Epic Does What A Storefront Should For Developers
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
We may not like the exclusivity that Epic is creating with their storefront, essentially making an ecosystem akin to consoles that take the stance that consoles have been taking a while now: If you want the exclusive games, you have to get on board with the new storefront as your means of playing it.
The focus of this article is to address what Epic is doing well and what we should be expecting from all storefronts. For one, Epic has already proven the common revenue split we expect from Valve/Steam is grossly abusive. It is a money grab on Valves part, merely because they can.
Valve, for the most part, has a hands-off approach to promoting titles so that 30% is only paying to be on the storefront, nothing else is offered for the developer/publisher.
18% may not seem like a big difference, but it adds up quickly and to give an example: It is estimated that the Avg Indie Game sells 2000 units in the first month, If the game is $20.00, Valves takes $12,000, Epic for the same number of sales would take $4,800. The developer could of had $7,200 to use for advertising and development cost if not for Valve.
Personal curating is needed for a storefront; not only does it allow the storefront to understand the games that are there and how to promote them. This also keeps games which focus is on putting out a game with the least amount of effort for the most profit (whether they are complete or not) out of the picture.
There were 7,672 games released on Steam in 2017, 8849 in 2018, and that number is only rising due to the $100 policy Valve has put in play.
Having a storefronts support is needed and that 18% Epic takes is being put to good use. Ask Ben Wasser, whose game created a backlash for being a exclusive Epic store game. Ben has stated that "A lot of companies would’ve left us to deal with all of this on our own, but Epic has been by our side as our world has gone sideways," (you can read more about their situation in detail on PCGAMER'S Article)
Ultimately We need more storefronts that engage the customer and the developer on a more personal level, actually supporting the games on their platform as opposed to taking a cut for an "entrance fee" and leaving the developer to sort things out. Epic isn't perfect, but they are doing some things I wish was commonplace in other stores, most notably Steam