A year in the Epic Games store the battle against Steam PC gaming better for everyone

A year in the Epic Games store the battle against Steam PC gaming better for all of us,

A year ago, I wrote these words: “Epic Games is creating a Steam competitor and the valve should be afraid.” And for good reason: The Epic Games Store debuted 6. December 2018, and the PC upended gaming market. Valve, once unassailable, suddenly seemed very vulnerable. Flush with the Fortnite money, Epic, provided the first real competition to Steam, since its inception 15 years ago. What company would do that not to worry?

If I could change the heading now but, I would instead write “Epic Games is creating a Steam competitor and the valve should be grateful.”

Grateful, not because Valve saved the rookie and solidified his own position, but because Epic inspired valve from the complacency. The Epic Games Store is now better—but as Steam is. As we look back on the past year, that would be Epic’s most valuable contribution to the PC is so far.

[ read More: This 20-absorbing PC-games-eat days of your life ]

Shiny, happy showcase

As I wrote last December, “Epic doesn’t need to convince players to use [the save]. It just needs to convince developers.” And I was right. Vapor strength is the storefront for PC gaming is the de facto. Countless challengers had tried and failed to overcome valve the priority. Many carved niches for themselves, such as GOG DRM-free and classic games. But for the most PC versions? Why go anywhere else to buy, if you are already in possession of a few dozen (or few hundred) games on Steam? You don’t want to.

Or, at least, they would not be forced to unless. Epic is the only chance, as I saw it, was the temptation of a few high-profile exclusives. The players would follow. Not all of them, of course, but enough to make the platform economically viable. And at the time, I thought this would happen, of course, thanks to the Epic is a better split of revenue, 88 per cent of publishers, compared to 70 per cent on Steam.

Epic Games Store Epic

underestimated, I Epic aggression. So Valve, I think.

First, Epic, jump-started each library with a bunch of free stuff. Get this: Even if you don’t spend a dime on the Epic Games Store, in 2019, your library might be to the North now of 50 games. the Fifty!

Epic start to the new year and giving away a single game every two weeks. Then in June, it is switched to a free game every week. Then it was for a short time, two games in the week. The last census, factoring in this week’s Jotun: Valhalla Edition? 56 free games, more than a week for the entire year.

And sure, some weeks are more exciting than others. Epic has some incredible games, though, many of which appeared in our last game of the year lists—such as Soma, Observer, Mutant year Zero, the Stories Untold, and more. The list even includes two of our game of the year winner, What Remains of Edith Finch? and Celeste.

Now that we have reached the one-year mark, I’m not sure whether these giveaways will continue. It was hell to run, though, and significantly offset valve in the 15-year projection.

Celeste IDG / Hayden Dingman

Epic has when the most damage by blocking 2019 release calendar. As I said, Steam is the de-facto PC-window years was. If a game came to PC, and then it came to steam, with a few exceptions.

In the year 2019, which could not be further from the truth. Epic shelled a ton of money for timed exclusives. Good, also! Many of my favorite games this year, small and large visitors, the storefront for the first time on Epic ‘ —U-Exodus, Outer Wilds and Obsidian is similarly named RPG The Outer worlds, Control and Tetris-effect.

The list goes on, and more than 50 titles overall, and includes heavyweights such as Division 2 and Borderlands 3, plus the pseudo-exclusives like Red Dead Redemption II.

Did it work? Probably. It is hard to know without concrete sales figures, and the only numbers we have are almost a year old. At GDC, Epic has more than 85 million accounts were with the Epic Games store already, and that 40 percent of them, a corresponding Steam account. Pretty impressive.

Metro IDG / Hayden Dingman

Anecdotally, the flood of exclusives has led me to open the Epic Games Store, more often than any other valve of its competitors. Uplay is a three-times-a-year launcher. Origin, usually once a year. But Epic is open on my PC for more days than not.

Perhaps the best proof of exclusives but the fact that Epic make more offers. Circular reasoning maybe, but with some of the deals that allegedly topping $10 million, it’s hard to imagine Epic would throw that kind of money to see without a return-on-investment. Developers continue to be aware of the opt-in as well, also, it is bound to have important negative attention. This is a decent confirmation.

And then there’s Red Dead Redemption II. Published on the Rockstar launcher and the Epic Games Store in November, it hit Steam yesterday—only a month later. This is a short window of time much shorter than the year-long deals, Epic beat, with most of the developers. So, how did it fare? Valve statistics say that it is temporarily on 11,876 players his first day on Steam. By contrast, Grand Theft Auto V

There are a ton of precautions to those numbers, including the fact that Red Dead‘s PC version is pretty cheesy and it comes out on the Rockstar launcher in addition to Epic’s storefront last month. It’s hard to do A/B comparisons, if you don’t control all the variables.

red dead redemption 2 Hayden Dingman/IDG

at least, we can guess, the month-long embargo, probably steam sales hurt. I would go even further and bet that the vocal “No Steam, No buy” crowd is a minority, though, and that most people simply don’t care about the back room dealing with the drama. You just want to play the games wherever you are. Epic? Steam? They are two sides of the same coin, to a large part of the audience.  

Steam, revivified

For each game steam lost, but won another. This is the surprising history of 2019, and it feels like the competition of Epic is at least partially responsible. The once-broken PC landscape instead of coalescing around two poles, which has led to some fascinating alliances./p>

Microsoft and valve, for. Microsoft, the company that builds so angry Gabe Newell, Valve to try their own Linux-based operating system, and escape. Microsoft, which is locked to be first-party releases on the Windows 10 Store for almost the entire Xbox One console generation, even after the warming on the PC.

And even as I write this, a Halo remaster is the number four game on Steam, with a daily peak of 123,000 player. It is the third major Microsoft to beat the release of steam this year, according to the transmission 5 and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, with more to come in the future.

Shocking, right?

Halo: Reach (PC) IDG / Hayden Dingman

the surprising Alliance of 2019, It is not even though. That would be the hell-has-frozen-over handshake between Valve and EA.

EA was the first big publisher to give up steam-and probably the only one with no success. No one, really, loves of origin, but it is at least tolerated since its launch in 2011. Lest we forget, origin pioneer of the two-hour refund window, which today is, of course, on all platforms. EA was early on a Netflix-style subscription services, first with EA Access on the Xbox, and then Origin in the access to the PC.

” EA ‘ s Switzerland-status of on, if. At the end of October, EA announced that it would return to steam—Order Like a day-and-date release of Jedi, and then Apex Legends, The Sims 4, Battlefield V and other older titles. Perhaps even more important for the future, EA is also his origin-Access-brings-subscription on Steam, Valve’s platform.

Would come to the wall, without epic’s entry into the fray? Maybe, but it still seems like the Start of the Epic Games Store helped hurry things. In the year 2019, valve-after all, EA took so much as EA, Valve, and Epic improved sales split gave EA some leverage.

Steam is improved in fundamental ways. The often rumored, library update, finally, to carry the first major update to the interface came in September, in…like, five to ten years. And it is a huge improvement, just important updates and makes it sort infinitely easier, the large collections.

Steam-library-Update - Beta IDG / Hayden Dingman

valve also, the business of the Discovery algorithm several times, dabbled in more experimental features with the steam labs (including a more precise search), released on Dota under lords, launched the Index VR-headset and Controller, and announced a Half-Life game for the year 2020. Yes, Half-Life.

Oh, and the last Steam autumn Sale was the best in years, brings steep discounts on newly released games like gears 5 and Hitman 2.

Again, much of this was in development before Epic Games launched Store. It would have happened at some point this year. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to feel like Epic haste valve together helped that the competition contributed to the counter the infamous effects of “Valve time” and learn about some of the projects will be finished and shipped for a time. Valve finished in 2018 under siege. It ends in 2019, on its own terms.


Not that Epic the. Quite to the contrary. In view of the fact, to change the resistance of the people, how much of a lead valve, the Epic Games Store has a remarkable first year. I’m sure that with the battle lines now drawn, the conflict only intensified, in the year 2020. Valve can’t rest just yet.

Epic though can Neither. There are so much work left to do, and the longer the Epic Games Store is in place, the more its glaring defects. Not long after the store’s debut, Epic together a road map. The idea was to give both fans and critics a window into the development. If the lack of cloud saves, you kept the Epic Games Store? You could board look at the Trello and see that the cloud storage were scheduled for may.

Epic Games Store - Trello (December 2019) IDG / Hayden Dingman

The Trello-board, as it exists in December 2019.

Then Epic miss set basically, every milestone. No surprise, perhaps. Software development is by leaps and bounds. But Epic announces essentially shot itself in the foot, self-imposed deadlines, which it then blew past. Cloud saves finally rolled out to certain games in August, not may. “Players Play time-Tracking”, originally planned for the summer, for the first time, at the end of September, along with a much-needed list view. You can filter the saving of the genre didn’t happen until October.

hell, until a few weeks ago you couldn’t even see, took how much memory space the most of your installed games.

And still, there are conspicuous holes in the Epic’s feature set. A wish list interface was originally planned for the summer, but also epic, only it showed for the first time in October and it is not yet officially launched. Successes still feel as a distant dream, as you put it last December, as the ambiguous “Mod-Support.” There is no gift, even a shopping cart for people who want to make several purchases.

look back at the first road-map, it now seems absurdly optimistic. And yet it is not hard to feel like the storage space needs to continue on his first birthday. Epic switched to a simpler “Recently Shipped / Next / Future development” system for its upcoming features, but that can only fend off the questions for so long. Where benefits? Why does it take so long to add a shopping cart?

Even for people who don’t mind the Epic Games Store, like me, who are still missing such basic features and looks a lot more noticeable in year two.

Bottom line

Still, it was an exciting year. A controversial year, at times, but exciting. Epic built a solid Foundation for the future, and since a lot of developers a lot of money in the process. If we are ever to be a Control 2 or other U game, the chances of Epic Fortnite Bar had something to do with it. Now EA is back on Steam, Microsoft is again on Steam and Valve more energetic and active than I’ve seen in years.

And you home? You have 56 free games. That is reason enough to enjoy the competition. Here, we hope that Epic and Valve push each other to new heights in the year 2020, because it is a gamer benefit to any PC-in the long run.

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Released on Fri, 06 Dec 2019 18:00:00 +0000

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