Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that the company will end the practice of securing exclusive game releases for its store if Valve, the company behind Steam, matches Epic’s revenue share for developers and publishers.
Calling Steam’s 30 percent cut on game sales and the platform’s market dominance “the #1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood,” Sweeney said in a back-and-forth exchange on Twitter that Epic could back away from the unpopular practice of signing Epic Games Store 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,” Sweeney said.
“Such a move would be a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming, and would have a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come,” Sweeney added. “Then stores could go back to just being nice places to buy stuff, rather than the Game Developer IRS.”
Epic launched the Epic Games Store in December. The company offered a more appealing revenue split for developers and publishers, taking just 12 percent of each game’s sales, compared to the 30 percent that had been standard on Steam. Just prior to the launch of the Epic Games Store, Valve adjusted its revenue share model, taking a smaller cut in certain circumstances (25 percent for games that earn more than $10 million through Steam, and 20 percent for games that earn more than $50 million). But some PC gamers took issue with Epic’s approach to competing with Steam, which involved signing games to timed-exclusive releases on its store, sometimes even after they had been available for sale on Steam.
While Epic has competed favorably on revenue split, the company’s store and launcher have lacked many of the features Steam users have become accustomed to over the past 15 years. The Epic Games Store has started to catch up in some ways, but some PC gamers still take issue with some of Epic’s business practices.
We’ve reached out to Valve for comment on Sweeney’s comments and will update when the company responds.