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Games Giant Epic Games Has Big Plans For Its Store And Mobile Apps



Games Giant Epic Games Has Big Plans For Its Store And Mobile Apps

(CTN News) – Today Epic Games launched tools for self-publishing video games and prepared them for the day when they can finally appear on iPhones and Androids.

The company behind Fortnite and Unreal Engine wants to change the global app and game market.

“I’ve always thought there’s a tipping point we’re getting closer and closer to,” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney told Axios, “a new breakthrough, a new Cambrian or evolution type of event that gets us out of the doldrums we’ve been stuck in for so long.”

  • As Sweeney says, most digital marketplaces “have one store per platform that charges fees that are far, far higher than any real store would charge as a markup.”

It launched in late 2018 and immediately challenged Steam, offering developers an 88%/12% revenue split instead of the traditional 70%/30%.

  • Apple and Google are also being sued by Epic over their app store policies, with mixed results.

  • Sweeney says Epic’s endgame is to get its store on iOS and Android, which he believes will eventually happen due to legal challenges and regulatory pressure. If you ask Sweeney if Epic has apps for those platforms, he says: “Yes, we do.”

Even though Sweeney doesn’t mention Epic Games Store on Xbox, PlayStation or Switch, he says the company wants to work with all platforms to “recognize player entitlements and player social systems.”

  • Basically, buy a game on one device and own it everywhere, connect with a friend on one platform and be connected to them everywhere.

  • In 2021, Valve reported 132 million active monthly Steam users, but in 2022 emphasized record concurrent player counts.

  • Steve Allison, Epic’s general manager, estimates the store’s library is much smaller than Steam, at about 1%.

  • By opening up the marketplace to many more games, Epic Games new self-publishing tools will address that, Allison said, but they’ll have tighter content restrictions than Steam — no porn, for instance — so they’ll never catch up on overall game counts.

  • Despite Epic’s 12% cut, Allison says, the store’s operations are profitable, though it’s spending more on marketing and exclusives than that (reportedly keeping it in the red).

The Epic Games Store’s monthly free games will continue in 2023, but the company isn’t focusing as much on exclusives.

  • Early on, Epic paid millions, in at least one case nine figures, to sell some big PC games, like Borderlands 3.

  • She points out that the portion of store revenue coming from exclusive games has declined from 75% in the store’s first year to 40%-45% in 2022 as part of a sustainable strategy.

  • There’s definitely a shift from ‘we’re the place to do exclusive partnership deals’ to ‘we’re a great option that you should launch with at the same time as everything else,'” Allison says.

  • Several PC exclusives will come out of Epic Games nascent game-publishing division, which has 15 PC/console games in the works, including Alan Wake II from Remedy.

  • Despite downplaying the chance of Epic buying more teams, Sweeney said games from acquired studios like Psyonix and Mediatonic help. According to him, Epic has no intention of becoming a giant game company like Activision or Electronic Arts.


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