher revenue split and cash infusion.

As far as I'm concern "Price reduction" hasn't happened on EGS in the way Tim is alluding. So the line about a better 88/12 revenue split leading to better consumer pricing is a myth.

The rest of his post is meaningless BS.

This comment was edited on Jun 27, 2019, 13:44.
"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." - Those Who Remain by G. Michael Hopf
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