In a Twitter conversation spanning a couple of days, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney has stated that he can see a future where his company not only stops purchasing games exclusivity, but maybe even bring their own games to competitor Steam. The condition? Valve would need to take a smaller cut from all of its sales on Steam.
While games exclusivity is nothing new to the console crowd, it’s not something the PC audience has had to deal with too much over the years. The big reason for that is the fact that there is only one big dog in that fight, and that’s Valve’s Steam storefront.
Late last year, Epic Games changed all of that by introducing the Epic Games Store. Spurred on by the popularity of Fortnite, Epic used its momentum and growing bank account to finally open a storefront that could potentially take on the PC giant known as Steam. Two major things set Epic Games Store apart from the competition: It was buying exclusivity to quite a few games and it only takes a 12 percent cut from sales, as opposed to Steam’s roughly 30 percent.
The former has ruffled the feathers of quite a few folks, as they aren’t too keen on being told where they can and can’t purchase certain titles. In a Twitter conversation this week, Epic’s Tim Sweeney said he would be willing to stop dealing in exclusivity if only Valve was willing to pay developers/publishers a bigger cut of sales from their own games.
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
So on top of dropping out of the exclusivity game, Sweeney claims that Epic would even consider putting its own games on Steam if Valve offered a bigger cut of the profits to game creators. It seems like a bit of an odd stance, tying the pursuit of exclusive deals to the practices of a competitor, but it’s interesting that Sweeney decided to throw down a gauntlet for the whole world to see.
According to his follow-up comments, Sweeney isn’t a fan of players having to decide where they want to make a purchase based on who has exclusive rights to what game, even though his company is the one pursuing this practice. He says he’d rather things get back to folks buying games from whichever storefront tickles their fancy, but it’s Valve’s insistence on taking a bigger cut of profits that forced Epic’s hand.
You folks can try to pick apart this logic in the comments below but, for now, I don’t think Valve has any interest in putting Sweeney’s claims to the test.