Share. Epics store could make a bigger splash than most. By Tom Marks This week, Fortnite Developer announced Epic Games,…
Epics store could make a bigger splash than most.
This week, Fortnite Developer announced Epic Games, launching a digital store in the Epic Games Launcher. Apparently it’s the trendy thing to do nowadays, because Discord launched its own back in October, but the Epic Games Store feels like the first real threat to Steam’s dominance as a way to buy PC games.
I do not say that the steam is really sentenced, and although Epic succeeds in pushing it on top, it’s likely to take years. But this new store has a unique position to do it. Thanks to Fortnite, there are millions of players out there with the shop already installed, and Epic does not need to convince or force a player base to use its store in the same way as other developer-created launches like Origin and Uplay. [1
9659006] More than that, Epic already has massive loyalty from people playing Fortnite on the phone. The crowd is much younger, and I would bet most of them do not even have a gaming PC yet. But for a couple of years down the line they can, and if Fortnite is still as big as it is now (which seems likely), Epic Games Launcher will undoubtedly be the first thing the audience installs on their new new computers.
Promise of access to the growing player base is undoubtedly an exciting prospect for any major developer, but Epic also offers devs a significantly greater 88% of revenues than Valve currently does on Steam – a point that leads to increased dissatisfaction with its platform recently. This means that Epic is convincing game makers to embark on a fervor that Discord or GOG does not have, and already the audience is waiting to browse.
Epic came out swinging at The Game Awards Thursday evening as well. It announced that Bastion Creator Supergiant Games’ Newest Hades game now lived exclusively at the Epic store, along with Annapurnas much sought after Ashen. Another big surprise was that Journey, formerly a Sony Exclusive, would come to PC at the Epic store and some games that satisfactorily removed their Steam notes to replace platforms.
As a bite of bribes to check it out, Epic also revealed that it would give away a new game at its store for free every two weeks, of which the first two are the excellent Subnautica and Super Meat Boy. Obviously, they are hard working for an audience bigger than your average Fortnite fan, and I’m saying it’s safe to expect many more E3 “Elusive to Epic” messages by E3 next year.
The Epic Games Store currently has a good foundation to build on, but lacks some of Steam’s best features for now.
As for the platform itself, Epic Games Store seems to offer a good start to be built on The UI device is attractive, but I’m not sure how good it will scale when it has more than a dozen games on it – but then we do not yet know how Epic plans to curate the games it adds or if it comes to go to the highly criticized “something goes” with Steam.
The store launch also seems to miss some of the things Steam (and other platforms) has standardized now as the cloud saves for your account. More specifically, it has not retained any of Steams difficult lessons, especially about Early Access labeling. Hades was released in Early Access, but it lacks any of the warnings, update plans or other details that Steam has mandated to protect customers from buying ten There is an Early Access FAQ that you need to click on, but it lacks the hard structured responses Steam executes and lacks much of the same information as a result.
Since Fortnite is pretty much in an eternal state early Access, it is not surprising that Epic would be less concerned about this, but it does not mean clear warnings and protection should not be left. I do not doubt for a second that Supergiant will treat Hades and its fans right and maybe Epic plans to veterinarian Early Access Games and their developers themselves before they allow them in the store, but would mean that Epic takes charge of a game is abandoned before completion?
Although I’m optimistic about the store as a whole, there are still many questions left to answer. A million small things can change or go wrong for Epic, and we probably do not know if it will significantly capture at least next year. Countless stores have come and gone (or at least forgotten), and Epic can easily be next.
However, with a large amount of both players and devs already on board, together with a younger crowd is growing rapidly, it’s not unreasonable to believe that the Epic Games Store can slowly rise to being the new normal. Even if that happens, Steam will probably not die as a result of that success, but the Epic Games Store is almost certainly the most real threat to the crown so far.
Tom Marks is IGN’s PC Editor and Pie Maker. You can follow him on Twitter .