At this point, if you don't live under a rock, you've heard of Epic Games. Creators behind worldwide sensation Fortnite. I personally hate Fortnite to its very core, so there may be some bias in this article. While I despise the game, there's no denying it's success. In 2018 alone Fornite profited three billion dollars... PROFIT! That's not even the total! Epic Games popularity can be solely attributed to Fortnite. Despite their work on the Gears of War series and free MOBA Paragon, which was ultimately shut down. Fortnite was the game that has put them on the map.
So what do you do with three billion dollars that you earned in a single year? Epic decided to make a store in an attempt to rival steam and other PC platforms. Instead of putting some of their seemingly endless amount of money into making a viable digital distribution platform, they are purchasing exclusives. These include major titles such as Ubisofts Tom Clancy's The Division 2, 4a's Metro Exodus, and now Obsidian's The Outer Worlds. These games are just the tip of the iceberg.
Obsidian's, creators of the Fallout: New Vegas, New RPG
I know what you're thinking. "Cam, why is it such a big deal? It's a free store on a PC you already own." and you do have a point. HOWEVER, it may only be a minor inconvenience at first glance, it turns into a bigger problem when the platform it's on sucks. The Epic Games Store is inferior to steam. Steam has been the major PC gaming platform for over a decade. It's very user friendly, easy to use, has great sales all the time and even offers refunds on games played less than two hours or owned for less than two weeks. The two weeks option can be bent around a little bit, often they make exceptions. How long before we have nineteen different stores taking up space on our hard drives for nineteen different games?
What is so bad about the Epic Games Store you ask? Minimal security. It has existed for a relatively short period of time and there has already been two separate data breaches. Moving around the store is clunky and doesn't feel as easy as Steam. They just added a search bar a week ago. Something that should've been there at the very beginning, was added almost a year later.
So why are game developers agreeing to be exclusive? Short answer is money, obviously. Epic Games is giving a decent chunk of change to these studio's. But the biggest reason is Steam requires THIRTY PERCENT OF ALL SALES! THIRTY! That's right, to have your game on Steam, they take nearly ONE THIRD of all profits. For your traditional sixty dollar game, that's eighteen dollars. Which is absolutely outlandish. Epic Games only asks for twelve percent. A big bonus, plus keeping more of the games revenue. It's almost a no brainier for these studios. Even if they lose out on some sales through steam, they're keeping more money overall.
It's not the end of the world, but I find it very frustrating when companies do stupid things. Adding Huge name games exclusively to a store that clearly can't support the number of people drawn to those games is foolish. They need to take their money and give a real reason to choose their platform instead of forcing us to use it by purchasing exclusives.