Epic explains how exclusive deals for the Epic Games Store get made

By Sherif Saed
2 January 2019 13:57 GMT

Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney has spent a day answering fan questions and assuaging concerns about the new Epic Games Store.

In what ended up being an incredibly popular Reddit thread, Sweeney first came in to refute some claims about the Epic Games Store being “spyware” due to some items in its TOS.

The Epic chief executive and founder explained that Epic does not sell or share user data with any other company. As to to the point some – incorrectly – raised about Tencent being Epic’s parent company, Sweeney reiterated that Tencent only has a minority share, and does not have access to user data.

The conversation then shifted to how beneficial the Epic Games Store is to PC gamers, and the ecosystem as a whole. Exclusivity has been another point of contention, particularly in how these deals prevent games from being available on other stores, which many argue only benefits Epic.

Sweeney doesn’t see it that way, and further explained how exclusive deals can help developers. “These exclusives don’t come to stores for free; they’re a result of some combination of marketing commitments, development funding, or revenue guarantees. This all helps developers,” he said.

“When lots of stores compete, the result is a combination of better prices for you, better deals for developers, and more investment in new content and innovation.”

With that in mind, the chief executive is not oblivious to the fact players are sick of having yet another games launcher on PC, after Steam had been the default one for years. He, however, stressed that it’s not that big of a deal when you consider the benefits.

“I get that it’s yet another launcher and if you have Steam installed you’d prefer to just use it. But if you want way better games to be built in the future, then please recognise what good this store can do,” added Sweeney.

“The proliferation of launchers is an annoying side effect of this, but the problem could eventually be solved through federated or decentralised software update tools. There are ongoing conversations about this.”

There are a couple of other topics covered in the thread, and it’s worth reading Sweeney’s reply to each of these points. If nothing else, they somewhat explain the bare bones nature of the Epic Store in its current state, and what users can realistically expect in the future, in terms of features.

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