Although many big publishers and game companies have their own digital stores, like EA’s Origin and CD Projekt’s GOG, none have managed to get anywhere close to Steam’s stranglehold on digital PC gaming. Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite, hope to change that with the newly launched Epic Games Store. The Epic Games Store is currently in soft-launch mode with a handful of PC games. It’s aiming for a larger launch, and include Android games, in 2019.
Epic Games is set to be far more attractive to developers and publishers with a more lucrative revenue sharing percentage. Epic Games will take only 12% of sales on its store, leaving 88% for the developers and publishers. For developers that use the popular Unreal Engine in their games, Epic will cover the 5% royalty fee as well.
For comparison, Valve takes 30% of game sales through Steam.
“As developers ourselves, we wanted two things: a store with fair economics, and a direct relationship with players. And we’ve heard that many of you want this too! We’ve built this store and its economic model so that Epic’s interests are aligned with your interests,” writes Tim Sweeney, founder, Epic Games, in a blog post. “Because of the high volume of Fortnite transactions, we can process store payments, serve bandwidth, and support customers very efficiently. From Epic’s 12% store fee, we’ll have a profitable business we’ll grow and reinvest in for years to come!”
Developers will have full control over their game store pages. Consumers won’t find ads or links to other games. Purchasing a game will subscribe that player to the official news feed, where developers can provide a steady stream of news and updates.
Epic Games is also embracing Youtubers and Twitch streamers via the Epic Games Suport-A-Creator program, allowing influencers to receive a share of revenue by driving traffic to the store page. Epic will cover the first 5% of creator-based revenue for the first 24 months.
Only a few games are currently available on the Epic Games Store, including Darksiders 3, Ashen, and Supergiant Games’ newly announced Hades.
The Epic Games Store will offer free games every two weeks to help encourage newcomers. The first is underwater survival-crafting game Subnautica, which is available for free from Dec. 14-27. Starting Dec. 28 you’ll be able to snag Super Meat Boy for free through January 10, 2019.