Author Topic: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor  (Read 145 times)

dsmart

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Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« on: February 01, 2019, 11:38:29 AM »
Due to the on-going drama, I have created three Twitter threads with my thoughts

02/01/2019 - Steam vs EGS Redux
01/31/2019 - Steam vs EGS - Industry Silence
01/30/2019 - Steam vs EGS
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 11:40:45 AM by dsmart »
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

dsmart

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Re: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 01:20:28 PM »
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

tuberchimpy

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Re: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 03:43:58 AM »
Hi there. Long time lurker, first time poster.
Not a game dev or in any way connected with the industry apart from being a video gamer.

Derek I read your twitter about Steam, and liked some of the points you raised, for instance the dev steam tools and how easy they make it to integrate them into a game, also steam not minding taking on the heavy lifting from keys sold externally to steam. I've always wondered why steam is happy to supply bandwidth etc... for product sold off steam. It goes against money grabbing best practices, but it sure does make the environment much better for us consumers.

re the EGS. I feel the exclusivity model on PC won't work as well as it does on consoles. For a large portion of the console owners they seem to have a very us versus them mentality. A lot choose a single console, and they become loyal to that console and disparage the other console. Confirmation bias fanboyism. When your "side" gets an exclusive, all those silly emotions kick in and you're either happy your side won, or "pah didn't like the look of that game anyway". It does lead to some pretty crappy behaviour, and encourages the fanboy irrationality. It's interesting to talk to people who can afford to own both Sony and Playstation consoles because all that nonsense just dissappears. I think for the PC storefront exclusivity won't work the same way. People are invested in the platforms, but the barrier to conversion is much smaller than buying another console and keeping it up to date.

I've been a steam user since 2004, and have 261 games, the cliched bunch of games bought in sales that I've not got around to playing. Up until about a year or two ago I've also been a one launcher guy. It was steam or nothing for me, apart for the Blizzard launcher for WoW and D3. The other launchers were a bit shit, and I don't want a dozen launchers running in the background. That's changed over the last year or so. Free games are very tempting, so I've been adding to my packrat collection on other launchers when shouts go out that free games are up for grabs. Now I have Steam, Blizzard, EA Origin, Epic, uPlay, GOG, and humble bundle. I know humble isn't a launcher, just including it for completeness.

The things that have converted me from a Steam only guy to being more open to other launchers?
Free games, many storefronts give away free games.
Buying legacy games I love like Settlers 3 & 4 and Command & Conquer.
Not having all my eggs in one basket concerns. If anything ever happens to my steam account I will be gutted, but at least I will have some games on other platforms to play.
I want competition to Steam. I subscribed to EA Origin basic. 20 per year. I've played only 2 or 3 games from the vault and had a go at Anthem, so I probably haven't got good value for money out of it, but I really want the bean counters at EA to take notice of that business model. To the point my annual subscription is due soon, and I'm going to let it renew, even though I don't use it much. I want to vote in favour of that type of business with my wallet.

I think the way in which Metro Exodus moved to Epic exclusive was poorly managed. I think there would have been a lot less negativity if it had been managed better. My plan was to buy it on Steam once they removed Denuvo. I don't mind them using Denuvo to protect release sales, but I'm patient and don't mind waiting. It's still my plan, wait a year until it releases on steam, hopefully Denuvo will be gone by then, and it should be much cheaper 1 year from release.

I get what Epic is trying to do with exclusives and game giveaways, both of which are costing Epic money, but I think Epic are missing a trick, in fact I think Epic are screwing themselves a bit with the exclusives.
Epic's biggest selling point for me is the price. Their slice is much lower than steam 12% instead of 30%. This is what will sell the games. I did a small excel chart where if I was a game dev how much I would have to charge for a game on steam or epic to get the same return. I'll post it in a seperate post below to deal with table formatting issues. The Epic price to consumers is noticeably cheaper to consumers even when we are talking about a game where the dev only gets 10.
The real trick I think Epic is missing is that by having exclusives the side by side price comparison doesn't take place.
Metro is supposed to be 10 bucks cheaper on epic than it was on steam, but I can't see for myself any more.
That huge advantage epic has is actually being removed from public perception by epic having exclusives. I think this is a HUGE mistake.
If you look at how many people buy dodgy keys off parasitic sites like G2A or Kinguin which I think are a blight upon the industry it gives credibility to the argument that some people are very price concious. They are even prepared to gamble that after handing over real money to one of these shadey snake oil salesmen, that they will get what they paid for. In my opinion Epic's greatest marketing tool would be to have their prices directly compared to steam side by side.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 04:17:03 AM by tuberchimpy »

tuberchimpy

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Re: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 03:49:10 AM »
Excuse my multiposting please, I just wanted to continue before the page expired and try and post my chart


Dev Wants      Steam price   Epic price   Cust saving
               
5            7.14       5.68        1.46
10         14.29      11.36      2.92
15         21.43      17.05      4.38
20         28.57      22.73      5.84
25         35.71      28.41      7.31
30         42.86      34.09      8.77
35         50.00      39.77      10.23
40         57.14      45.45      11.69

Sorry the headers don't line up.
First column is how much the game dev gets from a sale on the storefront. Using steam 30% and epic 12% cuts. No other factors built in e.g. better steam cut for larger sales, or the unreal engine cost. Second is how much the game would have to sell for on steam for the dev to get the first column, and the third is how much the game would have to sell for on epic to get the same cut. Last is the difference. Any game the dev gets 35 or 40 bucks ( currency agnostic ) is 10 bucks cheaper on epic than steam.

Derek has made some really good arguments as to why steam is worth 30% on twitter. All sorts of features that we take for granted on steam are missing on epic, some are dev only features like steam integration libraries. It's up to us as consumers to decide which storefront to buy from, and are those extra features worth the extra money?

One last point. What's true today may not be true tomoorow, one month from now, one year from now, or five years from now. Epic are throwing money at us consumers trying to get us onto their platform. Will that 12% cut still be 12% when epic think they are not longer the new kid on the block? Will they still give away free games every two weeks one year from now? Unlikely. Will epic store be more feature complete and closer to steam a year from now? Very probably.
Are epic your friend? No they are a business just like steam, out to make money.

I am in favour of epic competing against steam in the free market. I think that will be good for us consumers. I think they handled the Metro exclusive badly and as you tube commentators have said exclusives doen't bring any benefit to consumers, they are only done to try and benefit a business, in this case epic.

I'd love to know of the game dev gets any say in an exclusivity deal or does the publisher have the power to decide that on their own. When cash is handed out for an exclusive like Metro, do the publisher and dev split the cash or does the publisher get to keep all of that? What recourse does a dev have if they don't like what the publisher is doing?

« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 04:07:20 AM by tuberchimpy »

Backer42

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Re: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 11:55:15 AM »
From my strictly consumer PoV: With each new DRM (they like to call it "digital storefront" nowadays) I can decide to not hop on board, ignore it and go with what I already have (Steam, GOG and Humble DRM-free).

Obviously exclusivity deals are anti-consumer. So I ignore those games entirely. No loss, there are more than enough. Maybe I get an used copy for my favorite console.  :wink:
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 11:58:20 AM by Backer42 »

dsmart

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Re: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 04:52:58 PM »
Excuse my multiposting please, I just wanted to continue before the page expired and try and post my chart

This thread wasn't showing as updated for me; hence the late response.

Anyway, your posts are precisely the gist of my jumping into the fray about this. As a game dev, we who use Steam, know all its benefits. Which is why I was surprised by the results of that poll which I had posted in the thread. If you compare Steam to Lumberyard + AWS + all the crap (e.g. GameLift) that Amazon lumps into that ecosystem, and compare the costs, nothing beats Steam. Amazon makes a ton of money from their AWS services. That's how they're able to give Lumberyard away for free. The same applies to Improbable, which has the same business model.
Star Citizen isn't a game. It's a TV show about a bunch of characters making a game. It's basically "This is Spinal Tap" - except people think the band is real.

jwh1701

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Re: Steam v Epic Games Store Furor
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 09:46:18 PM »
It was disappointed as I enjoyed the metro series, but I'm totally fine waiting a year for it.

 

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