The latest trending debate within the PC community is regarding Epic games vs Steam. Some people support the Epic Games’ fierce competition to Steam while most gamers hate the store’s existence.
The fight turned into a full-blown war a few days ago when the Epic Games Store announced that Borderlands 3 — the anticipated first-person shooter game — will come to their store 6 months before it comes on Steam.
The stated release of Borderlands 3 is September 13, 2019, but it will launch on Steam in the month of April in 2020.
This meant that the PC users who earlier teased console players over time-exclusives, now face the same situation within their own community.
Why People Hate Epic Games
The Chinese company Tencent owns epic Games. It made a ridiculous amount of profit from its globally successful game Fortnite in 2018.
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Fortnite generated $3 billion in revenue for the Epic Games. When launched on iOS, the game earned $200 million within 5 months. Currently, Fortnite has a player base of 250 million people. With great numbers comes great enemies and that’s exactly what happened.
Let’s start with the faceoff between Google and Epic Games. During Fortnite’s Android launch, Epic Games wanted to keep the game away from the Google Play store due to its 30% profit cut.
However Google disliked it and fortunately for them, Fortnite install launcher had a massive security bug which they notified Epic Games about and also made the information public.
After the controversy, the Epic Games CEO accused Google of stealing PR points by purposefully disclosing Fortnite’s security flaws. He said that the issue was resolved within 48 hours and there wasn’t any need for public disclosure.
We asked Google to hold the disclosure until the update was more widely installed. They refused, creating an unnecessary risk for Android users in order to score cheap PR points.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 25, 2018
However, Google was just following suit to its vulnerability disclosure policy, which all app developers must agree to before releasing their products on the Play Store.
Epic Games wanted Google to keep its mouth shut for 90 days until the App was more widely downloaded instead of panicking right away.
To put it simply, Epic Games puts the safety of its users second to profit. Not that other companies don’t do so, but they are not so upfront about it either.
Epic Games is a Mess
In January, when millions of Epic Games store accounts were hacked, the company simply updated it on their security bulletin instead of actually sending out an e-mail to notify its users.
Information like the user’s credit card and their home address were stored in these vulnerable online accounts. After the fiasco, the PC community started shattering from within. Some PC gamers accused their brethren of ‘not knowing enough’ about online security measures. Others argued that someone’s knowledge of cybersecurity shouldn’t be a factor in whether he or she was able to safely play online games or not.
Nonetheless, it is naturally expected from any big company, serving millions of players, to innately have proper security measures in place.
Why Developers Support Epic Games?
Game Developers need to pay 30% of their profit if they want to publish games on Steam. However, for games making above $50 million dollars, the cut is reduced to 20% for every dollar made above $50 million.
To publish on the Epic Games store, developers only need to pay 12%. This is one of the points which is driving developers away from Steam.
Over the years, Steam has become synonymous with PC gaming and rightly so. The game offers seamless controller compatibility, regional pricing, the ability to easily take screenshots and a lot more. Steam also released Proton API, which allows several Windows titles to run on Linux OS.
Epic Games store offers none of those features and also risks its users’ privacy. But that’s not to say that Steam isn’t without problems. A 30% cut was justified when the only competitor of Steam were physical videogame stores taking a 50% margin cut.
Recently an ex-Valve employee supported the Epic Games Store by saying that Steam was ‘killing PC gaming.’
What Game developers get paid is important because ultimately they are the ones who actually make the games. It is their source of income and if they can barely support themselves financially, then we can’t expect them to make good games.
It’s not just the meager salary that Game Developers need to suffer from, it’s also the gross violation of labor laws. Several game studios milk the developers for over 100 hours a week throughout the development process.
It is understandable that a good game requires extraordinary amounts of work before its released. But it should never come at the cost of someone’s well being.
Who Should The Gamers Root For
On the one hand we have Steam which takes a huge chunk of money from Game Developers but provides security, support, and better regional pricing, on the other hand Epic Games has an equally massive ego and wants to destroy the competition with a 12% profit margin rate, which is good for the developers but doesn’t care about users’ privacy.
I have told you all the bare facts about the two stores. However, you will have to make up your mind yourself. I wouldn’t know much about which gaming PC store to support as I only play on my PS4 ;)