Epic's exclusives could end if Steam offers 88 percent revenue share, says Sweeney

April 26, 2019 | 11:13

Tags: #digital-distribution #distribution #distribution-platform #epic-games-store #exclusive #pc-gaming #software-distribution #steam #timed-exclusive #windows-gaming

Companies: #epic-games #valve

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney has once again pushed the backlash over the Epic Games Store's timed exclusivity deals onto its rivals, claiming that if Valve would commit to matching his company's 88 percent revenue share he would 'hastily organise a retreat from exclusives'.

Announced back in December, the Epic Games Store turns founder Tim Sweeney's company from a developer and publisher to a distributor. Designed to dethrone Valve's Steam distribution platform, Epic has been aggressive in pushing the Epic Games Store: The company offers developers and publishers an 88 percent share of revenue, up from the standard 70 percent cut rising to 75 and 80 percent when a title has passed $10 million and $50 million in revenue on Steam; it offers consumers a free game every fortnight; and has been throwing millions of pounds at timed exclusive deals on games including The Division 2, Metro Exodus, and Borderlands 3.

These exclusives, however, have proven contentious among the gaming community, particular those who are wedded to the Steam store. Back in March Epic's Steve Allison suggested that the company would be pulling back from chasing exclusives, though this was 'clarified' by Sweeney that the company was 'open to continuing to sign funding/exclusivity deals with willing developers and publishers regardless of their previous plans or announcements around Steam' - a clarification which did little to dampen the ire surrounding said deals.

Now, Sweeney has put forward his requirements for Epic to stop chasing these exclusivity deals: 'If Steam committed to a permanent 88 percent revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached,' Sweeney writes on his personal Twitter, 'Epic would hastily organise a retreat from exclusives (while honouring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.

'Such a move would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming, and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come. Then stores could go back to just being nice places to buy stuff, rather than the Game Developer IRS.'

Epic's 88 percent revenue share is one of the more generous in the software distribution marketplace, though lags behind indie-focused Itch.io which gives developers and publishers a standard 90 percent cut of revenue - which can be manually overriden, if desired, to any percentage, including 100 percent.

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