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Epic Games Store Is Standing By Its Exclusives Strategy

There may be no bigger scandal in the world of PC gaming than the Epic Games Store and its exclusives. A lot of players online seem to hate the deals Epic is making. And Epic? Epic is not backing down one bit.


According to Game Rant, Epic's Tim Sweeney got into it again with a bunch of Twitter users who were protesting Epic's strategy of signing exclusive games to its store. This isn't a new thing — Sweeney has argued his case before to those who've challenged him — but each time, Sweeney lays out more and more of his thought process behind having exclusives.

For instance, Sweeney mentions here that allowing games to sell on both the Epic Games Store and Valve's Steam store wouldn't make dramatic enough change. His goal is to bring Steam's 70/30 revenue split down to something more fair (like Epic's 88/12 split), but if games are still available on Steam, the sheer size of that platform's install base and its momentum would cause more people to just buy the games on Steam. Steam would still get its money, and developers would still make less. Goal not achieved.


And here Sweeney talks about why Steam's current revenue split is unfair. According to Sweeney, "The 30% store tax usually exceeds the entire profits of the developer who built the game that's sold." He says usually here because he's likely referring to smaller developers, not larger companies that can withstand those costs. But his point is pretty clear: unless you have a breakout hit that sells beyond your wildest dreams, you as a developer may only break even on Steam, because the store takes a lot of your money simply to sell your game.

Epic's bet seems to be that pressure from players — those who are tired of seeing their games ditch Steam — will force Valve to offer better terms to developers. But that could take a while to play out. Few big-name titles have abandoned Steam, and if there's something you can't find, it's likely because that game has its own launcher (see Battle.net or Origin).

But it appears the Epic Games Store is going to keep at it. Epic will keep signing exclusives. Steam fans will keep being unhappy about it. Developers will keep having to decide whether they want more money or angry players. And Epic's Tim Sweeney will keep explaining his company's strategy to anyone who will listen.


And Steam, by all indications, will keep on being Steam.