Epic will stop doing exclusive deals if Steam agrees to their same 12/88 revenue sharing, according to Epic’s CEO.
The PC gaming market is in turmoil ever since the arrival of the Epic Games Store. No longer content to release ever increasing numbers of the Unreal Engine and making oodles of cash off of Fortnite microtransactions, Epic set their sights on the big money in PC gaming: Steam.
There’s no denying that Valve makes a bundle off of Steam. It’s the entire reason why Valve stopped making games (mostly--Artifact and DOTA 2 don’t really count) as there were just making way more money by simply being a PC gaming digital storefront.
But Steam takes their fair share, and a lot of people think it’s more than fair. Steam currently has a 30/70 revenue split with most developers, which is a lot--especially if you’re an indie developer without much in terms of sales.
Enter Epic, who decided to end Steam’s virtual monopoly by setting up their own store and offering very favorable revenue sharing with developers. If all they did was offer developers a better deal by providing a 12/88 revenue split, then there’d be no problem. But Epic went on a crusade of securing Epic Store exclusives even if those games had already started allowing pre-orders on Steam.
That angered a lot of PC gamers. To the point where they’re asking Epic CEO Tim Sweeney on Twitter what it would take for him to stop.
Apparently, all it’d take is for Steam to agree to the same 12/88 revenue sharing as Epic. While responding to Twitter users questioning him on his altruistic motives, Sweeney said he just wants a better deal for developers, and if Steam is willing to provide it, he’ll stop with the exclusive sniping.
"If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam," he said.
If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2019
Now, there were a few provisos on top of that: Steam would also have to agree to cross-platform compatibility (at least, with PC storefronts) and allow digital purchases on any platform to be usable on all platforms, for example.
So far there’s been no response from Valve, and we doubt we’ll ever get one. The whole thing seems very disingenuous, and Epic doesn’t have a whole lot of credibility left after the whole Metro: Exodus debacle.