Fortnite developer and publisher Epic Games has announced that it’s launching a new digital games store that will give developers a bigger chunk of revenue than Steam.
As opposed to Steam’s 70/30 split with developers (developers getting 70 percent of the revenue their games earn), the Epic Games Store is offering an 88/12 split to developers while also waiving the 5 percent fee Epic normally charges developers who made their games in Unreal Engine 4.
Epic hasn’t given an official launch date for the Games Store yet, but the initial offering will be less open to the public and more carefully selected by Epic. Then, in 2019, Epic plans to open the Games Store to more developers.
In addition to the increased revenue share, Epic is also hoping to entice developers by integrating its Support-A-Creator program into its store. This would allow developers to reward content creators like YouTube personalities and Twitch streamers for playing and publicizing their games.
Epic isn’t the first publisher to launch its own Steam rival. Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, and Ubisoft have all opened their own digital stores, with both EA and Activision taking the biggest steps toward making their games exclusive to their own first-party platforms, most notably when Activision made Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 exclusive to Battle.net this year. The biggest difference between Epic’s store and those of other AAA publishers is that Epic is letting third-party developers sell their games on its platform and giving them a juicy revenue percentage to boot.
It might all sound great for developers, but the real question is whether it’s good enough to take on Steam. Valve’s biggest advantage is that it’s got over 100 million users signed up to Steam, so while Epic might offer a bigger cut of the revenue, Steam’s got the biggest audience for developers to sell to. And unlike GOG, Epic is letting developers “use their own DRM solutions if they choose,” CEO Tim Sweeney told Eurogamer, though Epic won’t include a “store-wide DRM.”