Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has laid out an ultimatum in regards to securing further exclusive titles for the Epic Games Store. If Valve offers a revenue share for developers on Steam that matches Epic’s, Sweeney tweeted out, then the Epic Games Store will stop signing exclusivity agreements that keep games off of Steam.
«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 wrote. «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.»
The Epic Games Store has made a habit of securing major triple-A and high-profile indie games away from Steam. The Souls-like game Ashen was one of the first to leave Steam for an exclusive offering on Epic, but it was followed by more prominent titles like Metro Exodus and Borderlands 3. Ubisoft has entered into a partnership with the Epic Games Store and moved most of its PC releases over from Steam to Epic, starting with The Division 2 and extending to Anno 1800 as well.
There’s been plenty of discontent for the Epic Games Store, especially when games that have been sold on Steam are moved to Epic during the pre-order phase. In most cases, this has caused outrage on Twitter and Reddit, as well as Steam users review bombing games that have sequels launching on Epic. Both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light were hit hard in the aftermath of Metro Exodus’ move to Epic. The same happened to Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel after the reveal that Borderlands 3 would be launching on the Epic Games Store.
Steam users’ harsh reactions to games leaving Steam for Epic and Valve’s slow response on some of the review bombings have rubbed some developers the wrong way. «Ironically, that this misuse is possible and that Steam has no interest in correcting this misuse makes me kind of happy about 2K’s decision and makes me want to reconsider Gearbox Publishing’s current posture on the platform,» Gearbox studio head Randy Pitchford wrote.