Epic's store could make a bigger jump than most others.
This week, Fortnite developer Epic Games announced a digital storefront housed in the Epic Games Launcher. Obviously, this has been the hot topic since Discord launched its own in October, but the Epic Games Store feels like the first real threat to Steam's dominance as a first choice for buying PC games.
I'm not saying that Steam is definitely doomed to failure, and even if Epic manages to push it off the top, it's probably going to take years. However, this new store is in a unique position. Thanks to Fortnite, there are millions of players who have the store already installed, and Epic does not have to force a player to force his store in the same way as other developer-created starters like Origin and Uplay. [1
The Promise Access to this growing base of players is undoubtedly an exciting prospect for all major developers, but Epic also offers its developers a significantly lower 88% revenue than Valve currently has on Steam – a point that has recently become more and more prevalent Dissatisfaction with his platform. This means that Epic convinces the game makers to come on board with a passion that Discord or GOG does not offer, and the audience is already waiting to browse.
Epic also appeared Thursday night at The Game Awards. It was announced that Bastion's latest game, Supergiant Games, Hades, alongside Annapurna's eagerly awaited Ashen, was now featured exclusively in the Epic Store. Another big surprise was that Journey, an exclusive product from Sony, would come to the PC in the Epic Store, and some games like Satisfactory have even removed their Steam list to switch platforms.
As a bribe to try it out: Epic even revealed that it would give a free game to their store every two weeks. The first two of them are the excellent Subnautica and Super Meat Boy. Obviously, this will be a big hit for an audience that's bigger than your average Fortnite fan, and I'd say it's safe to expect many more "Exclusive to Epic" announcements from E3 next year.
The Epic Games Currently, Store has a good foundation to build on, but it lacks some of Steam's best features.
As far as the platform itself is concerned, the Epic Games Store seems to be off to a good start The UI is attractive, though I'm not sure how well it will scale when there are more than a dozen games, but we still do not know how Epic curates the games it adds If that's true of Steam's much-criticized "go-it-go" policy.
The Shop Launcher also seems to be missing some of the stuff that Steam (and other platforms) have now standardized, like Cloud-Save for your account Even more worrying is that some of the hard-to-learn lessons have not been retained by Steam, especially in terms of early access labeling, and Hades has been released in Early Access but is missing Warnings, update plans, or other details that Steam requires to protect its customers from buying a bad deal. There is an "Early Access FAQ" to click, but the hard, structured answers that Steam enforces are lacking, and many of the same information is missing.
Since Fortnite is in an indefinite state of access, it is not surprising that Epic is less concerned, but that does not mean that clear warnings and protective measures should not still be in place. I do not doubt for a second that Supergiant will treat Hades and his fans properly, and perhaps Epic plans to check out early-access games and their developers themselves before they go to the store, but that means Epic is also taking responsibility if there is a game is abandoned before completion?
Even though I'm optimistic for the store as a whole, there are still many questions to answer. A million little things could change or go wrong for Epic, and we probably will not really know if it will prevail at least next year. Countless stores have come (or were at least forgotten) in the past, and Epic's could easily come next.
But with a large number of both players and developers already on board, this is not the case of an unreasonable thought that the Epic Games Store is slowly becoming the new normal. Even if this happens, Steam is not likely to "die" as a result of that success, but the Epic Games Store is certainly the most serious threat to its crown so far.
Tom Marks is the IG Editor and Pie Maker of IGN. You can track him on Twitter .