Epic Games Exclusives - Its time to talk about what the AAA gaming industry does not understand about the PC console.

CitizenJane

Very naughty girl
kiwifarms.net
I have a product that needs to be distributed to my customers in my little truck. There are two toll bridges that lead to my customers. One is charging me 30% of my profits, the other is charging me 12% (and even less if I drive one of their trucks). The more expensive bridge supposedly leads to more customers, but most of them have stopped buying games. The new bridge has fewer customers but is not jammed pack with other trucks competing for the same customers.

Which toll bridge should I use?
 

armoreddinnerjacket

kiwifarms.net
I have a product that needs to be distributed to my customers in my little truck. There are two toll bridges that lead to my customers. One is charging me 30% of my profits, the other is charging me 12% (and even less if I drive one of their trucks). The more expensive bridge supposedly leads to more customers, but most of them have stopped buying games. The new bridge has fewer customers but is not jammed pack with other trucks competing for the same customers.

Which toll bridge should I use?
You forgot the part where one bridge is fully functional with well-established machinery and supports, and the other is a hack job that doesn't even have a completed tollbooth or trained employees collecting your toll. You also forgot the part where the more expensive toll bridge is handing out tickets for a ferry service that bypasses the toll bridge entirely.
 

Secret Asshole

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I have a product that needs to be distributed to my customers in my little truck. There are two toll bridges that lead to my customers. One is charging me 30% of my profits, the other is charging me 12% (and even less if I drive one of their trucks). The more expensive bridge supposedly leads to more customers, but most of them have stopped buying games. The new bridge has fewer customers but is not jammed pack with other trucks competing for the same customers.

Which toll bridge should I use?
The one bridge that charges you 30% offers you a faster commute, and also has roadside assistance as well as access to multiple lanes of traffic. It also allows you to ride the road for free if you buy your pass at one of the many third party vendors that it offers. It is a six-lane highway on both ends, but is never filled with traffic. It has had over a decade of engineering experience and is considered the modern exemplar of bridges.

The other bridge makes you pay 12%, but the commute is far longer and through an area where no one ever goes. It pays you to go on it, however the bridge was built with spittle and construction paper and risks collapsing at any moment. If you ride this bridge, the owners will also sell your information to a foreign government to make up the profit. In order to make people go on their terribly designed bridge, they begin to buy the land around the bridge using eminent domain, pissing everyone off to try and force people to go along it. Also everyone is too busy buying from the owner of the bridge to even bother with you (Fortnite).

Also you're coming at this from a dev perspective. I don't give a fuck about the cut the devs get. Not to mention Steam has far better services for devs. That 30% allows Steam to give developers infinite keys. Go to https://isthereanydeal.com/ and see how many third party sellers there are for Steam games. See how many there are for Epic. Reminder: If you buy a game through Greenman Gaming or an official third party, Steam makes no money off of that transaction. Steam takes 30% because it offers far better services than Epic does. If it didn't offer this money, Steam couldn't afford this.

'Stop buying games', yeah ok. That's pure garbage. Devs get better cuts from third party re-sellers that are official than they do on the Steam store and hence can make more money. I don't know how many times I have to say this. Steam offers you to generate as many keys as you want for third party sellers that get you better cuts or selling the game on your own website giving you the profit. This is a complete false equivalency.

Why do you think Epic's exclusives are getting more and more expensive? Because people are losing profits. Because all they're getting is the money from Epic you dullard. They're not seeing any returns. Indie studios enticed by this are burning all good-will. People have stopped going to Epic out of pure spite. You can say 'muh 12%' all you want, but MS is going with Steam. And all Steam has to do is release Source 3 and Half-Life 3 and Epic is done.
 

Apoth42

Hehe xd
kiwifarms.net
But Steam was shit at launch, that excuses EGS being worse than WordPress webshops at launch almost two decades later.
It was also first and created more than a decade ago.

I get the emphasis on Epic vs Steam but lets not forget that they both compete with piracy. Valve basically crushed piracy. People don't pirate games like they pirate anime for a reason. Sure it exists but its not as rampant by comparison.
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
I assumed the price of the game would be $60. 'Hundreds of Thousands of Copies' I put in 250,000. Therefore, the exclusivity deal was around 15 million dollars. Obviously, going by the statement, they feel like that's basically all they would get since nobody is fucking using the store.

The problem with small guys taking the deal is this: Yes, they're giving you a ton of cash front loaded. But what happens when no one turns to the platform to buy your game? Are you going to go exclusive EVERY time you make a game? You signed a year long agreement, so did many. And many are spurning such deals, like Microsoft entirely. Whose even going to remember? Are they going to pay for your games exclusively down the line if they never sell?

Small devs are going to look at that money and then think they can exclusively develop for Epic. Yeah, but what happens when nobody is buying your game, and Epic decides you are no longer popular enough? Sure you got that cash at the beginning, but Steam isn't going to save you because you went Epic and everyone forgot you existed.
I would imagine that a cash infusion of even "as low as" $5,000,000 would be able to keep an indie studio going for a while, if not getting the stakeholders to retire outright.

If you've got a small team (5 or so people), 5 million could keep the lights on for ~7 or so years. This is before any profits generated after selling the game on Steam after your exclusivity term is up, even at a reduced cost is just free money from that point forward.

Epic also has no idea what's "popular" because a lot of games they're picking up are gambles. The Outer Worlds is being touted as "a new Fallout : New Vegas" but none of that team is working on that project so it's really unclear what it's going to be - maybe it'll be good?. Borderlands 3 looks to be mediocre and is the first game Borderlands Gearbox released in the "post destiny" era and it doesn't seem like they've taken a ton of lessons from it, but maybe it'll be OK? Phoenix Point is "kind of xcom" but who's to say it'll be any good. Shenmue 3 is a really risky game as they really didn't get the "game" part down in Shenmue 1 or 2 and games have come so far since 2001, it's hard to imagine a Shenmue game being better than Yakuza.
 

Secret Asshole

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I would imagine that a cash infusion of even "as low as" $5,000,000 would be able to keep an indie studio going for a while, if not getting the stakeholders to retire outright.

If you've got a small team (5 or so people), 5 million could keep the lights on for ~7 or so years. This is before any profits generated after selling the game on Steam after your exclusivity term is up, even at a reduced cost is just free money from that point forward.

Epic also has no idea what's "popular" because a lot of games they're picking up are gambles. The Outer Worlds is being touted as "a new Fallout : New Vegas" but none of that team is working on that project so it's really unclear what it's going to be - maybe it'll be good?. Borderlands 3 looks to be mediocre and is the first game Borderlands Gearbox released in the "post destiny" era and it doesn't seem like they've taken a ton of lessons from it, but maybe it'll be OK? Phoenix Point is "kind of xcom" but who's to say it'll be any good. Shenmue 3 is a really risky game as they really didn't get the "game" part down in Shenmue 1 or 2 and games have come so far since 2001, it's hard to imagine a Shenmue game being better than Yakuza.
But how many Indie studios can Epic just give millions to and not see any return on it? My point is that Epic is just blowing all this money without ever knowing it will make a return? For Steam, they really don't care.

Epic has no idea what it is doing. It seems like its just flailing around and Borderlands 3 looks like trash. The Outer Worlds was a spite move by Take 2. Deep Silver is just being greedy as fuck thanks to Koch Media. Indies just grab that money. Shemue 3 is a huge waste of money and just brings even more outrage to them. Its a niche game. Pheonix Point is also incredibly niche and burned even more will. Every Kickstarter game now is going to be heavily scrutinized. Epic might have actually killed crowd-funded games because developers and publishers are betraying the people who supported them the most to what amounts to a bribe.
 

Tanner Glass

kiwifarms.net
But how many Indie studios can Epic just give millions to and not see any return on it? My point is that Epic is just blowing all this money without ever knowing it will make a return? For Steam, they really don't care.
Seems like quite a bit, although it's an awful strategy. If they're looking to spend big cash for exclusives, they should just be buying studios like Microsoft does.

My point was more, if I was a small studio, I would absolutely take the EGS cash - it's bad PR but otherwise an absolute huge win for my studio. Especially if I wasn't super sure my game was going to be successful (ex - Borderlands 3, Outer Worlds, Phoenix Point) because my studio hadn't made one in 6+ years.
 
  • Agree
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Wendy_Carter

I'll only go to the party if Abigail comes too.
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Something I wanted to add for a while now, but kept forgetting - Klei Entertainment, an indie company I absolutely adore, announced Griftlands back at E3. The catch is that it will first be available on Epic Games Store as an alpha.

One of the developers explained in their roadmap that Klei has been partnered with many various distribution platforms over the years as a way to test their games in early access. Steam will get an early access version, but only a month before release, which is scheduled to be in July 2020. If you buy the game on EGS, you will get a key to Steam version as well, which I presume will be sent to you by e-mail.

While it's rather disheartening to hear, here's hoping it will not be a continuous thing. When Epic Mega Sale started, one of Klei's games, Oxygen Not Included, was removed from the store, which probably implies that Klei stood their ground and refused to participate. Some negative feedback on the forums regarding the announcement might also turn them away from the platform a little bit, at least when it comes to exclusivity.

Why must you do me dirty like this, Klei? (:_(
 
  • Horrifying
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jellycar

Actually Patty Hearst...or ScarJo if you prefer.
kiwifarms.net
Shenmue 3 is apparently an Epic Games exclusive....? Despite being listed on PS4 on Amazon?
 
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NumberingYourState

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Ohhh I imagine that's caused a lot of controversy.
Yeah it's a pretty blatant scam to pull out once you have the fundings situated, literally overriding valid contributors over a monumental shift in direction. I hope they get brought to court over it, though like with every monumental fuck up fewer people actually learn.
 
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Reactions: GeneralFriendliness

KingofNothing

Arise, Sir Leg of Lamb
kiwifarms.net
Yeah it's a pretty blatant scam to pull out once you have the fundings situated, literally overriding valid contributors over a monumental shift in direction. I hope they get brought to court over it, though like with every monumental fuck up fewer people actually learn.
It very well might. PC backers paid for a cd version. Epic can't run cd's and the guys at Shenmue were saying no to refunds. If that's not addressed soon, they can and will be rightfully sued
 

Secret Asshole

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Seems like quite a bit, although it's an awful strategy. If they're looking to spend big cash for exclusives, they should just be buying studios like Microsoft does.

My point was more, if I was a small studio, I would absolutely take the EGS cash - it's bad PR but otherwise an absolute huge win for my studio. Especially if I wasn't super sure my game was going to be successful (ex - Borderlands 3, Outer Worlds, Phoenix Point) because my studio hadn't made one in 6+ years.
I also think that you make a deal with the devil when you do EGS. There was this one small developer who got an offer but turned it down because they couldn't release games on Steam. If you take the money, you might not be able to release on Steam or have all your future releases with Epic. We don't really know the terms of the deal. For big studios, they have leverage over Epic. But if you're smaller and they're shelling out that cash, it might be a one time buy with lots of strings. They're probably under NDA. We really don't know. All we can see is Epic buying exclusives seemingly at random. If they think they're going to starve Steam they're insane. Buying Shenmue 3 still just boggles me. I just don't see the angle there. Shenmue is a story-based game that you needed to have played 1 and 2. Which most people haven't. Most people aren't nostalgic for it and everyone that wanted it probably already bought it. So them paying millions to indies and buying games that have probably already sold all the copies they're ever going to is just like, "What?" I totally understand Deep Silver taking the Shenmue 3 money. They know what I do; the audience that wants it already bought it. There won't be many new sales and this will just pump up their revenue.

You go to the third party sellers and there are tons of discounts on Steam games, even if there is no major discounts. You simply cannot starve Steam out. Them thinking about doing this is just crazy and blows my mind. The sheer amount of money you'd have to spend to starve them would probably bankrupt you and wouldn't make a dent. And now with Microsoft basically partnering with Steam, that's going to be fucking impossible. They'll probably offer cross platform play and shit Epic couldn't even dream of handling at the moment. Like offering 15 million for Samurai Showdown is just fucking crazy town. The fact that they didn't take it shows me that the sales on Epic are not as good as people think they are and the cut doesn't matter if no one is buying your shit.

This seems less like shady chink tactics and Tim Sweeny hating Steam. I just don't see their endgame here. Fortnite isn't going to last forever. I've seen so many gaming trends come and go. Even Minecraft is on the downward spiral. So that Fortnite money is going to dry up eventually. Using it to burn on ridiculously expensive exclusive deals which are getting even more expensive than I thought (15 million for Samurai Showdown on a platform that barely functions and relies on multiplayer), yet they're still being done.
 

The tired cat

Fluffy angel of death
kiwifarms.net
I mostly wanna ask why does Sweeny have this sort of hate boner for steam. Like, the way the dude acts he makes it sound like Gabe raped him, then fucked his girlfiend and didn't buy her dinner.
 
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KingofNothing

Arise, Sir Leg of Lamb
kiwifarms.net
Like offering 15 million for Samurai Showdown is just fucking crazy town. The fact that they didn't take it shows me that the sales on Epic are not as good as people think they are and the cut doesn't matter if no one is buying your shit.
Nobuyuki is also adorably overconfident on how well Samurai Showdown will do on PC. We're talking about a very niche game for a niche genre on the PC. Plus people just don't do fighters on the PC and Japan doesn't seem to get the PC market in general. Honestly, Epic is stupid for targeting Japanese games at all. I'll be genuinely surprised if Nobuyuki hits that million he's thinking about. But yeah, he was very smart not to take the deal if he actually wants the game in hands and not just cash in his pocket because a guy with this much pride in his game actually wants people playing his stuff.

I'm not that into fighters and pretty shit at them in general, but fuck it, I'll throw down 60 bucks to support this guy.


As for Epic themselves, perhaps they're just trying to force a solid foothold against Steam now so they can overtake them later. But that doesn't make sense because they could be using all of that money to fix their store into an acceptable version now and not piss off people into actively avoiding the store out of spite. The current increased buyer base they have can't be worth the angry buzzing they're getting with each exclusive deal. Then there's the poor security that users are complaining about, I believe you said you've personally gotten several attacks on your account. Who wants to put their money on that? I've never even gotten one of those on Steam in the decade I've had an account.

I mostly why does Sweeny have this sort of hate boner for steam. Like, the way the dude acts he makes it sound like Gabe raped him, then fucked his girlfiend and didn't buy her dinner.
He's jealous of Gabe's knife collection.
 
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