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Epic Claims It Would Stop Signing Exclusives If Steam Offered A Better Revenue Split

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the Epic Games Store and its recent string of exclusive deals. But according to Epic's Tim Sweeney, there's a path toward Epic not having any exclusives at all. It just requires Steam to make a very big change.


On Twitter, users pressed Sweeney on Epic's propensity for signing exclusives, asking the company's founder and CEO if he would ever "rethink" the strategy. And remarkably, Sweeney responded.

"30% store dominance is the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on these businesses for their livelihood," Sweeney said. "We're determined to fix it and this is the one approach that will effect major change."

Those following Sweeney saw an opportunity to question him further, though.

"Are you saying that if Valve decided to reduce its revenue share . . . that you would immediately stop doing exclusives?" asked one Twitter user. "I mean, your fight would be won then, right?"

"If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam," Sweeney answered, stating that such a move would be, "a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming."


That sounds easy enough, right? All Steam has to do is offer developers and publishers a better revenue split, and Epic will stop doing exclusives. Boom, done. Except it's not all that simple, as the "strings" Sweeney referenced in his responses are pretty substantial in their own right.

Sweeney mentions in a later tweet that, in order to qualify for "no strings attached," Steam would also have to become less of a closed ecosystem. He wants Steam to let games use their own preferred friends lists and support cross-platform purchases. Basically, he wants Steam to become a more favorable environment for a game like Fortnite to exist in. But at the moment, Fortnite does a lot of things that wouldn't fly on Steam, which prevents the company from putting the game on that store.

One could see how Steam might follow in Epic's footsteps and offer better terms to developers and publishers. But it seems downright crazy to think that Steam would open up its walled garden, which is currently full of millions of paying customers.

The Epic Games Store exclusives probably aren't going anywhere for a while. Depending on where you stand, that's either a good thing or a bad thing.