Epic Games founder says exclusives are the “solution proportionate to the problem” of Steam’s 70/30 cut

By Sherif Saed
26 June 2019 12:32 GMT

Epic Games’ outspoken founder, Tim Sweeney, has explained why the company is courting developers to release games exclusively on the Epic Store.

Although the obvious answer might be that the Epic Games Store can’t compete with Steam’s feature set, so it has to undercut it by snatching games away from it, Sweeney has a different take.

In a series of tweets, the industry veteran outlined why exclusives are necessary, even if they’re unpopular. Sweeney suggests that the 70%/30% revenue split standard on most digital platforms, including Steam, is hurting developers. But, offering a better cut on the Epic Game Store alone won’t be enough to change that long-standing standard.

The solution, as Epic sees it, is to buy exclusive games at scale, enough to put pressure on Steam and other platforms to reduce their cut to the more reasonable – in Epic’s view – 88%/12% split.

Sweeney went on to add that this tactic, while aggressive, is “proportionate to the problem it addresses” – that being the 70%/30% cut. Epic’s end goal is lowering stores’ cuts across the industry. Failing that, Epic would still end up with a store selling dozens of anticipated games and an avenue for developers to sell their games at higher potential profits.

While this sentiment might seem a little too admirable; after all, Epic doesn’t benefit when competing stores adopt the cut, it’s worth remembering that the Epic Games Store isn’t the company’s only source of income. More money being invested in making games means more games will be made, which has the potential to increase Unreal Engine royalties with it.

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