In a string of tweets from Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney, he states that the company would end their hunt for exclusives for the Epic Games Store if their main competitor, Steam, would adjust their revenue sharing with developers. When Epic Games announced and launched the Epic Games Store in December of last year, one of the most notable selling points of the marketplace was the 88/12 revenue split with developers.
Epic Games has been adamantly against the typical 70/30 revenue split that storefronts like Google, Steam, and Apple offer to developers. So much so that they did not offer their behemoth battle royale game, Fortnite, on the Google Play Store upon its release on Android devices. Sweeney believes this revenue split to be harmful to all PC developers.
That’s a loaded question! But Epic will stay the course. 30% store dominance is the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood. We’re determined to fix it and this is the one approach that will effect major change.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 24, 2019
Because of their revenue split and to establish themselves, Epic Games has been locking up exclusivity deals with a plethora of games. They’ve had deals from AAA titles such as The Division 2, Metro Exodus, the upcoming Quantic Dream trio, and Borderlands 3 to smaller titles such as Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey and Observation. Last month at GDC 2019, Steve Allison stated that the exclusivity deals wouldn’t continue on indefinitely. Sweeney has stated that, if Steam matched Epic’s 88/12 revenue split, Epic Games would end their hunt for exclusives immediately.
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
Sweeney believes that if Steam were to do this it would be “a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming, and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come.” Epic’s revenue split has already forced another competitor in Discord to adjust their revenue split with developers to 90/10. It will be interesting to see if they’re able to eventually force Steam’s hand on the matter.