Epic Games Store is the best thing that can happen with steam
This is a fundamental shift for the PC gaming ecosystem, which for more than a decade has been dominated by Steam, Valve's digital distribution hub. "Dominated" does not even cover – for many years, Steam has been the only digital game store for many players, and its power over the PC market remains unparalleled.
"The perception is that I'm shooting in the grain."
"I still have a good relationship with Steam," said Refenes. "The perception is that I'm kidding in their cereal when I actually told them personally that I pushed back the release one year before the world knew. The meeting ended with us talking about local hamburger humans and getting out of house while you have children."
Steam has over 125 million active users and it is estimated to have added 7.672 games to the library in 2017. As a private company, Valve does not report how much money it has saved under its headquarters in Bellevue, Washington, but an estimate from 2011 placed its net worth somewhere between $ 2 billion and $ 4 billion. Gabe Newell, Valve's founder and CEO, is personally worth $ 3.9 billion, according to Forbes. Even without steam, Valve is the successful studio behind the default setting franchise, including Half-Life Portal Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2 . Below the game prices, some titles were revealed and available only on Steam.
"If you ran a shop without competition and you made billions of dollars a year, how much time and energy would you dedicate to doing better?" Refenes asked. "How much money do you want to spend to improve the experience for anyone who uses it, if the end result is that you want to make the same or possibly less money? My answer is," Minimum time, effort and money required. ""
"It's hard not to be the best service out there when you're the only service out there."
Somewhere in the past decade, Steam became complacent. As an essential monopoly, it meant that the PC player market stagnated according to Steam's lungs. That's why developers ended up expecting a 70/30 revenue sharing from every digital distributor, including the App Store and Google Play, for years. That's why independent developers have knocked their entire career on a Steam launch, although the platform's continued growth has made this strategy ever more unpredictable and untenable. That is why Steam has met a growing wall of criticism about its moderation policy and community functions, especially in the past year.
Before it could create innovative, Steam needed competition. And now, with the launch of the Epic Games store, it's just that.
"I love Steam and I owe a lot of my success to them and their store," said Refenes. "It does not mean I think Steam is perfect and has nothing to improve. It's hard not to be the best service out there when you're the only service out there. Yes, humble, GOG, Itch.io, UPlay, Origin and Other stores exist, but were they ever a threat to steam? Has Steam ever seen them as a threat? Hell no. "
It's already working – in an announcement suspiciously timed to go live three days before Epic revealed its store, Steam rolled out a new revenue sharing program, even if it's only for the benefit of top level of game creators. If a game makes more than $ 10 million, developers will take home 75 percent of future revenue. Take over $ 50 million, and developers get 80 percent of later earnings.
Steams updated revenue sharing can not be compared to Epic's, which gives 88 percent to all developers, but it's a start.
"I'm under the impression that the valve is so committed to maintaining its strong position and that Valve is exactly the kind of studio that wants strong competition in the market," Kasavin said. The new project of the study, Hades is available early on exclusively at the Epic Games store. "Competition is what makes us all better. Also, I've been very excited to see Valve back to his roots lately by committing more of his resources to developing original games, such as Artifact . "
] After an exodus from The authors who helped put Valve on the map as a creative power plant, have recently recruited new blood, including all 12 developers from the Firewatch studio, Campo Santo. Artifact is a card-rack game spun out of Dota 2 and it's Valve's first new title in two years (if you count 2016 The Lab a free collection of VR minigames built for the launch of HTC Vive.
Meanwhile, Epic Games Fortnite . Online match royal game has exploded in common popularity, generating $ 2 billion in 2018 alone and helping to transform Epic into a $ 8 billion company .
Epic Games is actually older than Valve with five years, and the Unreal engine is a cornerstone of modern game development. It's the software that runs hundreds of games and franchises, including Mortal Kombat Mass Effect Tom Clancy, Batman: Arkham Borderlands Rocket League and BioShock .
"You can not go into a Gamestop and throw a stone without striking a game made in the Unreal Engine, so it's pretty safe to assume you'll be around for a long time," said Refenes. "Only with Unreal Engine alone, Epic is as important to the gaming industry as Valve is. So there you have a solid foundation for building a store."
"What happens when the Epic Games Store gets its foot?"
This month Valve-Epic rivalry is not a matter of life or death for both companies. The Epic Games store can not cannibalize Steam with any exclusions, and Steam can not stop Epic from hatching new games by offering a better revenue share. Both companies are bigger than their launches: Steam is the sole owner of a handful of famous franchises, plus it's dabbling in hardware development and VR, while Epic has Unreal Engine and Fortnite . This is a battle between two billion US dollars companies. But it's shaking out, they'll both be fine.
But with thousands of bakeries, the Epic Games store represents the first real competition for Steam for more than a decade, which means that PC games are changing in an important way.
"The competition is good, but the PC market has no competition. It's just Steam," said Refenes. "But what happens when the Epic Games store gets its foot and grows into a PC market power? What would force Steam to do? That would force them to improve. That would, in turn, force Epic to improve and then two big companies struggle to keep customers and developers. It should motivate innovation. It's a healthy marketplace and it's good for everyone. "