There's an article on
The New York Times
where the gray lady takes on the battle between the Epic
Games Store and Steam for the hearts and minds of gamers. They discuss the high
stakes involved in the almost $36 billion PC gaming market, and talk to several
developers and publishers about the business. This includes a quote that seems
to be making the biggest splash, as Ubisoft's Chris Early deems Steam's business
model as "unrealistic." Here's that bit:
Many publishers and developers
of computer games, large and small, are eager to do business on the new
For years, Ubisoft released blockbuster titles like Assassin’s Creed and
Splinter Cell on Steam. But it decided not to sell the sequel to its hit game
Tom Clancy’s The Division on the platform because Valve would not modify its
revenue-sharing model, said Chris Early, Ubisoft’s vice president for
partnerships and revenue. The game is for sale on the Epic Games Store and Uplay,
The move was part of a broader business discussion at Ubisoft about releasing
titles on Steam, Mr. Early said. “It’s unrealistic, the current business model
that they have,” he said. “It doesn’t reflect where the world is today in terms
of game distribution.”
Other developers declined to discuss contractual details of their exclusive
deals with Epic, citing nondisclosure agreements, but they said money was a
factor in their decision-making.
To draw players, Epic is offering lower prices and exclusive release windows.
With the money flowing from Fortnite, Epic has been able to pay several
developers for exclusive distribution rights on the Epic Games Store. Titles
like Metro: Exodus and Borderlands 3 will not be found on Steam for at least six
months after their release.
Epic said in March that its store had 85 million accounts, although it was
unclear whether they were used to purchase games. Anyone who plays Fortnite on a
computer must log in through the Epic Games Store. By comparison, Valve has said
that 90 million people visited Steam monthly in 2018.