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Video Games

Epic Games Store at it again

Posted 1 Month ago by Moonray

Hitman 3 comes out in four days and the Devs had what was a pretty cool offer. Like with Hitman 2 if you owned the previous games they'd import the content from the previous games and let you play it all in Hitman 3 with all the latest upgrades both visually and gameplay (including the new VR mode).

At least that was until Epic bought timed exclusivity. This means for PC it's only for sale on Epic's storefront. A store that doesn't even sell Hitman 2. This means PC players who want the game at launch either have to buy a special DLC pack for hitman 2 content or like me wait for it's Steam release so that we don't have to rebuy. When Epic first got exclusivity the Devs claimed (and probably believed) they could still make the free transfer of content work, but seems they realised they can't.

Fortunately they do sell Hitman 1 and so that is generously being bundled in for free by the publisher).

Now granted this isn't entirely Epic's fault. The publisher for Hitman 2 also holds some blame for not releasing the game there. That said, this does show how Epic's exclusivity nonsense hurts customers more than it helps us. I was looking forward to playing Hitman 3 next week, but alas I'll just have to wait for this exclusivity to end.

I don't mind waiting for games when it's a delay on development, but when the delay is caused by poor behaviour from these companies it's a bit disappointing.

Oh well.

https://www.pcgamer.com/uk/amp/hitman-3s-epic-store-exclusivity-means-hitman-2-levels-wont-be-free-after-all/

There are 20 Replies


Not gonna lie. I have alot of bias against Epic for the nonsense. I keep seeing Epic defenders who say they're being pro-customer. One example being because they're...offering sales (which is a pretty sad example).

See, I was cool with Epic wanting competition with PC space, the reality of it is they wanted to beat Steam (at least in my opinion and I have clue why).

It's a damn shame you have to wait on series just because the shenanigans with Epic and the Publisher (I think it's IO interactive at this point).

1 Month ago
Forte Lambardi
 

Epic's store is great for developers. They give devs a larger portion of revenue, and if you use the Unreal Engine they waive all fees. So people selling games on Steam have to lose 35% of their revenue between engine and platform, with only a 12% loss going through Epic.

It's a stellar deal for devs, but right now Steam is the king. Epic wants more devs and gamers to support their platform, and not everyone has a longstanding relationship with Epic. They're trying to sway more people to join, but gamers are really upset to move off of Steam.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

@Forte Lambardi


Yea that's the sad part. Originally I was all onboard for the idea of some serious competition to Steam. It's really sad that Epic's actions have soured me to their store. The other issue being that it's still basically as bare bones as it was at release. Lacking features I'd consider somewhat integral to the shopping experience (like a cart). Their launcher is also clearly no optimised because when it's running I've noticed my PC fans go a little faster (and googling seemed to confirm it does indeed cause the processor to work s little harder than it should).

But the biggest issue though, and this is where they lost me, is they started taking choice away from me.

Epic are definitely not pro-customer. They certainly present themselves as such but their actions say otherwise. The most obvious example would be how they defended loot boxes in their games right up until it looked like governments might start banning them and then suddenly Epic "realised" how bad they were. Their actions with store exclusivity also show this. Steam also has frequent deals and a constant flow of free games (you just have to look for them unfortunately).

Neither company is pro-customer at this point. I don't particularly like either of them- though at least Valve occasionally make a game I want to play unlike Epic who haven't made I game I want to play in a very long time.

@mariomguy:


That's great for you developers. It really is. As I said to Forte I was all for the Epic store when it first got announced.

It's their actions toward me as a customer that have out me off of using their store.

Steam also has significantly more functionality as a platform also.

To suggest gamers are "upset" to move off of Steam isn't entieely wrong but also ignores the truth that it's Epic's fault. The issue is that Epic aren't offering a viable alternative and they're alienating customers with these exclusivity deals- which probably explains why they've toned it down quite a bit.

So whilst I believe you that theymight well be pro-developer, I consider that to be your side of things. Meanwhile on my side of things as a customer, Epic are not being all that epic.

1 Month ago
Moonray
 

Ya I'm not a fan of what I know of epic from a consumer perspective either from what I hear. I never used it. Gog seems like an at least okay alternative to steam just it probably won't ever be true competition in the grand scheme. I definitely like gog's stance on things like drm though.

1 Month ago
Grey Echelon
 

Gog seems like an at least okay alternative to steam just it probably won't ever be true competition in the grand scheme. I definitely like gog's stance on things like drm though.


Yea GoG has some good policies on DRM, is about trying to maintain old games and actually has a decent storeront. I particularly like that GoG allows me to amalgmate all of my game libraries into one place. Sure it has to launch the launchers/stores that they're on but at least I have the benefit of accessing them from one screen instead of trying to remember where they are. It's a decent product.

1 Month ago
Moonray
 

Epic needs a method for communicating with your friends in the app. Right now, they don't have that. But they do have most of the basics down: Friend requests, automatic updates, and wishlists. If you support developers and their games, there isn't a better reason than to buy it from Epic.

I eventually want to release my game on the Epic store. I only have to pay 12% for hosting, VS. 30% for Steam, or 35% if it becomes massively successful.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

70 percent of a bigger pie is better than 88 percent of a tiny one.

1 Month ago
Cactus Pants
 

Is the pie really that much bigger, though? It's impossible to find a game just browsing through Steam, you have to search for it specifically. But release as an exclusive on Epic's Store, with good publicity, and you might get something. Also, you're a lot more likely to be featured as an exclusive releasing in a much smaller ocean.

It can be a timed exclusive. We could do a deal for three months or so and then release on Steam and consoles later. Most game sales are made in the first few weeks of a release. If we do that we can get most of our sales on a platform that gives us a much larger initial cut. Or we could increase the cost of the Steam version to make up for the losses.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

It can be a timed exclusive. We could do a deal for three months or so and then release on Steam and consoles later. Most game sales are made in the first few weeks of a release. If we do that we can get most of our sales on a platform that gives us a much larger initial cut.

AFAIK, game devs/Publishers who have gone with Epic have gotten an "down-payment" of sorts so it's often a good deal for some devs/publishers and not others just because they're insulated from the poor sales that may result in a "lesser" platform.

So really, it doesn't matter for anything Epic exclusive game as they get a guaranteed payment. Initial sales may be more important on the Steam platform which may be better (or worse depending on how much traction your game has developed among other things).

An example of this:
https://medium.com/@unfoldgames/why-i-turned-down-exclusivity-deal-from-the-epic-store-developer-of-darq-7ee834ed0ac7
I am going to infer any entity that enters into a exclusivity agreement will get some form of payment up front. Of course I would like the see the numbers for myself (though I doubt we will see that unless the dev/publisher feels the need to release those numbers) to see whether that's more beneficial or harmful in the long run.

So far alot of the games I saw that were Epic exclusives released on steam anyway which gave them a boost in sales. So if i fared poorly on Epic, we won't really know.

1 Month ago
Forte Lambardi
 

I hate to say this, but hype builds momentum. A release ends it. The first month is where most of your sales will be made, if you market properly. And if people decide not to buy the game in the first month just because it's on Epic's store, they're probably not going to buy it at all, or they'll wait for a very long time. Some indie titles don't really hit their stride until after streamers make it popular, gems uncovered for years. But that's the exception, not the rule. Most games don't have astronomical sales.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

I will say, it is strange they didn't accept the indie game unless it was exclusive. That was pretty aggressive.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

I hate to say this, but hype builds momentum. A release ends it

I agree on this. Borderlands 3 was probably a good example of this.

Shenmue III would be the opposite of this actually. Given people were expecting Steam release and then it got flipped an Epic Exclusive. This wound up pissing off alot of people (though honestly I think that was a Deep Silver decision and their bad communication throughout the release).

Yeah though that was around a year ago, they were being aggressive. My guess is Epic needed some indies in their Road House. From what I gathered, DARQ wanted more exposure than the actual funding.

Though that might have changed here. I am not hearing much news on the Epic front aside from the whole Apple and Epic battle.

1 Month ago
Forte Lambardi
 

Epic needs a method for communicating with your friends in the app. Right now, they don't have that. But they do have most of the basics down: Friend requests, automatic updates, and wishlists.


The fact that there is no chat is some Nintendo level stupidity.

Can I easily join a friend in a game like I can on Steam? Can I view my library in a console-like experience so I can use my Xbox One controller with it? Can I add shortcuts to non-epic store games? Can I chat to my friends whilst in game (oh wait no I can't even chat to them out of game).

To start with I was accommodating to the lack of features by comparison to Steam because they were a new store... But we're what, two years on now, and they're still a pretty barebones service. They even had Steam to steal ideas from!

If you support developers and their games, there isn't a better reason than to buy it from Epic.


I'll buy from whoever I feel is offering me the best deal- be it money, convenience or features. I'm sorry if that hurts you developers some of the time, but it's not my fault Epic offer a subpar service.

1 Month ago
Moonray
 

The fact that there is no chat is some Nintendo level stupidity.

You can chat in the game, but you can't just message friends through the store.

Can I easily join a friend in a game like I can on Steam?

Yes. And it will notify you even when you're not logged in that friends have started playing, just like Steam.

Can I view my library in a console-like experience so I can use my Xbox One controller with it?

You can view your entire game library with images on one screen. Not sure if a controller works with the store, need to test that.

Can I add shortcuts to non-epic store games?

? If you didn't buy it from the store, it won't appear in the store library, if that's what you're asking.

Can I chat to my friends whilst in game (oh wait no I can't even chat to them out of game).

Yes.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

You can chat in the game, but you can't just message friends through the store.

Yes.


How, I can't even get an ingame overlay?

You can view your entire game library with images on one screen. Not sure if a controller works with the store, need to test that.


I googled it before asking, it doesn't. Which for me is a major disadvantage VS Steam as I have a PC I do cough gaming on.

If you didn't buy it from the store, it won't appear in the store library, if that's what you're asking.


On Steam I can add shortcuts for games I did not buy on Steam. It will even, in most cases, give it the Steam in-game overlay so I can chat to friends whilst playing.

1 Month ago
Moonray
 

On Steam I can add shortcuts for games I did not buy on Steam. It will even, in most cases, give it the Steam in-game overlay so I can chat to friends whilst playing.

To add to this, you have the ability renew license keys you did not purchase in steam. AFAIK, this is something that isn't available for EGS (Epic Game Store). People seem to gloss over the fact Steam will allow you to renew license keys from games you may have not bought on their store - they eat the cost of this alot of the time (as by that time you definitely didn't buy the game on their market place).

1 Month ago
Forte Lambardi (forgot password)
 

How, I can't even get an ingame overlay?

Once you're in the game you can do anything. But these features are game-only. You will get an overlay notice when your friends play something, and you can always look to see what game your friends are playing. It's just annoying that you can't text someone "Hey! Want to play in 5 mins?"

I googled it before asking, it doesn't. Which for me is a major disadvantage VS Steam as I have a PC I do cough gaming on.

Cough gaming? Careful, it's COVID.

Seriously though, that's going to be an issue until Epic allows a TV gaming mode. For the time being, you'll just have to start with a mouse or some other device capable of mouse pointing.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

Once you're in the game you can do anything. But these features are game-only. You will get an overlay notice when your friends play something, and you can always look to see what game your friends are playing. It's just annoying that you can't text someone "Hey! Want to play in 5 mins?"


How do I look what my friends are doing? How do I bring up an interface to use these features you're talking about. On steam I press Shift + Tab and I get the Steam overlay so I can see my friends, talk to them, join their games, etc. How do I do this with a game bought on Epic Game Store?

Seriously though, that's going to be an issue until Epic allows a TV gaming mode. For the time being, you'll just have to start with a mouse or some other device capable of mouse pointing.


Or I stick with Steam because it does what I need. As I said, Epic aren't offering anything as a customer.

I do have sympathy for why indie devs and smaller studios would opt to choose Epic over Steam, but as I said it's doing customers no favours and that's why it's not got the following you want it to have.

1 Month ago
Moonray
 

So, it seems you can message friends now. You go to Friends, right click, Whisper, and that will pull up an IM chat log. It's bare bones basic, but it works.

How do I look what my friends are doing?

Launcher > Friends

You get a list of all your friends, their online status, and what game they're playing. For UT and Fortnite, you can even see what task they're doing, whether sitting in the lobby or playing a match, and you can see what game mode they're in, too. Not sure if Epic exposed this granular detail to devs or if they're copying the Steam notices, but it does work.

Or I stick with Steam because it does what I need. As I said, Epic aren't offering anything as a customer.

:|

Just for lack of controller support in the launcher, you'll cut 23% from their revenue. Wow.

1 Month ago
mariomguy
 

Cough gaming? Careful, it's COVID.


Just realised you said this. Lol that was an unfortunate typo on my part!

Just for lack of controller support in the launcher, you'll cut 23% from their revenue. Wow.


Don't try to guilt trip me, I work with school teachers, I've developed an immunity to that tactic.

Developers are free to release their games wherever they want and I am free to buy my games wherever I want- even if that means I have to wait six months just because Epic bought exclusivity and the publisher of the 2nd game didn't release it on Epic for whatever reason.

But not just a lack of controller support, though it is a big reason yes. I didn't set that computer up with the plan of having to go grab a mouse, I set it up specifically to give me a console like experience with the benefits that come with being on PC.

The real reason though is Steam does pretty much everything better than Epic store for me as a customer. Simple as that.

You get a list of all your friends, their online status, and what game they're playing. For UT and Fortnite, you can even see what task they're doing, whether sitting in the lobby or playing a match, and you can see what game mode they're in, too. Not sure if Epic exposed this granular detail to devs or if they're copying the Steam notices, but it does work.


Yea Dooku just showed me. Barebones is putting it rather politely. It looks like all the ugly messengers from the 90s and early 2000s. I get that they are releasing things at a VERY slow pace but they could have at least put some effort into the visuals of it lol.

I also still can't find a way to talk to my friends when I am playing a game. On Steam I just open the ingame overlay, double click my friend in the list and I can start messaging them. We can be playing different games or whatever and it just works.

Thus far I can't see a way of doing this with games on Epic Store and that is actually a pretty big reason not to use them. I like be able to message friends whilst playing a game and send them screenshots of stuff that's going on in the game, especially when something bugs out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Ultimately I get what you're saying. The better profit share for developers is a good thing. I don't dispute that.

The problem is Epic isn't offering anything decent for customers except a way to buy games. Times have moved on since then, we expect more from our digital storefronts. Even EA's Origin and Ubisoft's store have better social features than Epic's.

We're also well past the point of it being "Oh they're new give them a bit of time to get it right". They've had this store out for I think two years now and, whilst it has gotten better, it's still not where it needs to be. The pace they're going is far too slow for me to consider swapping over to them as my primary source of buying games. Though the fact that they launched it without basic store features like a cart, whishlist, etc just shows how little they really care about the customer's experience. Nevermind all the other stuff it was missing.

You want me to swap. Pester Epic to improve their service.

1 Month ago
Moonray
 

Reply to: Epic Games Store at it again

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