Is the Epic Games Store a Consumer-Friendly Response to Steam?

In late 2018, after an amazingly successful year for their flagship title, Fortnite, Epic Games announced it would put some of its newly-acquired capital toward supercharging its proprietary games launcher. Previously a platform for first-party titles exclusively, the freshly-renamed Epic Games Store is now one of the top contenders in a party looking to dethrone Steam, Valve’s industry kingpin. While Epic is far from the first company to take aim at Steam, its strategy so far appears to be one of more direct competition than usual. Where EA before them introduced Origin to claim a deeper portion of proprietary profits, Epic’s strategy seems to be aimed less at maximizing income from first-party titles and more toward creating and maintaining a digital storefront for external developers. The company’s announcement of this new direction came with a promise of a 12% price cut on titles sold from the store, significantly lower than Steam’s current figure of 30%. In the weeks following this announcement, press and industry response was generally positive, but Epic’s strategy has since evolved, and the company’s effort to attract developers is more complex than a singular price incentive.

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