Through the past years, there wasn’t any specific war out there between digital stores for PC titles. Steam used to be the king and other stores didn’t own the power to stand against Valve’s giant, leading the whole industry to have no option other than Steam to release their game on for PC. Now, things have been changed. Steam is still the king but something threatens its throne with heavy strikes. Epic Games Store has turned into a competitor for Steam that Valve has never seen something alike before.
Compare Steam to Epic Games Store in any aspects you want and at the end Steam will be the winner except one single thing; exclusivity. Epic Games Store started the battle against Steam with a simple but super impressive motto: Giving away 88% of revenue to the publishers and developers instead of the traditional 70% that Steam offers. The message was impressive enough to catch the attention of publishers, but Tim Sweeney still had a card up his sleeve and that was the exclusivity contract.
Metro Exodus, The Division 2, Control, Detroit: Become Human and World War Z are just a few of the big titles that Epic Games avoided to get released on Steam at launch, thanks to the exclusivity contracts. Steam is big enough to earn money even without these games but can you ignore these great hits from AAA publishers that will bring you millions of new players? Never.
Long story short, Tim Sweeney has spoken about the exclusivity through a new thread of tweets and has supported the decision once again, calling it the only way to make the gaming industry a more profitable place to invest money and besides, lowering the costs for developers and the price tags for players.
For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5% of Steam’s scale. Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) June 26, 2019
Epic Games Store and its exclusive deals will be continued up until when the store becomes one of the main digital retailers for PC, a road that seems to be a very long one, but Tim Sweeney believes that it’s the only way to succeed in the war.