The Epic Games Store is certainly managing to keep itself in the news right now, and today is no exception. In an interview with PC Gamer, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney talks about how he wants to apply a quality standard to all games distributed on the platform, in order to “avoid crappy games” and what this may involve.
Over the years Steam, the current largest digital distribution platform, has undergone a series of changes in regards to what it will distribute. At first Valve closely monitored submissions. This then gave way to the Greenlight system, which put players in control by allowing them to vote for games they wanted to see. This has since been retired and currently Steam is mostly a free for all, with the only barrier seeming to be the $100 listing fee. Naturally this approach has led to issues, including a recent outcry when players found Steam selling a game which glorified assault.
It seems Epic want to avoid such controversy and promote itself as a quality store, by maintaining a hands-on approach in regards to what it'll accept.
"We'll have a quality standard that doesn't accept crappy games," says Tim Sweeney, Epic CEO. "We'll accept reasonably good quality games, of any scale, whether small indie games to huge triple-A games, and we'll take everything up to, like, an R-rated movie or an M-rated game. A GTA game would be fine to us, but Epic's not going to distribute porn games or bloatware or asset flips, or any sort of thing that's meant to shock players. The PC's an open platform and if we don't distribute it in our store you can still reach consumers directly."
When asked about how these standards would be applied he responded "We're not going to have something like the console certification process involved in releasing a game, but I think we'll be aware of the quality of what's submitted prior to making a decision to list it in the store—somehow." He went on to add "Humans can make those judgment calls, and they'll be pretty reasonable."
While it’s unsurprising that Epic won’t distribute adult games, especially given the young audience its biggest game Fortnite attracts, the quality control commitment is a step beyond.
This is just one more way Epic are trying to differentiate itself from Steam, aiming to go above and beyond for both developers and consumers. During the interview Sweeney also mentioned Epic's total commitment to taking just a 12% cut of game revenue, a severe undercut of Steam’s 30% model.
If Epic can maintain what could end up as an almost impossible task remains to be seen, but right now if you want to get in the store, you'll need to pass the quality check.