There comes a time when you feel like a company is jumping the shark. Epic Games isn’t doing just that, it’s running around in circles with its head on fire. There’s so much wrong with the Epic Games Store from a fundamental level and it’s not helped by an incompetent CEO. Let me get this out the way, I’m not against the existence of a Steam competitor.
The problem is that Epic is forcing these new incentives down everyone’s spine. It all started around the time Metro Exodus was supposed to be released on Steam. Less than a month before release, Epic and Deep Silver announced that it would be a timed exclusive to EGS. This angered people much like myself who were looking forward to the game and had the Steam page on wishlist for months. They still honored pre-orders for about a week and let people play it at launch, but it was a terrible business decision made by Epic and Deep Silver.
I was willing to give Epic the benefit of doubt if they didn’t do this again. Then they did it for Outer Worlds, Control, Shakedown Hawaii, Untitled Goose Game, Borderlands 3 and Shenmue 3. Just recently in fact Enhance announced that Tetris Effect was announced as an EGS exclusive and it got me thinking. Why is Epic so bad at obtaining exclusives if some of these were already on Steam.
The reason is quite simple when you look at Epic’s strategy. You see, Epic gives developers exactly 65-88% of the profit earned. Valve eventually followed by giving developers 75% more revenue but it was too late. Epic already took advantage of the one thing that Valve lacked for years. It’s no wonder why Epic were initially successful with the store at first. Epic also gives out free games every 2 weeks which is a huge advantage over Steam. However, with every upside there is a downside.
With Epic Games, there are so many negatives that it would take me forever to list them all so I’ll just list a few of them. Tim Sweeney is known for being rather incompetent when it comes to his opinions. One of the most controversial is him saying “We won’t accept trash games.” Yet IMO he still had the dignity to approach Quantic Dream and put 3 of David Cage’s games on the store. Nothing wrong if you think Detroit, Beyond or Heavy Rain are good but there’s a reason why people continue to make fun of them.
It doesn’t help that Fortnite has been involved in several controversies. Fortnite is the profitable game that Epic has and there is a reason it’s everywhere. Unfortunately the continued development of this game has resulted in work crunch and several horrifying stories have surfaced. They also blatantly reused the reaper skin for the Fortnite John Wick event. I could go on and on but the fact remains, Fortnite as popular as it became is slowly getting worse because of the company that started it all. It even forced them to cancel development of the Unreal Tournament reboot.
Epic has also been caught doing several suspicious acts including the launcher essentially being spyware. While that has been debunked, it’s still puzzling to think that they could get away with it but it makes sense since the company itself has a majority stake owned by Tencent. It doesn’t help the Epic Store is severely lacking features. While most of them are coming over time, some of these are such basic features that it’s kind of hilarious when they promote the search engine as a new addition. They don’t even have a shopping cart so you can’t buy more than one game at a time.
So you may be wondering, if I despise Epic then what should they do to improve as a whole? I think the first thing they should do is either scrap the Epic Store or give it a much needed overhaul because while it’s good for developers, the number of problems and controversies is becoming way too apparent. I’m sorry but some of these exclusives deserve a better home such as Steam or GOG. This doesn’t mean that Epic should go out of business, far from that but I think they should start focusing on the Unreal Engine and their original IPs.
Fortnite is huge and will continue to be for years, but I think it would benefit to put it on more PC platforms. Unreal Engine should stay roughly the same and as such the Epic Games launcher should be dedicated to that. If anything this would go back to what the launcher was before the store was introduced. This is just my opinion but all of these changes would be for the better. At the end of the day, the Epic Games Store is a giant mess and it needs to be changed or scrapped.