Epic Games CEO: Epic Would Retreat from Exclusives, if Steam Improved its Revenue Share

This week saw a heated debate unfold on Twitter after Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted about PC exclusives on EGS and the store’s revenue share model. Under this model, the developer receives 88% of each purchase, with the remaining 12% going to Epic. This is in contrast to Steam’s share tires for developers that range from 70/30 to 80/20 revenue share depending on the game’s sales.

While Sweeney was talking about competitive advantages for developers, not consumers, it really set off Twitter users, who were quick to point out Epic’s “negative monopolistic practice” and being “anit-competitive.”

The monopolistic sentiment, of course, refers to the store’s penchant for triple-A PC exclusives, like the recent World War Z.  To aggravate the exclusivity situation further, several franchises previously avaialbe on Steam moved to Epic. The most notorious example would be the exodus of Metro Exodus (no resisting a pun here, sorry). The title spent a lengthy pre-sale period on Steam before becoming an EGS exclusive.

When asked if EGS would rethink its strategy of pursuing exclusives, Sweeney replied:

That too invited a wave of skeptical tweets, such as this one from @Odintdkay (not posting the tweet in its entirety due to its strong language): “Yes. You would be FORCED to stop your anti-consumer exclusivity deals if steam did that, because it simply wouldn’t be possible to get those deals then. It’s not like you’d have a choice in that matter by then.”

Others chimed in with similar remarks:

Some of the users have brought up the situation with crunch at Epic Games.

Despite consistent criticism for the store’s favoritism for high-profile exclusives, the platform has stuck with the strategy since its launch. In the words of Epic’s David Stelzer, “exclusives are one of the ways we look at of capturing that audience.” However, Sergey Galyonkin, who’s in charge of Epic’s publishing strategy, admitted that the PC exclusivity strategy might be temporary, suggesting Epic could abandon it once EGS is properly established.

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