Steam just got another major competitor and this one is pretty amazing. Fresh on the success of launching their own store and payment ecosystem to support the game Fortnite, Epic Games are opening that system up to other game developers. Perhaps most impressive, they are doing it with a 88/12% revenue split, massively lower than the standard 70/30% cut at other game stores such as Steam, Google Play and the Apple App Store. It will initially launch for Windows and Mac, with Android and other platforms coming soon. You are not required to use Unreal Engine to publish your game on the store, however if you do the deal gets even better. As part of their 12% royalty, they will also cover the Unreal Engine 4 license costs! Additionally they are also launching an affiliate program to help encourage influencers to drive traffic to the game store.
Details of the new program from the Unreal Engine blog:
Soon we'll launch the Epic Games store, and begin a long journey to advance the cause of all developers. The store will launch with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, then it will open up more broadly to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019.
The Epic Games store will operate on the following principles:
All Developers Earn 88%
Developers receive 88% of revenue. There are no tiers or thresholds. Epic takes 12%. And if you’re using Unreal Engine, Epic will cover the 5% engine royalty for sales on the Epic Games store, out of Epic’s 12%.
Have a Direct Relationship With Players
People who buy your games automatically subscribe to your newsfeed so you can reach them with game updates and news about upcoming releases. The newsfeed is front-and-center. You’ll also be able to reach your players through email, if they choose to share it.
Connect with Creators
YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, bloggers, and others are at the leading edge of game discovery. The 10,000-strong Epic Games Support-A-Creator program helps you reach creators, so they can help you reach players. If you opt to participate, creators who refer players to buy your game will receive a share of the revenue that you set (tracked by code or affiliate marketing link). To jumpstart the creator economy, Epic will cover the first 5% of creator revenue-sharing for the first 24 months.
Developers Control Their Game Pages
As a developer, you control your game page and your newsfeed. There will be no store-placed ads or cross-marketing of competing games on your page, and no paid ads in search results.
All Engines Are Welcome
The Epic Games store is open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines.
When You Succeed, We Succeed
We’ve built this store and its economic model so that Epic’s interests are aligned with your interests. 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!
Watch the following video for details of why I think this move is going to be absolutely game changing! The words “Steam Killer” are said a lot, but I honestly think this one is the biggest competitor yet.