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Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Dec 4, 2018.
Not to mention payment processing and all the fun/infrastructure that comes along with it.
I believe average retail markup on a video game you buy local is ~25%. When you factor in that Steam is hosting and distributing your content, on top of normal retail markup, 30% really isn't that bad.
That said Epic is a lot cheaper so they may have a chance. Particularly with the added incentive of covering unreal engine licensing costs. A lot of games use unreal engine and it would be crazy to not at least offer your games on the epic store for a chance at improved margins. Even if you also offer the game on Steam. This should help them keep a decent size library.
This is super old date (from 2010)
I wonder what it is today.
That matches the 25% I had read, so I suspect it's pretty close. When you add the $4 for distribution the 30% cut Steam takes is actually slightly better than selling retail.
I don't blame Epic. It's really the smart choice from their point-of-view. Every other major publisher seems to be departing Steam in order to maximize profit via their own store front.
I mean, what else should Epic do with those olympic-sized swimming pools full of Fornite money? This is a smarter investment than hookers & blow. Fortnite won't be a money printer forever.
This could also make them less reliant on those Unreal Engine licenses as a source of profit. Although I never foresee that business model ever losing them money,
I really can't get behind any of the memes commonly involved in this discussion from "VALVE IZ TEH BIG EVIL" to "COMPETITION GOOD CONSUMER CONSUME CONSUME" as neither seem to be accurate. Here's some of what I wrote previously when discussing Fallout76 not coming to Steam....
This whole 'having a ton of launchers" thing is getting really annoying and has nearly universally meant a worse experience for me as a player. The business justification is "oh we dont' want to share even a little bit of our revenue with Steam, so we'll just make our own thing!" which...99% of the time is a garbage experience. I'm a big advocate of Free software, Linux/Mac support etc... and other elements of open gaming, but I have to say that Steam (even if it isn't completely FLOSS) has done WAY more to justify their position than anyone else in the industry - and they don't show signs of stopping. Steam as a platform is leagues ahead of everything else and they reinvest into niche expansions that massively impact gaming. The Steam Controller, Big Picture UI, Steam for Linux, SteamOS, features like Steamworks and Workshop being easy integrations for mods and online play that literally enable developers who would never before be able to afford online play middleware or dev time to release their titles, tons of community features like Achievements, Cards, messaging etc... major contribution to Linux drivers, Steam/OpenVR, and most recently Proton allowing for seamless play of many Windows titles on Linux without any fidding around etc.... not to mention having the biggest platform around for visibility on PC, and being one of the major progenitors of significant percentage PC game sales, I say that Steam has justified taking a reasonable( and unchanging! They haven't jacked it up with the times last I checked) cut for what is given in return!
Seeing companies, especially well heeled ones throw a big fuss about Steam just seems like sour grapes. I CHOOSE their launcher and platform because they've earned it, year in and year out. The only other company I give something of a pass to is Blizzard as they have never launched their titles under any other platform/launcher/store, for better or worse; though I still wish they would use their massive wallet to formally support Linux and otherwise give back to the community as much as Steam does. They took early first steps with always allowing their titles to use OpenGL and thus making them easier to WINE, but with their success I think they could do quite a bit more for the community overall. GOG / Galaxy I consider something of a push - I like the idea of DRM free titles as always, but the fact is the experience is often not as good on that platform compared to what Steam offers....and even after all this time they still don't have a Linux Galaxy client! I'd love to see GOG and Steam work together on compatibility and there have been some cross-play collaborations taking place since a few years back, but things have seemingly stalled. Games that release both on Steam and GOG, the Steam version likely doesn't include any DRM (if the dev/publisher insisted, it wouldn't make it on GOG etc), but offer more features and are often the first updated and with the best player base (Dying Light was a good example of this) so I'd like to see more progress on Steam and GOG not as incompatible alternatives but as options.
Other companies and launchers however, I just can't see much value. Ubisoft gets a half-point because they also release via Steam, but their UPlay system is based around certain features like achievements and points that actually "unlock real stuff"; I'd like to see Steam integrate a similar system, but I can at least understand the presence of UPlay to some degree, launching as a "second layer" from within Steam. EA Origin, Bethesda Launcher, Epic launcher etc... single manufacturer setups are somewhat annoying to me, especially as they often have relatively few game titles and almost never offer similar features to or compatibility with Steam. Epic launcher is the hallmark of this, entirely supported by the low-work-high-value Fortnite boom where pretty much the only other things on the launcher are failed titles, a quality remake title that later came to Steam (Shadow Complex Remastered), and mod tools for Unreal Engine. On the other side of the spectrum are all the non-publisher/general Launchers and game stores that require them - the Twitch Client and Discord's new game store for instance are both examples here. These are frustrating because again they lack the features or compatibility of/with Steam and in many cases are Windows only, so games purchased/played on the platform are actually of LESS value than if you bought on Steam, not to mention things like lack of Steam community features or Workshop support.
I hate watching continued market fragmentation like this - its not good for the players, its not good for the developers (who now have to support, update etc.. the title on multiple incompatible launchers in many cases), and its only done to sate the "we could always make more" crowd. Steam's success is rare in that they don't simply throw their weight around , but its undeniable that their platform and Valve have been instrumental in developing of elements for great player experience - they aren't just the biggest guy exploiting while they can. Their cut has been relatively small and parity with other platforms, not to mention much lower than what it costs to release on ANY major game console in both money and creative control - and I won't even go into how small it is compared to physical releases! . Overall Steam seems to be one of the rare times that the biggest guy in the industry got there via mostly reputable means and hasn't turned evil or rested on their laurels. The company isn't perfect, but there's unique case study here. In any event, seeing Bethesda stubbornly refuse to release their flopping-out-of-the-gate "Rust clone w/Fallout coat of paint" on Steam, despite the fact the game's success is predicated by design on having lots of players, doesn't seem to be the right move from what I've read.
Furthermore, we can't keep parroting the "Competition good, competition good" meme not just for the above reasons, because it is being misrepresented. If anything, Epic's store/launcher benefit of a lower percentage cut is a business-to-business transaction competition that has little if any benefit to end users. This is especially the case with games as they are goods that are, for the most part, defined by external mostly inflexible pricing (ie what publishers are wishing to sell at etc) and what flexibility there is strongly restricted for many reasons. For all of the increased launcher options out there over the past few years, customers should have noticed all sorts of competition benefits fighting for our dollars, shouldn't we? I can't say I've seen anything of the sort and in fact say that both prices and other elements have actually been less beneficial, not to mention convenience, openness, OS support / compatibility, ancillary features etc... instead! Conversely, companies that act exclusively as above-the-board keysellers without a separate platform of their own (ie HumbleBundle, GreenManGaming, Fanatical, even the RazerStore - to whom I must tip my hat for NOT creating a launcher as I was sure they were going to do) are actually able to offer customer-beneficial competition because they don't involve themselves in setting up an independent, incompatible fiefdom like a launcher/platform! The more of these fiefdoms there are, the more incompatible keys out there, the lesser ability of 3rd parties to resell them and compete etc..
We must stop representing the creation of new launcher/platform based gamestores as anything that is for customer benefit/competition - it is a business to business transaction based near exclusively on short-term greed and the kind of "We could make a fortune, but hypothetically we could make MORE if we owned the whole thing. We'll just make our own Steam!" decision, which can often overlook other aspects of the business. Speaking specifically of Epic, I've not been impressed with what they've offered for consumers thus far (there is some limited argument for what they've done with UE and for modders/developers, so I have to give them some credit there but this is not consumer-facing). Even with all their money from Unreal Engine licensing or the Fortnite boom (which frankly is pretty much the only reason we're having this conversation I think) they have not offered a Linux version of their client or games, much less any benefits or advancements for the community in the same vein as Steam etc.. which is par for the course in my experience.
I'm tired of watching an increasingly fragmented ecosystem justified by "competition is always good" misdirection, while the experience gets worse and Steam is vilified - often unwarranted considering that given their market position and duration they could have turned' "evil" a long time ago, but not only haven't done so but have continued investing into consumer/community friendly things that actually cost them money up front, cede control etc. This is not to say Steam is perfect and couldn't improve or that that certain forms of competition couldn't be beneficial in other circumstances, but I do not have high hopes for fragmented fiefdoms of new platforms and stores "just because" and it annoys me that they are sold to the users as "Competition = Good for you" when it is really the opposite in many of these cases!
Isn't Steam already planning to change their fee structure, especially for indies, in their next couple upgrades to their "greenlight replacement" system? I seem to remember a document in pretty extensive detail about some of the changes that would be coming, as well as other elements that would revise and improve the platform for devs/publishers/players alike.
Here's Tim Sweeney Answering some Questions.
Turns out the guy behind Steam Spy is one of the developers of the Epic storefront. It's going to be a safe space for developers and publishers, apparently, with no community forums or review system.
"“That’s why we won’t have forums on Epic Games store and will start with a ticketing system, so gamers can message devs about their problems instead of review-bombing them,” said Galyonkin."
Where those messages will be promptly ignored.
Yea, now the "toxic" customers will complain elsewhere while the storefront remains...? It almost sounds like reviews may happen, or maybe only reviewed reviews allowed?
so gamers can message devs about their problems instead of review-bombing them
Signed up just for the free Subnautica game. Discovered that my username was already taken. Alrighty then.
Also, Subnautica is only free from 12/14-12/27. Then on 12/28 it goes to Super Meat Boy.
Watched the Subnautica trailer.... looks like underwater No Mans Sky, heh
Hey if game devs can get a better deal, more power to them. I have like 10 launchers just to get free games (that I'll likely never play) so what's one more.
Oh, nice Journey is getting a PC port.
OK Subnautica deal is live. Downloading now. Man I'm getting massive download speed compared to Steam, but probably because it's not heavily used. I'm getting 7mb down compared to the 1 or 2 I usually get from Steam/Dallas.
Will get this tonight.