“Without Steam, none of this would have been a conversation in the first place,” says Devolver co-founder

By Sherif Saed, Thursday, 17 October 2019 11:10 GMT

Indie publisher Devolver Digital doesn’t feel like the conversation of Steam vs Epic Games Store has been had the right way.

The debate over the merits of Steam as a platform in the PC space against Epic Games’ ongoing war against it is as heated as it’s ever been.

Epic will continue to buy more exclusives, as it feels it’s the only way to change the status quo, but it’s also offering developers a more favourable cut compared to the industry standard used by Steam and the majority other stores.

Devolver Digital, the indie publisher known for a wide range of eclectic games, including Hotline Miami, Enter the Gungeon, and more recent releases like Katana Zero and Heave Ho, has weighed in on the ongoing debate.

Devolver co-founder Graeme Struthers feels the conversation has never been properly had to begin with. “I feel like this conversation needs to be reset,” Struthers told Gamespot at PAX Australia.

“To come out of a model [before Steam] where we were, as a games publisher, maybe making 25 percent, and that’s if you were successful. To be in a 70/30 relationship, it was transformative in every sense,” he explained.

“And that led to realignment with relationships with developers. If there is more money and it’s more frequent, you can have better terms with developers.

“We’ve all got our horror stories about doing audits on our publishers and finding huge discrepancies about what was being reported in sales. Here’s Steam–every month, accurate, straightforward, and transparent.”

For that, Struthers has a lot of respect for Steam, but he also doesn’t get the anger around Epic’s exclusivity.

“I play games on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch, and Devolver–we’ve done console exclusives with Sony, with Microsoft–I think it’s good, but I think we have to respect Steam for what they’ve done. Without them, none of this would have been a conversation in the first place,” he said.

“Competition is going to come along at some point. Epic have taken a view that their way of bringing content to their platform is far more generous revenue share and obviously they’ve been pushing exclusives–that’s great,” added Struthers.

“You can’t compare the two things however as like for like. Steam has invested I don’t know how many hundreds of millions of dollars in their platform; Epic have yet to do that. I’m not saying they won’t, and hopefully they will. In terms of the features and in terms of the toolsets for developers, there’s a ways to go. But competition is good.”

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