Maybe Epic's Claims For Exclusivity Strategy To Benefit The Gaming Industry Isn't Entirely Crazy

from the really-unreal dept

For some time now, we've been discussing gaming company Epic's entry into the gaming platform wars. Epic made waves shortly after the launch of the Epic Store when it began gobbling up exclusivity deals for games, whereas the PC gaming industry has mostly been free from the kind of exclusivity wars that have plagued the console gaming industry. Steam, the enormous competitor in the market, responded to Epic getting some AAA game exclusive deals for the first 6 months after launch by complaining that its new rival's strategy was hurting gamers more than anything else. In response, Epic's Tim Sweeney jumped on Twitter and promised to end the exclusive game strategy if Valve's Steam platform would offer gamemakers the same more generous split on revenue that Epic is offering. See, Steam offers game publishers roughly 70% of game revenue back to the publisher to be on its platform, whereas Epic offers a flat 88%.

This initial stance from Sweeney was laid out as altruism, with claims that what Epic was really after was a better gaming marketplace to allow more reinvestment in games, more games for the public, and thereby a happier gaming public. Much of the gaming community met this argument with narrow eyes. Epic, after all, is a business and businesses are designed to make money. Sweeney has since followed up on Epic's stance in a recent tweetstorm responding to public complaints about exclusive games. There's a lot in the 9 tweets from Sweeney, but let's start with the rationale for exclusive games on the Epic Store.

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.  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?

So what's the problem Sweeney is trying to solve? It's the Steam 70/30 split, yes, but ultimately he claims that such a split prevents more games from being produced due to the financial strain that split puts on game developers and publishers. He claims that a more generous storefront split will allow game publishers and developers to use that money to bank profit, reinvest in making games, or lower the prices of their games. Assuming a healthy competitive marketplace with more games being produced, the money is most likely to go to reinvestment and lower prices. Both are good for gamers. His argument is that, yes, exclusives are annoying to gamers, but if exclusives ultimately produce a better gaming marketplace, that outweighs the annoyance.

In a subsequent tweet, Sweeney claims this is win/win for Epic and gamers alike.

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.  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.

For the math to work on this, Epic will both have to succeed in getting gamers to adopt the platform and get Valve to budge on Steam's current revenue splits. Neither are sure things. Still, the biggest barrier to people accepting this argument is it's still all being framed as an altruistic attempt to do good for the gaming public and that same gaming public is far too cynical to believe that's the only reason Epic is taking these actions.

But, as the Kotaku points out, perhaps this isn't so much win/win for Epic, but win/win/win.

In short, he’s basically saying yeah, this is causing problems for some gamers, but the issue Epic is trying to solve is worth the hardship. Most interesting is what he says that issue is: it’s not necessarily for their own store to make money and become more powerful, but for Epic’s pricing model—which gives far more money to developers and publishers than Valve’s current split—to be implemented across the market, whether it’s driven by their own success or by rivals adopting a similar model.

That might seem potentially counter-productive; why would it not really matter if your own store survived or not? Then you remember that Epic sells engines as well, and that if Sweeney’s stated goal of seeing a rise in games development investment is achieved, then there’s going to be an increase in the licensing of the Unreal Engine along with it.

I'm irritated with myself for not thinking of this on my own. Epic's Store can make it money in two ways. First, its exclusive deals and revenue splits can propel it into a major gaming platform successful in its own right. Second, its strategy could force other platforms, especially Steam, to take actions that it believes will result in tons more games being made, many of which will license Epic's Unreal Engine to make them.

Either way, Epic could win out here. And that's pretty brilliant, whatever you think of PC game exclusives or how believable you think Sweeney's claims of altruism are.

Filed Under: competition, developers, platforms, video games
Companies: epic, valve


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 27 Jun 2019 @ 7:49pm

    'We're screwing you over for your own good, trust us.'

    He claims that a more generous storefront split will allow game publishers and developers to use that money to bank profit, reinvest in making games, or lower the prices of their games.

    Which are, in order, 'very likely', 'somewhat less likely', and 'if you believe that I've got a bridge to sell you' levels of probable.

    Still, the biggest barrier to people accepting this argument is it's still all being framed as an altruistic attempt to do good for the gaming public and that same gaming public is far too cynical to believe that's the only reason Epic is taking these actions.

    I'd go with 'experienced', or perhaps 'not grossly naive' when it comes to not believing the 'altruism' of a a major company who put out a demonstrably inferior platform, then ran around bribing developers and publishers to sign exclusivity deals in an attempt to force people to use said inferior platform or go without for half a year or more on numerous games, some of which had been very clearly advertised and described as being available on Steam's platform before said bribery.

    Is it possible that he's telling the truth and he is in fact doing this out of nothing but the goodness of his heart, bravely throwing piles of money around to secure exclusives in a noble attempt not to undermine Epic's competition but to better the industry for gamers and developers alike in a way that just so happens to undermine Epic's main competition? Sure.

    Then again, it's also possible to win the lottery on the same day that you're struck by lightning.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2019 @ 3:48pm

      Re: 'We're screwing you over for your own good, trust us.'

      You do realize the RIAA exists to benefit creators right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agammamon, 27 Jun 2019 @ 9:08pm

    In short, he’s basically saying yeah, this is causing problems for some gamers, but the issue Epic is trying to solve is worth the hardship.

    I don't want to start an argument, but this is exactly the justification Trump uses for tariffs. In fact, its the justification everyone uses for the imposition of tariffs. Or sin taxes. Or new laws restricting your ability to act or consume or anything.

    Let me use my power to control you in the short term - its for your own good.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 27 Jun 2019 @ 9:10pm

      Re:

      And it won't be Epic making exclusives that will make Steam change its split.

      It will be the existence of the Epic store. Itself. Competition. Make a good storefront Sweeney and you can break Steam's 'monopoly' without screwing everyone else over in the meantime.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2019 @ 9:35pm

    The logic does check out but I don't believe for a second that's the only reason he's doing it. And like you said, if it nets them more game engine licenses, he rakes in even more money.

    The probability of him succeeding is in no way assured and even if he does, it's going to take a LONG time for gamers to get that bad taste out of their mouths. Once they stop exclusivity, some gamers are likely to just re-buy the games on Steam and drop the Epic store entirely.

    I, for one, am perfectly content not buying any games on their store. My back catalog on Steam can hold me out until the exclusivity deals end and I can pick it up on the same platform as all my other games.

    As much money as Epic has, Steam has more and eventually Epic is going to burn through their money bribing exclusives. Steam just has to wait them out, and I think they know this which is why they haven't changed the developer cuts on their platform.

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  • identicon
    Shmerl, 27 Jun 2019 @ 9:48pm

    False claims

    Exclusives are always anti-competitive. Claiming that it helps gamers is simply hypocritical. Epic want to help? Let them actually you know - compete. Provide better split without forcing developers to release in their store only.

    I personally don't use Steam, and rather use GOG (due to avoiding DRM). But competition is good. GOG is gradually growing, providing competition. What Epic are doing is not competition. It's trying to build another lock-in, supposedly to counteract Steam's one. It's not helping, rather it makes things even worse.

    And that's besides the point, that I'm a Linux gamer, and Epic doesn't even care to sell Linux games, unlike GOG and Steam, with Valve actually investing a lot of resources into improving Linux gaming software stack.

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    • identicon
      Shmerl, 27 Jun 2019 @ 9:51pm

      Re: False claims

      To add to the above. To summarize Tim Sweeney's claims, he is basically saying that the end (adoption of different split - good) justifies the means (exclusives - bad). Not only it's a fallacy (no, the end doesn't justify crooked means), but it's not even a given that's the end he is aiming at. More likely, he just wants to grab the market faster than other rising competitors like GOG, by simply using dirty anti-competitive methods, that others consider below themselves to use.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 10:55am

        Re: Re: False claims

        It's also pointing out that if you accept Sweeney's argument, it becomes a race to the bottom. Someone else starts up a store with a 90/10 split that requires 8 month exclusives. Someone else starts up a system that requires the vendor's game engine which gathers telemetry and pushes cross-product sells, with cross-game loot boxes. Someone else sets up an affiliate model where anyone can make money promoting someone else's games... and so someone starts a spam campaign, and someone else boobytraps web pages to trick people into installing F2P games.

        We know this is how things devolve, because it's done that in many other software markets already. The only thing that prevents this is some sort of controls in place to create an even playing field that penalizes the "ends justify means" mentality.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 2:41pm

      Re: False claims

      GOG's been around for 11 years. It's continually failed to gain market share against Steam. People pay lip-service to GOG and the DRM-free games it provides, both old games re-tinkered to work with modern systems and recent and new games here or there, but more often than not they just default to Steam because that's where they've bought most of their other games. The unicorns-and-rainbows concept of competition, where all you need to do is offer an alternative service that does some stuff better than your competitor and people will come flocking to you over time until you become a major player in the market, falls flat on its face when the scenario is that you have to compete with a heavily-entrenched market giant like Steam. Features and services don't do jack against the mealy-mouthed "But I already have all my other games on Steam" defense that people put up all the time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 29 Jun 2019 @ 12:29am

        Re: Re: False claims

        "It's continually failed to gain market share against Steam."

        Because it's not in the same market. The original name for the service was Good Old Games, which it kept until 2012. That means it wasn't even attempting to compete with Steam directly, since Steam's main focus was new AAA games and GoG didn't have new games. Even after the rebrand, they still focus on indie games, and the service is heavily curated, whereas Steam's focus is on the large library.

        You're basically saying that a gourmet burger chain has failed to compete with McDonalds... Well, maybe they have in terms of pure numbers but they weren't really in the same market even though they both technically sell burgers.

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      • identicon
        Shmerl, 29 Jun 2019 @ 9:41pm

        Re: Re: False claims

        It's continually failed to gain market share against Steam.

        That's false as well. Check GOG's reports to their shareholders. I has been continuously growing every year. I'd say that's success. Unlike Epic, they aren't using dirty tricks to grab market faster. They are doing the right thing.

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    identicon
    Golden Asteroid, 27 Jun 2019 @ 10:13pm

    What's different with games? $100M movies have NO marginal cost!

    This is from Masnick's "centerpiece":

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070215/002923/saying-you-cant-compete-w ith-free-is-saying-you-cant-compete-period.shtml

    Let's say that I want to make a movie. It costs me $100 million to make the movie (fixed cost) and copies of that movie each cost me $0 (marginal cost -- assuming digital distribution and that bandwidth and computing power are also fixed costs).

    Key point: Masnick himself states "$0 marginal cost" for each copy. It's not me paraphrasing, it's not more complex than just above. ZERO COST.

    Why do movies still cost more than $0? Because there's additional value bundled with the movie itself. People don't buy "a movie." They buy the experience of going to the theater. People like to go out to the movies. They like the experience. Or people buy the convenience of a DVD (which is another feature bundled with the movie). They like to buy DVDs (or rent them) in order to get the more convenient delivery mechanism and the extra features that come with DVDs. In other words, they like the differentiated value they can get from bundled goods and services that helps justify a price that's more than $0.

    Exactly NONE of the reasons given are true now except if actually go to a theater (or you could find a DVD!), and definitely games distributed online are a nearly pure example of the given conditions.

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Golden Asteroid, 27 Jun 2019 @ 10:14pm

      Re: What's different with games? $100M movies have NO marginal c

      Exactly NONE of the reasons given are true now except if actually go to a theater (or you could find a DVD!), and definitely games distributed online are a nearly pure example of the given conditions.

      Now, why do games not hit the "Magical Masnick Margin"?

      1) Exactly none of the games under discussion are being given away for "$0".

      2) Then of the multiple dollars each game costs, a mere host / credit card processor can't (or doesn't) take less than 30 percent cut.

      So help me out here, kids. -- You know I need help! -- **Why does Steam get THIRTY PERCENT of the SEVERAL DOLLARS for mere copies of an "infinite good" having ZERO DOLLARS of costs, in 2019 twelve years after Masnick 'splained his special magic to the world?

      How can reality be entirely different from Masnickism?

      ============

      Had to make two pieces. Don't blame me.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 27 Jun 2019 @ 11:44pm

      Re: What's different with games? $100M movies have NO marginal c

      wut? What are you trying to say? This has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 12:00am

      Re: What's different with games? $100M movies have NO marginal c

      So, you still don't understand what "marginal cost" means and how it has fuck all to do with the cost of the creation of the product?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2019 @ 10:29pm

    missing the point.

    The main reason everyone is so upset with Epic is that they aren't playing fair with the gamers themselves.

    Epic gets these exclusivity deals really late in a games development. There have been a couple that were available for pre-order on Steam before Epic stepped in and landed the exclusive.

    Another one was a Kickstarter game. The developer asked backers how they wanted to get the game and backers overwhelming said Steam. Weeks later the developer announced a deal with Epic.

    A competing store front is nothing new, Blizzard, EA, and Ubisoft all have them, complete with their own launcher and exclusive games. No one cares because those games were always meant for those storefronts.

    Epic is just playing dirty and sniping games a few weeks before they release.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Jun 2019 @ 10:48pm

      Re: missing the point.

      Yes but don't you see, making people distrust crowdfunding and less likely to back future games because the devs might sell them out(again) is good for the industry, because... reasons.

      If there's one possible silver lining(and this time I'm not being sarcastic), it's that Epic bribing publishers to swap platforms like this is likely to make people more hesitant to pre-order any PC games, as there's no guarantee that the publisher won't decide to sign an exclusive deal and lock their game to Epic, leaving the person who pre-ordered stuck with an objectively inferior platform if they can't get a refund or the developer doesn't honor the initial Steam pre-orders.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Jun 2019 @ 11:59pm

      Re: missing the point.

      "The main reason everyone is so upset with Epic is that they aren't playing fair with the gamers themselves."

      Yes, customers do get annoyed when someone not only gives them a horrible service, but lock out any potential competitor. They can't even buy direct from the people making the product, they're forced to use a middleman who is telling them to go screw themselves when they complain. That can be slightly annoying... Hell, in one example you stated, they were told to go f*ck themselves after they'd paid for the product to be developed in the first place!

      "No one cares because those games were always meant for those storefronts."

      People do care, but there's a vast difference between the people who made the game choosing to only sell it themselves and a middleman swooping in at the last minute to hoard it after development.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re: missing the point.

        But all 3 of the phone companies do exactly this, and the public never complains loud enough to people in high enough positions of power (who weren't paid and put in power by the telecoms) to get anything changed.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 10:59am

        Re: Re: missing the point.

        Your description sounds just like... Comcast.

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  • icon
    lostalaska (profile), 27 Jun 2019 @ 10:47pm

    The other elephant in the room is...

    So as the market fractures and we get more store fronts selling games on their platforms what happens when one of the platforms fail. I'm assuming somewhere in the EULA it says that you're not actually buying the game but a license to play the game and if the store fails the games you've bought will no longer be playable and that's that.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2019 @ 11:06pm

    Linux Support

    Epic doesn't support Linux and has no plans to support it, compared to all the work Valve has done to make gaming on Linux viable. So until that changes, it doesn't really matter to me what else they do.

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    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 6:38am

      Re: Linux Support

      They're not just making games store-exclusive, but platform-exclusive. And that's my loss, and the loss of everyone because it favours the incumbent.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jun 2019 @ 11:48pm

    This logic only makes sense if a 12% cut is enough to run a service like Steam. Steam has mirrors and data centres around the world for Steam downloads and Steamworks multiplayer and networking. Epic doesn't run any of that.
    It's all well and good for them to pretend this doesn't cost a substantial amount of money but I don't think the overhead of the Steam platform is as lightweight as a phone app store. Games are larger than apps, they have persistent network costs, and they need more backend systems to be operated; all of this is covered by Steamworks. Epic aren't doing anything similar for their own store and I wonder if they will charge developers extra should they do so.

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    • icon
      Killer_Tofu (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 5:58am

      Re:

      I don't comment much these days but was logging in to state specifically this if somebody else didn't. That 30% cut gets the developers or publishers quite a bit of additional services rendered.

      Another thing worth mentioning is that if a steam key is sold on another platform, the dev gets whatever cut they get there, such as 100% from their own website. Valve however still honors their part of the deal, despite getting no cut from that sale. Meaning they still support the game download and any other services (discussion boards, possible workshop support, groups for the gamers, etc) without getting any money whatsoever.

      That 30% cut seems awfully reasonable in most circumstances once all of this other information is included.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 7:47am

        Re: Re:

        In addition, as far as I know (someone correct me if I'm wrong), devs don't have to sell their games on the Steam store to use the Steamworks platform features (key activation, multiplayer features, etc).

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  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 27 Jun 2019 @ 11:55pm

    "He claims that a more generous storefront split will allow game publishers and developers to use that money to bank profit"

    Yes, that would be a good idea.

    However, if the exclusivity puts people off buying the game in the first place, the more generous split hardly matters. Steam aren't at the top due to dirty tricks or ripping off developers, they're there because they were pioneers in the space that gave gamers what they wanted. By all accounts, Epic is a shoddy site at the moment lacking the most basic features people have expected from a service since before Steam was built, so many people will not use them. Not simply out of principle, but because they don't want to install yet another client, from a developer who didn't think that having a basket feature for customers to buy more than one game at a time was a good idea.

    The basis of his reasoning is sound, although annoying for a platform whose main attraction is meant to be its openness. But, the execution of the idea is horrific so far.

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  • identicon
    Anonmylous, 28 Jun 2019 @ 12:24am

    No, this does not benefit gamers.

    Its really simple. If lower storefront splits could result in cheaper AAA titles, why are AAA titles still 60 bucks? Talking JUST PC games here, not console. Console games have extra middle-men taking bites. But digital distribution long ago promised us cheaper big-budget games due to cutting out all the costs associated with getting the title to the shelf. What have we actually gotten for the shift to Digital Distribution though?

    We get games rushed out the door in an almost utterly broken state because we can fix it with patches later cause we're all Online!
    We pay higher prices today than 15 years ago...
    We get half the game we paid for and are forced to pay for the other half in chunks called DLC.
    We get pre-order bonuses. Pre-order. Of digital downloads. Let that sink in...
    We get to pre-purchase to FINISH FUNDING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME!
    We get Publishing houses that immediately put new games on to maintenance support levels once the initial rush of buyers trickles off.
    We get microtransactions in AAA titles.
    We get bundled DRM/Malware/Spyware.
    We get publishers who think nothing of pushing Day 1 90+gigabyte downloads because they don't care to optimize and compress anything anymore.
    We get games that are horrifyingly bloated, sloppy messes meant to consume every single system resource available because the engines they are based on are just as badly coded.

    That is what we get in return for eliminating the cost of physical distribution (or cutting it to almost nothing, a disc in a box that contains a web browser to start a download is much cheaper and faster to produce than a full game pressing with 9 discs). We have not saved any money. AAA titles get bigger and worse every year (unless its an EA sports title, then its the exact same game with a bunch of new skins. EA: selling asset flips before it was popular!) The giants are beginning to topple and this move to exclusives on an inherently distributed platform is absolutely hostile to the end users (gamers). It shows a lack of faith in your ability to genuinely compete in an even playing field on price alone, and it shows you acknowledge the lie that this will result somehow in lower prices for the buyers.

    Epic, you need to get over yourself. Protest all you like milady, but your knickers are in plain view to everyone and all your pretty words don't change that fact.

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  • identicon
    Anon E Mouse, 28 Jun 2019 @ 3:27am

    Do keep in mind who's speaking here

    So Epic takes a 12% cut, compared to Valve's 30%. So far so good. But what do those 12% and 30% give the developers?
    30% gets you access to a large digital marketplace. It has its own issues, mainly in that it's drowning in shovelware, but it works.
    12% gets you access to a market without a shopping cart. A market that bans its customers for making repeated purchases - something they have to do to buy multiple games, as there's no shopping cart. A market that promises not to do sales, then does them anyway, and manages to fuck that up too. A market where the only way to update a product's description is to delete the product entry entirely and redo it from scratch. This includes price updates too, and is why certain games kept disappearing and reappearing during the sale which wasn't supposed to happen.

    With that in mind, even if the underlying logic was sound (I don't think it is), I have serious problems taking economics advice from a company that can't handle a simple storefront.

    Additionally:
    Still, the biggest barrier to people accepting this argument is it's still all being framed as an altruistic attempt to do good for the gaming public and that same gaming public is far too cynical to believe that's the only reason Epic is taking these actions.
    Maybe it would be easier to believe if it wasn't accompanied by Sweeney's ridiculous tweets. Way too much 'hey Valve do exactly as I say or else' type shit going on there. Hard to take altruism seriously when it's accompanied by the world's worst Al Capone imitations.

    (i hope i got the markdown right first time i'm trying to use it. apologies in advance)

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 5:54am

    Kotaku would know exactly dick about what is best for gamers. They hate video games and most of all they detest video gamers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      What? Their site is pretty much devoted to video games and gamers. This comment makes absolutely no sense.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anon E Mouse, 28 Jun 2019 @ 8:02am

        Re: Re:

        They did take part in the "Gamers are dead" series of articles and their followups. Stick those words into Google and you'll have more material evidence than you'll ever need.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I did. I still haven't found any evidence to suggest that:

          A) Kotaku hates video games
          B) Kotaku hates gamers

          Instead I found the following quote from Kotaku's "gamers are dead" article:

          Note they're not talking about everyone who plays games, or who self-identifies as a "gamer".......It's being used in these cases as short-hand, a catch-all term for the type of reactionary holdouts that feel so threatened by gaming's widening horizons. If you call yourself a "gamer" and are a cool person, keep on being a cool person.

          That and the following facts:

          A) Kotaku writes positive articles celebrating video games EVERY DAY. That's some seriously disturbing levels of masochism to write positive things about something that you hate, every day.

          B) Kotaku authors frequently talk in their articles about how much fun they have with other gamers and how awesome they think they are while stating that THEY THEMSELVES ARE GAMERS. Again, how much self loathing must you have for yourself if you are a gamer, yet hate gamers?

          So yeah, unless you can provide some actual proof of them hating on gamers as a whole, I'm still not seeing it, and both yours and the OP's comments make no sense.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anon E Mouse, 28 Jun 2019 @ 1:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Though not posted on Kotaku, last week had a nice example.

            Niche Gamer had an interview with Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi. Many other journalists, including Kotaku's Jason Schreier, took to Twitter to condemn said interview and call for the blacklisting of Niche Gamer. Because the interview asked questions about games and gameplay. Which according to assorted tweeters is not relevant to games journalism and he should've been asking about political and social issues like recreational drug use instead.

            Interview here: https://nichegamer.com/2019/06/18/toshihiro-nagoshi-interview-creating-judgment-remembering-yakuza-a nd-focusing-on-japan/
            Collection of tweets here: https://www.oneangrygamer.net/2019/06/sjws-call-for-niche-gamer-to-be-blacklisted-from-the-gaming-in dustry/86965/

            Admittedly this is just one of Kotaku's staff taking a small part in shitflinging, so alone it's not much proof of anything. It is, however, par on course for the GameJournoPros group which most of Kotaku's staff is part of.

            The rest of this post is opinion not supported by sufficient evidence:
            I believe no-one at Kotaku likes video games. Their articles are either reposts from other sites (these are the posts that are actually about video games), socio-political pieces about diversity and representation in gaming (example: "Street Fighter's Queer Stereotypes Kept Me In The Closet", Maddy Myers 6/28/19), and pure clickbait like "Here's how to draw real boobies" (Brian Ashcraft 9/26/13) and "I'd wear these Anime-inspired clothes" (Gita Jackson 6/28/19).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 2:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Though not posted on Kotaku, last week had a nice example.

              A nice example of what exactly? Because absolutely nothing in those links says anything remotely close to, or even slightly implies that Kotaku hates video games.

              Niche Gamer had an interview with Sega's Toshihiro Nagoshi. Many other journalists, including Kotaku's Jason Schreier, took to Twitter to condemn said interview and call for the blacklisting of Niche Gamer.

              So they aren't attacking video games or gamers, just this one interview done by this one site. Also, none of those tweets in that second link actually called for NG to be blacklisted.

              Which according to assorted tweeters is not relevant to games journalism and he should've been asking about political and social issues like recreational drug use instead.

              That's not what any of them said, AT ALL. Did you actually read the tweets?

              Admittedly this is just one of Kotaku's staff taking a small part in shitflinging, so alone it's not much proof of anything.

              Well actually it is proof of something. It's proof that these other writers thought NG could have done a better job in the interview.....and that's pretty much it.

              It is, however, par on course for the GameJournoPros group which most of Kotaku's staff is part of.

              None of which has anything to do with Kotaku hating games or gamers. It's a bunch of journalists blasting a (in their opinion) bad interview.

              The rest of this post is opinion not supported by sufficient evidence:

              So I can safely ignore it then. But just because I have a character flaw of not being able to let things go:

              I believe no-one at Kotaku likes video games.

              Somebody has to because they write about them all the time and when they aren't writing about them a lot of them are playing them. What evidence do you base this on?

              Their articles are either reposts from other sites (these are the posts that are actually about video games)

              Really? Which ones?

              socio-political pieces about diversity and representation in gaming (example: "Street Fighter's Queer Stereotypes Kept Me In The Closet", Maddy Myers 6/28/19)

              So? Gaming sites can't also write about the messages games send either explicitly or implicitly? That's like saying book reviewers hate books because they wrote a review on the dangers of government encroachment on individual freedoms as presented in George Orwell's 1984. That's a totally legitimate thing to write about.

              and pure clickbait like "Here's how to draw real boobies" (Brian Ashcraft 9/26/13)

              Not really going to disagree with you on that one but I will note that for aspiring artists, they actually need to know how to do that so....

              and "I'd wear these Anime-inspired clothes" (Gita Jackson 6/28/19).

              The site is called "Kotaku", as in otaku, which is generally a term denoting anime fandom (why the K I don't know). It would seem natural that they write about Japanese style stuff, including Anime inspired clothing. It's not clickbait. Turn that around and you could make the same argument about NG's interview where in the literally state they are huge fans of everything Japanese. Where's the difference here?

              To cap it all off, I see two things here:

              1) Nowhere in any of those links, tweets, arguments is there STILL anything that points to Kotaku hating games or gamers. There's just NOTHING. And you even stated examples that show evidence of them LIKING video games and Japanese culture. You're literally shooting your own argument in the foot.

              2) NG has a bad reputation for apparently good reason. Their owner is kind of jerk and exhibits sexist behavior towards other human beings, and his site trends the same way. So it's not really unfair or out of line to mock him for being a jerk and sexist. So using them as an example is really not supporting your case.

              Show me the articles where Kotaku writers hate their jobs, show me the tweets or facebook posts where they say all gamers are "a bunch of idiot basement dwellers and they should all grow up and I can't believe I'm writing articles for this group". Show me some actual evidence of Kotaku hating on all games and gamers. Can you do that?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TFG, 28 Jun 2019 @ 6:15am

    I like the optimism, Tim, but the Epic store doesn't have a shopping cart.

    How in the hell does Epic hope to compete or even change the market practice when the inconvenience of their platform outstrips any desire to purchase one of their bribed exclusive games?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bruce C., 28 Jun 2019 @ 7:47am

    The fallacy in this argument

    Is that Epic could achieve the same win-win by using price competition rather than game exclusives.
    Say a game retails for $50 on steam. That's $35 to the developer and $15 to Steam under the 70/30 split.
    Under the Epic 7/1 split that would be roughly $43 to the developer and $7 to Epic.

    But if Epic told the developer: we'll give you the same $35 Steam does and only take $7 for ourselves, the game could be sold for $42 on Epic, competing with Steam, and the effective split would be 83/17. Or they could still sell at $45 with that 83/17 split and everybody (other than Steam) wins, a little more for the dev, a little more for Epic and a little more for the consumer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 11:06am

      Re: The fallacy in this argument

      Say a game retails for $50 on steam. That's $35 to the developer and $15 to Steam under the 70/30 split.

      No, the credit card companies will take a cut too. Which side of the split does that come from?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 3:33pm

      Re: The fallacy in this argument

      Price competition won't work.

      The amount of excuses and bullshit that longtime Steam users spout about how inconvenient it is to take 15 minutes to download and install "Yet Another Launcher" (it's always that term specifically), how "confusing" it is for them when trying to organize their game library or figure out which game is on which launcher(despite the fact that the launchers themselves usually have the list of games you bought/got for free on them in alphabetical order), or the frequency in which games on Steam routinely go on sale for lower prices (especially during the seasonal events) having conditioned the storefront's users to just wait for the game to become rock-bottom cheap on their chosen platform means that a game being $18 cheaper on another storefront will have little effect. The goalposts will keep getting moved and the excuses keep getting made because they only want to play their games on Steam.

      Once a market giant reaches a certain size, and once its userbase becomes so utterly attached to that market giant that they make up excuses as to why it's oh so inconvenient for them to use anything else, traditional competition that leverages better prices, features, and services fly out the window. This is why Epic is competing using exclusives; the only option left now is to compete on the actual products available.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 4:31pm

        Re: Re: The fallacy in this argument

        Sounds like someone has an agenda. Steam offers discounts sure... But other platforms do too and give you steam keys. You think nobodies shopping at greenman gaming or fanatical or any of thesw other sites?

        Of course they are, they get deals. The problem woth other launchers is they all do shady shit and dont offwr any discounts from.steam and have a more limited selection... So why make their lives inconvenient by having more and more shit running in the background. Doesn't help with companies that have their own launchers for 1 or 2 games either.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 7:50am

    There's so many things wrong here I'm not sure where to begin, but fuck it, I'll fire a few shots:

    "Steam is charging too much"
    Or you could say, "Epic offers too little", yes? The features and services Steam provides makes Epic look like a joke. Features, services, customer protection, linux compatibility - it all costs money.
    Epic likes to toot their own horn over all the extra money they hand to developers, but this only holds true if a developer insists on selling a game on Epic and Steam for the same price. No one is forcing them to. They can charge more for a game on Steam to make up for the loss, and the customers can choose themselves if they want cheap or good.
    But the studios signing the exclusives aren't doing this. They are taking their €60 title from Steam, to Epic, and leaves the price tag at €60. That's a whopping €10 in extra profit. Basically, they are saying "The game now comes without customer service, user reviews, friends lists, convenience, refund policy, linux compatibility, etcetera, but we still charge you full price." Aren't we just lucky to get such a deal? Or how about "Boohoo, I don't want to pay for services, protections and features! I'd rather pocket the money!" Well, fucking duh. Cry me a river. Charge more for the game on Steam them, dumbass. You can still get the same profit per sale. Why do I need to explain this? Adjust your pricing, fucktards!

    "It'll increase Competition"
    Or "the ends justify the means", yes? Fuck off with that shit. It's never been true anywhere and it's still a dumb justification. If the competition is anti-consumer douche bags who are so eager to fuck the consumers they do it before they even have them as consumers, then something is very, very wrong.
    I'm all for competition, but exclusivity deals are the very opposite of competition. All we have is their word that "trust us, once we have a big market share, we'll start acting NICE..." Oh brother. Fuck off with that shit. Once a con man, always a con man.

    "We believe exclusives are the only strategy that will change..."
    Yea. It is. They offer nothing but reduced customer service. They have the option of selling the €60 steam games for €50 on epic and letting the market sort it out, but is this what they are doing? Nope!
    The only thing Epic can offer over Steam is a lower price to consumers, and wow, I wonder why it's not working...!? So, they try to force their way to a market share through exclusivity deals. And it's working. While I'm smart enough to vote with my wallet and stay far, far away from everything remotely connected with Epic - most people are so fucking horny for the latest title in their favourite series that they not only bend over and take it, but even defend the companies who just gave it to them doggy style. Guilt or stupidity I reckon. Possibly both.

    This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.
    I hope Epic and everyone that made a deal with them go bankrupt. I hope their next conference ends in a spectacular hotel fire. In the end though, this will work out for Epic. Because they are ruthless. And because consumers seem to be about as smart as Zucchinis.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 3:47pm

      Re:

      What makes you think that lower prices are something that could actually work here? Steam is fucking huge at this point. It has devout consumers who've fallen prey to sunk-cost fallacies and ludicrously strong network effects. If all things were equal and the game cost 50 bucks on Epic and 60 bucks on Steam, Steam would win every time because the majority of Steam users don't actually give a flying fuck about competition and just want to use Steam forever. You say you're all for competition but you're just full of vitriolic shit like some console war fanboy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2019 @ 5:17am

        Re: Re:

        Really? You see I'm broke as shit. So broke I fucking LIVE for the sales, and once or twice I even fell for the temptation of going to the likes of G2A and other key markets, despite the shady shit they are up to. If Epic had started competing on Price vs Service, they would have won me over just like that.

        But they didn't. Instead the very first time I ever heard the name "Epic Store" was in a Youtube video and it was quickly followed by the words "exclusive" and "doesn't have a shopping cart". Great first impression. I basically vowed to stay they fuck away from them right then and there.

        I own plenty of games I bought directly from the studios own stores because it had a better price point, and because I knew it threw some extra cash to the devs. I'd love some more competition, but I'd like fair competition, and Epic isn't providing it.

        And you kind of touched on a problem there without realising it, didn't you? If price isn't enough to compete, then maybe, just maybe, Steam isn't quite the devil some people make it out to be.

        Can Epic win over all of Steam in a night? No. Of course not, but you are telling me that they can't even get a significant market share? The entire customer base is so brainwashed by the evil Valve corporation, that Epic couldn't even take 10% of the market by competing on price? Really? That's what you are telling me? Fuck off with that shit. For all my vitriolic fanboy shit, if they had competed fairly on price and got the bare minimums for a digital marketplace implemented, I would have switched to epic in a heartbeat, and hundreds of thousand of broke ass folks like me would have followed. But you never considered that as even an option, did you? You just assumed that anyone attacking Epic had to be some kind of brainwashed Valve fanboy, rather than, oh I dunno, a defender of some basic fucking respect for the customers, ie me. Dumbass.

        You can call it vitriolic fanboy bullshit if you like, but you are failing to present a single argument to show how this is an incorrect assessment or indeed "fanboying."

        So go ahead. Defend the exclusivity deals. Defend the lack of a refund policy. Defend the lack of a shopping cart. Throw some arguments my way. Prove me wrong. Hell, just make us doubt. You can do that much, can't you?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2019 @ 5:29am

        Re: Re:

        Or TL/DR:

        You seem to confuse "I hate Epic for a reason" with "I love Steam for no reason."

        That's your problem right there, bud.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    digitalcoyote (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 8:33am

    User Experience/Cost Matter More Than What Cut Developers Get

    I have no issue with Epic Games, I don't use their service primarily because Steam offers features such as Proton that allows me to play any game on Linux (And they usually run better through Proton than directly on Windows).

    Offering Games exclusively on one platform could easily hurt the developers. Steam offers features such as Proton that are not offered by Epic Games. Users like myself who use Trading Cards, Steam Cloud for Controller Configurations, Steam Links, etc would rather wait til the game releases on steam. And that delay in revenue could also precede a price drop. That price drop would cost the developers even more money.

    Alternatively, developers should release games on both platforms simultaneously but with a cheaper price (reflecting their own higher cut or some other arbitrary amount) on the Epic Games store. This supports players who are fine with higher price and allows those who want the lower price to use Epic.

    I would gladly pay 12% more to buy on Steam for most games I play just to run them on Linux Mint or to play from my Steam Link so my wife and daughter can watch/play.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 8:35am

    I really don't get how this is supposed to be different than the age old problem
    "are copyright monopolies good for consumers". It's the copyright monopolies that allow all of these exclusivity agreements.

    If it catches on all it means is that the platforms will use their monopolies to force customers to use their services instead of the ones they actually want to use because they simply don't have a choice other than to go without the game entirely.

    The answer, to me, is that obviously anything that allows you to "compete" without having to worry about whether you are actually doing your job well is bad for everyone except maybe yourself..

    That they want to spin it is absolutely no surprise.. but I really don't know why this is supposed to be good just because they are the underdog. It's just the first step to turning the video game industry into cable channels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 8:58am

    did this problem exist earlier? you know, when there were physical copies of PC games??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Gamer, 28 Jun 2019 @ 9:20am

    I have too much respect for TechDirt to seriously suggest that Epic's paying you off, but seriously, what is with all these articles about how great Epic is? Because a company that "competes" via unsustainable exclusivity deals rather than by providing a better product or service runs antithetical to basically every other article written about video games on this site. This is the website that writes about connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy, and I have yet to find anybody who's out-and-out happy about Epic exclusives and super excited about buying from them. Mostly I just find people really, really pissed off about this (including myself).

    Epic is a company. Their purpose is to make money. They give a crap about developers exactly right up to the line where they think it'll make them money. All of this exclusivity nonsense is to punch into Steam, which offers an objectively better service and product. And Epic will use whatever flimsy justification they can, including the bullshit spouted in that article, to explain why they're not the assholes in this situation. I just can't figure out why TechDirt keeps eating it up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      I have too much respect for TechDirt to seriously suggest that Epic's paying you off, but seriously, what is with all these articles about how great Epic is?

      I've kinda been scratching my head over that one too. On the same site overflowing with articles that are rightly skeptical of claims by big companies about how they are totally dedicated to serving the customers every article I can think of covering Epic has, so far at least, taken them entirely at their word and been filled with nothing but praise for them.

      Of all the times not to be skeptical of what the CEO of a major company says it's a strange choice to be sure.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 5:38pm

      Re:

      From what I've seen across many different game news sites, the people writing the articles and doing podcasts where they discuss Epic's store and its exclusivity are infinitely more rational and calm about the whole thing.

      My guess is that time and experience as industry insiders and the many permutations of PC gaming and its various storefronts, DRM disasters, and what-not have tempered their reactions. Having gained their experience in talking about games not from Reddit and 4chan's /v/ but rather covering the game news as a professional, and some of them having covered game news for decades now, has probably given them the perspective that the Epic's store and its exclusivity deals aren't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

      I tend to agree with them.

      The level of vitriol on display from the gaming community regarding Epic's store is out of control. People are just looking at the exclusivity and nothing else. The sheer size of Steam, Steam's powerful network effects, and sunk-cost fallacies that have rendered anything other than Steam a migraine-inducing inconvenience in the eyes of its users aren't being taken into account with regards to how storefronts are supposed to compete with Valve's massive platform. It's just the same "If Epic competed on a better product or service they'd have no problem attracting customers!" B.S. over and over again that ignores the factors at play which make the unicorns-and-rainbows version of competition with Steam impossible. And the worst part is that these people don't even mean it. All they want is all their games on Steam and to hell with any competition that could possibly make Steam better for developers and consumers.

      If this was actually about how "anti-competitive" and "anti-consumer" exclusivity was, then why don't people get up in arms about the countless de-facto exclusives that are on Steam? A commenter in the Kotaku article that's linked to points out that the majority of games in the Total War series are only available on PC through Steam. There are many other games from other studios that are only available on PC via Steam as well. Monster Hunter: World, Street Fighter V, the modern Hitman games and many, many others... if I want to play these games, Steam is the platform that I have to use and there are no exceptions. Why aren't people angry about that? Why don't people raise their hackles at Capcom, Sega, and others for not releasing their games on other platforms to give gamers a wider range of choice, calling them lazy and anti-consumer for just releasing on Steam and Steam alone? Isn't openness and options one of the biggest positive points of the PC gaming experience?

      The truth is they don't care. Steam is allowed to do whatever it wants because this is all just console-war tribalism and Steam is the golden child that can do no wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2019 @ 2:17am

        Re: Re:

        Citations needed. And platform is seperate issje... Not to mention more games have been coming to more platforms. Also epic store hasnt even implemented the proper basics of a good service, the only thing its riding on is exclusives.. something that may not even be doing that well.

        Stram doesnt change because it feels no pressure, it has the network, thr platform, the economy and the userbase, so other stores need to compete on something. Gog has differentiated itself but companies like Ubisoft and ea and now epic have just gone the exclusive routes and it hasnt worked. Big difference is epic is trying to buy their way to dominance while the other two just use their own platform for their own games.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 9:30am

    Tim, have you glanced at Epic's prior behavior? Which, presumably, is a good litmus for judging the nature of their current behavior?

    Epic made their gamestore without reviews, without user forums, specifically to disempower customers. Like those news sites binning their comments section because they love communicating with their readership soooooo much. Except worse, because this is (deliberately) hamstringing the ability of gamers to say "Hey, this game is a shitty asset-flip, don't bother wasting money on it."

    Epic's made it clear it thinks users shouldn't be able to bully their poor publishers and developers.

    So why in the sam hell do you think it's likely that this part of their operation is suddenly all about the customers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zof (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 10:56am

    Nothing They Do Benefits Gamers, Only Them

    They bring nothing positive to the consumer. Nothing. They even somehow keep getting these bullshit stories printed defending their unethical bullshit, adding insult to injury.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 11:05am

      Nobody is defending anything. To be fair, Sweeney's logic and STATED goal could potentially work. If his strategy is successful, it could end up benefiting both developers and consumers.

      But, as other people have stated, Steam offers a lot of other services than just a storefront, and Epic does not. Which means Steam has a lot more overhead than Epic right now. That could easily make up the rest of their 30% cut, or whatever it is right now.

      And his stated goal is just that, what he states. He could in fact just be out for the easy money. This article isn't defending him, just pointing out that there is a certain amount of logic to his statements.

      That doesn't mean they aren't still being jerks in the way they go about promoting their store.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 1:03pm

        Re:

        But his logic is completely bogus.

        They aren't doing anything to show that higher dev cut will give them a competitive advantage. In fact, they act like it's a sacrifice they are making so you will forgive them for the exclusive agreements which is supposedly what they "need" to do or they can't compete.

        It's not like higher dev cuts for all and exclusive agreements for AAA titles are magically tied together somehow. Humble bundle has been doing a much higher dev cut for ages.

        If Epic is successful and shows these exclusive agreements work, that means we get more exclusive agreements. Unless the utopia he is hoping for is that a few high profile game publishers might get a few sweetheart deals as part of locking them in to exclusive agreements his logic goes nowhere.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 2:55pm

          Re: Re:

          But his logic is completely bogus.

          It's not bogus but the probability of things happening the way he states is pretty slim.

          They aren't doing anything to show that higher dev cut will give them a competitive advantage.

          They also don't state that it will either. They are hoping that they can buy enough exclusives to FORCE people to use their platform to FORCE Steam to give devs a better cut. It's not really about being competitive because they aren't.

          If Epic is successful and shows these exclusive agreements work, that means we get more exclusive agreements. Unless the utopia he is hoping for is that a few high profile game publishers might get a few sweetheart deals as part of locking them in to exclusive agreements his logic goes nowhere.

          Like I said in another comment, Steam probably has more money than Epic and can just wait them out blowing their money on exclusivity bribes. At which point devs will either go back to Steam, or at best use both. And gamers have made it clear the Epic store is junk so guess where they are going to buy their games at.

          I'm not saying it's a successful strategy but the logic involved is decently sound, as long as you don't take a few other things into consideration.

          And for the record, as it stands, Epic's store can go die in a fire for all I care. I refuse to buy any games on it. Now if they cut the exclusivity crap and bring their interface and backend feature set up to parity with Steam, I have no problem with the two of them co-existing and devs can choose which one to put their games on.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 4:26pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            Hes advocating trickle down economics, a thing that has literally never worked anywhere ever. So yeah his claims are bogus.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              crade (profile), 2 Jul 2019 @ 8:14am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              1) Show everyone that exclusive deals can prop up your business despite giving a higher dev cut
              2) ????
              3) Thank goodness that's over.. now that everyone has a higher dev cut, we don't need those nasty exclusives holding up the business anymore and it was all worth the sacrifice...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2019 @ 12:11pm

    Re-investment BS`

    I expect the video game industry to act like any other industry, so when I hear that this is all to free up funds for re-investment, I just hear that this is yet another way to figure out how to 'boost revenue' that ends up going to share-holders.
    When was the last time that 'reinvestment' ever actually occurred when some large entity started seeing some additional income? (hint... it doesn't)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Darkness Of Course (profile), 28 Jun 2019 @ 4:21pm

    WTF, how could you not figure this out?

    Epic sells software. Which includes tools, and game engines. Which makes them money. It doesn't matter if the game makes money, the publisher screws the devs, or the store front keeps any percentage.

    Epic.Royalties += GamesSold x Epic.Percentage

    Well duh.

    To get games to come over they had to do something. Which meant lower costs and exclusives. But, when its all said and done, Epic is making money no matter where they are sold.

    There is no altruism in Sweeney or Epic the company.
    Never has been. Never will be.

    They have lower tier devs get the free game engine which locks them into the UnReal game engine tool set. Then they can offer an exclusive slot on their store front, hey surprise, we can monitor every dollar that goes through our store to you. Surprised us, because I'm absolutely certain Sweeney never had that thought.

    Nope. Altruism the entire time, ooh look, you sold another one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2019 @ 3:39pm

    Techdirt going down hill.

    I can't believe Techdirt of all things is trying to justify screwing over consumers. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jul 2019 @ 10:50am

    um no, try again

    This is the same solo issue occurring in TV sector with shit ton of streaming services. Instead of being on a number of store fronts, its silo'd, and drives piracy. So no its not actually good for consumers, or devs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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