Gaming rivals Epic Games and Valve are showing no signs of a ceasefire, although Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says his come will relent on its pursuit of exclusive titles if Valve changes its price structure.
Since its inception earlier this year, the Epic Games Store has been aggressively pursuing exclusives. So far, the company has tied up exclusive rights to The Division 2, Borderlands 3, and Metro Exodus. While Epic has said the practice is a protest against Steam’s price structure, gamers have reacted angrily.
They believe the Epic Games Store is killing competition and going against the ethos of PC gaming, which is supposed to be open.
On Twitter yesterday, Sweeney seemed to make a peace offering to Steam owner Valve. He says if Valve matches Epic’s revenue share (12% cut for the company, remainder to the developer), Epic will stop pursuing exclusives.
If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2019
Despite many games protesting against Epic Games, the fledgling store already has over 85 million customers. During the launch of the store, the company said exclusives were aimed at changing the industry:
“But at some point, hopefully people just come [to the store], or the industry moves down and matches us. … At some point, we could go to zero, or we could go to very, very few major exclusives in any given year,” said Steve Allison, head of Epic Games Store. “We’ll definitely not be doing them at the scale we’re doing now, not for an extended period of time.”
However, while Sweeney’s latest comments may suggest progress, GamesBeat editor Jeff Grubb points out his proposal is impossible.
“This is the bar because he knows Valve can’t do it. To make 88 percent work, Valve would have to stop issuing unlimited free codes to developers (killing many other third-party stores), and it’d have to stop taking many non-credit-card payments options.”
In other words, Sweeney is after some free goodwill while knowing Valve will never commit and Epic Games will not abandon exclusives.