The developer Epic Games has been shaking the industry in more ways than one since it launched the massively popular and influential Fortnite in 2017. Since last December, the company has been using its new battle wealth real. He hit to fund his PC market, Epic Games Store, which offers game developers a more generous revenue division of 88-12 percent than the competition.
In addition to that, Epic has been paying large sums of money to developers to launch their games exclusively in their store, creating a particularly heated point of discussion between fans of PC games and the company. As a result, the store has grown to 85 million users, thanks in large part to the active player base of Fortnite announced Epic today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. (The software used to launch Fortnite on the PC also contains Epic Games Store, which makes game users also registered users of the store.)
Critics and game fans , particularly those who are loyal to Valve competing with Steam marketplace, disagree with Epic's strategy of securing exclusive games due to the belief that it injects the worst element of the console industry into a Windows ecosystem that has largely escaped to the platform wars between PlayStation and Xbox. Epic Games Store boss Steve Allison says the company hears criticism and is working to address it. In fact, Allison says that the exclusivity in the Epic Games store will eventually disappear.
"I do not think we intend to do it forever, I hope we are already seeing how the ecosystem comes to life, from the perspective of sales and users," Allison told a GDC audience during her questioning session. answers, along with Sergey Galyonkin, director of publications strategy, and Kreiner, director of business development.
"We will probably do it for a while," Allison added. "It's about boosting the business model and helping the people to prosper. With luck, people have just arrived or the industry moves down to match us. But the answer is yes, at some point we will go to zero or very, very few exclusives per year. We will definitely not do it at the scale we are doing now. "
Yesterday, Epic announced a new list of PC exclusives, including Control the new game from Remedy Entertainment, Solar Ash Kingdom from the indie favorite and Hyper Light Drifter from the Heart Machine studio, and a trio of games that were previously just for the console of French developer Quantic Dream, just a quick look at the subreddit PC gaming community It will make it clear that some consumers, certainly a particularly vocal subset, are not entirely happy. "Stop announcing your game on Steam if you are going to make it exclusive to Epic", reads a thread of comments from thousands of thousands. stop the exclusivity of Epic: never buy the game, "says another.
One point of contact for the controversy is Metro Exodus from Deep Silver which, like the Reddit thread above was announced on Steam and then retired when Epic secured the exclusive rights to the PC title. Customers who ordered the game still received a copy distributed through Steam, but Valve sent a rare public statement that he called "unfair". Some fans of PC games have been furious since then.
More recently, those in the community who find Epic's strategy unpleasant have claimed that Epic is using its store to spy on users because of its connection to the Chinese government. Epic received a substantial investment from the technology giant controlled by the Tencent state. in 2013. After some users began to inquire into the underlying software infrastructure of the store, Epic felt the need to deny the charge, with CEO Tim Sweeney personally entering the comments sections of Reddit on the subject to try to calm the critics.
Regarding the situation of Metro Exodus Allison and Kreiner told the GDC audience that the company will not return to do something like that . "We knew there was going to be a rejection there and it was not an ideal solution," Kreiner said. "We want to definitely avoid it in the future." Allison, in a follow-up response, said: "It felt much worse and it was bigger than we thought [it would be] and we got together and said: & # 39; We will never do this again like this."
As for what Epic is going to do to get back the PC gaming fans who feel like they're trying to make a breach in the heart of the community, Allison says Epic and his community relations team They are difficult at work. "We're trying, Tim Sweeney is in the middle of those conversations, he's trying to relate to people," Allison said, adding that Sweeney is often voted in a negative way to the point where people do not see their answers. "Hopefully, as we get more traction and people live with the store for longer, the feeling will change."
"We respect everyone's feelings, we just want to have two-way conversations," Allison concluded. "We're definitely not creating spyware, and we're definitely not controlled by China and we're not trying to build an empire. We are trying to help the developers. "