Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on PC store moderation: "We’re not in the porn business"


The creator of Fortnite Epic Games is in a unique position. The company not only oversees the development of one of the most popular and lucrative games on the planet, but also uses the success of that software to make its Unreal Engine development tools and, more recently, its PC game store in line are two of the most omnipresent and disruptive elements in the industry.

One of the main architects of this dramatic change at Epic is CEO Tim Sweeney, who has not shied away from using his company's renewed influence and stature to achieve bold changes in the status quo. One of the biggest challenges that the company is driving lately is its Epic Store, a new market for PC games with an income division of 88/12 percent that contrasts with Valve's Steam, with its more traditional division of 70 /30 per cent. (Since then, Valve has modified its terms to make them more user-friendly for the developer, but the terms are not as generous as those of Epic.)

an interview with The Verge earlier this week, before the presentation of State of Unreal at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sweeney described some of his positions in the Epic Store. In particular, he was willing to address the issue of content moderation and if the intermediaries of the technology industry market can be replaced. The first is particularly interesting in light of the recent news that Valve took several days to consider whether he should ban a visual novel called Rape Day that glorified sexual violence and presented disturbing scenarios in a post-apocalyptic [19659005] "Epic has two different philosophies," says Sweeney about the moderation of Epic Store. "When we are creating tools, we respect the creative freedom of the developers, it can be used for the development of anything that is legal, you can make a game that we do not agree with." But when it comes to the store, the marketing of Epic and Fortnite Sweeney says the company prioritizes "high-quality experiences."

"" I'll turn down the crappy games that are sent to the Epic store, "he adds. accept pornographic or crash content of any kind. We are not in the porn business here. PC is an open platform, and those developers can reach players in any other way they want. "

Last year, Valve announced a Steam non-intervention approach that would allow anything on the platform" except for the things we decided that they are illegal, or direct trolling. "In addition to the rape Day controversy that policy has pushed Valve to take hard-line positions on content related to child exploitation, school shootings and , more recently, around tributes reminiscent of New Zealand shooter.Soeney apparently does not see the value that he tries to protect the content that pushes towards that amorphous line.

That strict approach to healing, as well as division More generous income from Epic and its support-to-creator program that allows customers to contribute revenue from purchases to the personalities of Twitch and YouTube, has given It's benefits to the company store. The publisher Deep Silver made Metro Exodus an exclusive Epic store in January, while Ubisoft made its PC launch of The Division 2 also exclusively for the showcase. Epic says that Exodus has sold 2.5 times more in Epic Store compared to the previous Metro title on Steam. And the relationship between Epic and Ubisoft is expanding; Both have said that more games are coming to the Epic store, and today, they announced that users can link their Epic and Uplay accounts for the first time.

Epic also today announced more exclusive stores, including the interactive trio of story games by French studio Quantic Dream, beginning with Heavy Rain in 2010, and a handful of independent heavyweights such as Solar Ash (from Developer Hyper Light Drifter Heart Machine) and Control from Remedy Entertainment . Since the launch of the store, many other independent titles have also been uploaded to the car, although many developers continue to publish in as many stores as possible, including those of Epic and Valve. (Epic does not require developers to publish only in their store, although it does require exclusivity as part of special agreements, such as the one hit with Deep Silver for Metro Exodus .)

As to why Epic is so interested in shaking software markets, Sweeney has harbored distaste for middlemen, as well as the 30 percent cut established by companies such as Apple, Google and Valve that he sees as unfair and exploiters. Epic was forced to accept those terms and publish the mobile version of Fortnite on iOS through the App Store. However, the company notably avoided the Google Play Store last August when it distributed Fortnite on Android using a special installer downloadable from a mobile browser.

"It's time to change: In the first days of Steam, 70/30 [percent cut] was a revolutionary division because it could be compared to 70/30 in favor of the retailer," says Sweeney, but now, considering how Big application stores have become small businesses like Apple and Google have to invest to continue maintaining them, Sweeney says it's not fair to expect developers or application makers of any kind to deliver almost a third of everything. only to sell in a dominant market.

"Visa and MasterCard process transactions on average of 3 percent," he says. "Apple, Google and Android manufacturers make huge profits with the sale of their devices and in no way justify the 30 percent cut. "


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