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Steam or Not

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by unitedone3D, Mar 19, 2021.

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Would you think skipping Steam if you are solo/small indie dev(s) making PC 3D AA-like game?

Poll closed Mar 26, 2021.
  1. Yes

    4.8%
  2. No

    90.5%
  3. Maybe

    4.8%
  4. N/A/Can't Say/Uninformed/Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

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    https://www.polygon.com/2020/1/8/21055397/escape-from-tarkov-explained-twitch-drops-battlestate
    https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news...dependently_distributes_One_Hour_One_Life.php
    https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/m6n3hl/google_will_reduce_play_store_cut_to_15_percent/

    Hi there! Just a 2 cents. TL DR: It would be cool if Unity one day would consider a game store or some new distribution portal to sell Unity-made games, but mostly Bigger ones/like indie-AAA Unity made games that just don't sell their game on mobile platforms.
    Sometimes, I have the impression that Unity Technologies (you, clearly, that I shouldve gotten the (silent) message by now and no need to discuss/make me a drawing to explain, that you)
    do not wish to create a distribution portal for people who are making games with the Unity engine - and happen to not make a smaller mobile game; because, you feel
    that people 'not making mobile games' with your engine represent a micro-%...of total Unity developers or it's too expensive vs how many devs there are doing these games. As such, not worth it...
    That almost 80% of all Unity developer are making mobile/pixel/vr/ar/light games with the engine, and that the obvious, is that people Not making mobile
    games but like larger indie/A/AA like 3D games are people Mostly in/using the Other engine (UE4) and so having chosen 'Unity' to not making a mobile game is like an error (of parcours) in itself
    /the wrong engine. Sometimes I thinh...then why make HDRP? Why even bother URP...ok making nice looking mobile games with URP...but HDRP?
    It seemed like saying : ''We can't give you a distribution portal for your AAA like non-mobile game (like Epic's Game Store) because you represent 3.0% of devs...but we'll give you HDRP as compensation and for sticking with us''.
    Sometimes, I feel,it do not value enough the non-mobile segment of Unity 3d game developers; like they are too small to care about much/investment wise not worth pouring money in/to and they 'made an error (choosing Unity engine, not made for such games; HDRP is like a bone thrown to satisfy the minority) -
    should have gone the UE4 side/that much was obvious'. I have looked at the new 2021 made-in-Unity upcoming games trailer, with some being indie-AAA like, like
    GTFO (a FPS AAA shooter game) and a few 3D others....among a swath a rogue-pixel 2d games (not necessarily all for mobile platform, but some yes). And then I am left to wonder:
    ''OK, so the GTFO game, Escape from Tarkov, Subnautica Below Zero.....and these 3D indie-AAA like games...where do they go to show/sell their game...Steam? Epic Games Store? GOG?....Unity????...silence?'.

    ''Unity does not have to pander to a micro% of devs who are tryingt to make AAA 3D games - in Unity engine (instead of UE4). They are supporting their huge% share of 2D/mobile games devs''....
    I understand, it's just regretable a bit; because Unity could be seen as More than Just a mobile/2D scrollers game engine...in general I mean (of course, other types of games are made but Large chunk are these ones).
    Not only could it be seen as a AAA game engine it could also be seen as a AAA game store (like Epic Games Store), instead of AAA games 'forced' to always go to Steam/Gog distribution portals and not always faring so well.
    Unity excluded themselves for being a AAA/indie-AAA games distribution portal, but only a mobile like portal/helper. It seems.
    Ioften read 'We will help mobile developers to find ways to distribute/expose their games/in-app monetize/find an audience and market it'...
    yet, not much on devs not making a mobile game.
    For example:
    Escape From Tarkove...never came to Steam...they hit it (sold 200,000 copies, acutally way more than that), because it is a great indie/AAA 3D game made in your engine...but not just that, because
    they did Lots of marketing and have been in beta since 2016., so lots lots of 'exposure/eye balls' on their game = lots of marketing/a long marketing 'tail/trail' = lots of possibility of exponential revenue - If the game is good too.
    And it is the case.
    They Skipped Steam...and it went well...yet, others tried that and failed...''[As PC indie dev] If you skip Steam..you might as well never exist''....becaue they are a large distrubition platform for 3D PC games....
    What happens if you don't get on Steam???? Gog?...Epic? ...not much choice left. And for mobile devs..it's Google Store or Apple Store...like??...that's it. Hundreds of Thousands of gamse there...convenient for customers, not so convenient for devs that can't sell game (well) there. It's immense competition.

    Thus, 'distribution portal saturation'...need 'new places' to go/put game on..to read new audiences 'willing' to look elsewhere. ''But customers hate that, they want a 'unified 1 place -to get all their games and care nothing of the rest''. That is Uni-ironical, indeed, Unity. As in, 1, unité.
    Most people Only Want All Their Games On STeam...cause they best and huge backlog of games acccumulated over years..so it makes sense to stick there.
    But, what if your game not selling well there ''too bad'', is it the end of it...sounds/seems like it. Make another game??...start over...try again on steam...?
    This is Why we need new options to show our games (non-mobile ones I mean...mobile games go to mobile stores...but even they need Too new distribution stores/channels/portals to get 'audience/exposure/eyeballs' and 'potential buyers' to their game. Thus the whole monetization thing/is related to Where you sell product).
    Escape from Tarkov, make their own distribution 'Direct' portal/their own website to sell the game...and you can get the game there...
    Same for the game 'One Hour One Life'...he skipped Steam (now he is on Steam again...and it's selling well...the reason is their populairy of the dev and its previous games/large wishlist + a Great game...and yes marketing (twitch streamers/Youtube...facebook marketing..)...

    Thus, it is not a finality, but the message seems really 'If you skip Steam and strike it on your own...you're on your own' (meaning, you most 100% will not strive so well, ebcause most people do Not go on 'obscure' distribution websites...of devs...they Trust Steam..so they go to Steam...asking them to Come to Your website to
    buy the game and 'skip Steam'...is not easy and is why many are not too 'trusting' of coming to 'obscure indie dev' web to buy game..heck many are not even bothered/it's a bit of lazyiness..like...Are you On Steam? Or Not? If Not...'No Steam - No Buy'. Don't Care, not getting it on your website.
    Escape from Tarkov (or One Hour One Life) is a telling thing..it shows that You Can sell your game on your website, skip Steam, but For That, you need a Great Game and you need strong/long marketing...
    plus I learned that One Hour One Life's website as created a 'review system' (like Steam's Reviews)..to let people say if game is Bad or Good - On The DEvelopers Very Website...which is very honest indeed of the dev/very transparent and read to 'take the bad or good (opinions), whatever'.

    Some parallels betweeb EFT and OHOL, for their successes:
    - Both are Multiplayer Online (thus, popular/Wanted genre of gaming)
    - Both are advanced/indie devs that have great experience making games.
    - Both are 'indie'
    - Both use Unity game engine (some people don't care..but some people make it a point, like 'see...games in Unity, Can Be Good'
    - Both have done Lots of Marketing - Tons of Twittering, Exposure of their game, EFT is now 5 years old (so lots of eyes), tons of 'twitching/twitch streamin'/influencers (youtubers/twicher)...thus their games got lots of exposure to entire planet having computer/internet/searching PC games
    - Both have skipped Steam and both succeded (in the sense of racking up over 10,000 people playing it, and thus making substantial return also, enoguh to make/subsidize another game); OHOL Later went on Steam (2000 reviews..that a success, I am guessing the number is quite higher vs on his website's copies sold, but still, it was a while later before deciding to swtich from Own Direct-Platform and get on Steam to reach a larger PC game buyers audience)
    - Both are Great games, with high/positive grade/reviews
    - It's false to say they made no marketing and Suddenly their game became ultra-popular...yes that can happen but it's rare, it's the game that 'people did not know they wanted'...and Even then...you still need to market it/show it to people , so they know your game Exists in 1st place. If no marketing/never show it = game no existing.
    From thist list, I think it is confident (enough let's say) to think 'maybe I could make it...skipping Steam, I could make a Escapre From Tarkov Direct-Website' I would just need to 'get people/Reel In the people to the website'...just like ETF did and succeeded. Of course, not without a Great game that people actually Want/care about.
    They say the first thing, is 'make a great game'...then 'try to sell it/show it'. I think we can make an external website that could work, with not Necessarily Needing to Go on Steam. As ETF and OHOL showed, using Unity engine, but they were great games and Had to Attract the people to their website; and succeeded.
    Thank you for reading.
    Just a 2 cents.


    PS: I apologize for the length.

    PPS: Big Platform = Big Audience = Big Number of Games = Big Chance of Reach/Revenue = Makes sense to go on Big Platform. But if Big Platform = Big Unexposure/Big Competition (too many games for too few $)/Big Saturation = Big Chance of 0 Success Too. (we know that platforms don't make marketing...only offer the audience/potential buyers...but somehow, an outside Platform 'off of the Big One'...suddenly, 'evens things' (No competition, on Your Website Platform...but your Platform is obscure...so need to make it 'be known'...EFT or OHOL...shows people Don't Care...if you make a EFT/OHOL Direct Platform...all they care is to 'get Your Game Wherever it is' -if it's great/they want it. So, must Reel In, traffic to Your Platform.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  2. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Unity having a game store is a terrible idea that never actually makes any amount of sense because there's no reason for outside customers to come to Unity to buy games. This has been discussed to death.

    Also, you can sell on Steam and also sell on other storefronts. I have titles on itch and Steam for release right now, as well as one that's on the Mac App Store, Steam, and soon to be itch, as well as possibly the use of a humble widget. You are completely in your right to do this. You don't have to sell on just Steam.

    Finally, your post would only be two paragraphs long if you didn't spend the whole thing drifting from topic to topic while saying the same thing over and over.
     
  3. unitedone3D

    unitedone3D

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    Dear Murgilod, Thank you for that.

    When I look at the Epic Games Store or Steam Store, they had their start at one time and one could say 'Customers don't need a Unity Games Store because Steam is there, GOG, itch io, and now Epic...they are served and they have their fill/don't need 1 more store on top of the others, and they get all the game they need There so no need for another 1'.

    I guess we would have to 'make a reason' for them to come. Epic is doing certain things to 'attract' users to their store (over Steam)...and Unity is doing their marketing to attract users to use their engine. The Steam store has a large chunk of the PC games market (GOG, itch io a bit but quite less, Epic though), as such it is 'established' and basically very hard to compete against. But Epic is showing that. It is not perfect but 'another option' (other than Steam). It means, I believe, that it is possible to attract gamers/buyers to new places; but you have to give them 'incentives' to come because they will not leave 'their nest (Steam)'. That is competition and Epic is doing that, and so far, it's actually quite impressive that it's doing well-enough. That is why I was wondering, Unity having such a large imprint on the game market, it could very well do it (if GOG and itch io do..so can Unity...but I understand there must 'a good reason' to make them come...') because we can just say: ''useless...Unity games are 'bought elsewhere'...on Steam...Gog...etc...why would we need a Unity store when we can get them elsewhere''...we need to create a reason. When I look at Epic or Steam, I realize that it is possible to 'chunk out' the market/customers to make them say :''ok so this game is available on Gog, on Steam..on Epic..on Unity Store...why not''. For developers, I could understand why they would say I don't need this, just give me Google Play Store or Apple Store...fine. Their needs are met.

    Maybe I'm really wrong and there is 0 reason ever to make a Unity store, but I still belieev there could be some good from it. Unity would struggle at the start (just as Epic it was difficult in first years...but soone enough...people started coming...so it's teh same thing as making your own Platform to sell your game (outside of Steam...as did Escape from Tarkov...now I know this game is only available there....hence an exclusive strategy that works.; But, as we saw, some games are available at several places and maybe it's possible that it could work to have your game on several places; of which, one, would be Unity Store.). I guess the 'redundance' problem is why, and thus we would have to do like Epic store, incentives (like certain games being exclusive to the Unity Store, only temporarily and then they would transfer to STeam (though I understand some are Against exclusivity or 'buying devs'), to come and buy On Unity Store...rather than Gog...Steam...or wherever else; they can buy it Too there. though later..but Also, if they wish, on Unity Store.

    When you are the biggest and ahve large chunk of market to yourself...it's quite hard for others to displace you. It is the 'status quo/quasi-monopoly' thing. (I am not saying they are, I am just saying, people are not budging away from it because Steam, Big...understandable 150 million users are using Steam; it is a sort 'self-defeating' thing...why even try to 'go up against them' with such huge base; better just give in- 'put your games on Steam - voilà'/'if you can't beat'em, join'em'). But IT's what Epic is trying to do (vis à vis Steam). 'chip in' that pie. Unity could do it. Just a 2 cents.
     
  4. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    There are too many ellipses in this text.

    The way I see it, if you're solo/small indie dev(s) TRYING to make a PC 3D AA, you're almost certainly trying to bite off more than you can chew and your project will almost certainly die.

    Some random game skipping one of the distribution platforms - steam, epic store or gog - means that I most likely won't be buying it. Well, there is also twitch io, but basically an existing platform offers convenience. The game I bought will stay in the library, I won't need to hunt for distribution or receipts if I lose something etc. "Off platform" purchases I made are less than 1% of all the stuff I bought.

    I also don't see a point of a "Unity Game Store", mostly because unity is not a game developer, but a game engine developer, so they don't even have a flagship product of any sort to put there.
     
  5. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    I only briefly skimmed those poorly formatted walls of text but they left me with the impression you don't actually understand why the Epic and Steam stores are successful. Steam was successful because they were one of the first and they had games that people wanted to play.

    Epic has been successful because they've invested an millions if not a billion or more into obtaining numerous exclusives only to turn around and give them away. People hated on the store initially and some may still hate on it but it's hard to stay hating it when the store is giving you free stuff on a regular basis.

    Finally it's important to remember that these two are not the only companies that have tried their own. You can't just point to the most successful platforms and say this is what will happen if you try to make your own store. You need to look at what is the most likely scenario and that's GOG.

    GOG barely makes any profit. In fact according to the following article they made less than $8,000 USD for 2018.

    https://www.tweaktown.com/news/65367/gog-com-barely-making-profit/index.html

    Electronic Arts' Origin is likely making more than that and yet they're bringing their games to other stores which says to me that they believe they could be making far more money than if they stuck with just their own store.

    First link is their games coming to Steam. Second is their games coming to Xbox Game Pass.

    https://www.polygon.com/2020/6/4/21...peed-plants-vs-zombies-command-conquer-access
    https://nichegamer.com/2021/03/18/ea-play-now-available-on-xbox-game-pass-for-pc/
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  6. MDADigital

    MDADigital

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    8 000 USD extremely low, its considered a zero profit even for a small one man company :D
    edit: If they are not offshoring money that is
     
  7. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

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    OP please learn to write more concisely. That first post could have been basically 1 paragraph, instead its more than an entire page. And doing ... every few words is irritating to read and adds nothing.

    This is a forum, not your personal blog
     
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  8. stain2319

    stain2319

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    I guess I didn't realize that Unity was supposed to only be used for mobile games lol. My top two favorite PC games of all time (which also exist on console but definitely not mobile) are Stranded Deep and The Long Dark...
     
  9. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    That's a strawman.
     
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  10. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Speaking of which Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store are excellent examples of stores that will likely never have real competition. Creating your own store for standalone platforms is difficult enough but creating them for mobile platforms is basically impossible.
     
  11. pekdata

    pekdata

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    Instead of traditional game or appstore maybe the next big thing is subscription based service like Stadia or Antstream for an example. Obviously lots of companies would like to be the "Netflix for games".
     
  12. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Aren't those kind of services mostly dead?
     
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  13. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    I get the impression the OP doesn't understand the reasons why the major stores are successful, or why games which avoid the stores are successful. For both Steam and the Epic store, these are extremely successful video game developer/publisher companies first, with a series of hits dating back to the 1990's. Both used their top of the industry titles to leverage licensing in house 3D engines to 3rd party developers, and to launch their own storefronts. They bankrolled engine and storefront development/marketing on the backs of their mega hit first party titles.

    Unity is not a game developer. They aren't the same kind of company as Epic or Valve. It would take a major gear shift over at Unity to switch to a company which churns out its own games. Even if they did, it isn't a given that they would be creating a monster hit which appears necessary to get enough customers to get their own storefront off the ground.

    You point out Escape From Tarkov as a success, and yeah it is a great game because it goes out of its way to cater to an underserved audience that wants an FPS with no training wheels and real consequences. But compared to the wider FPS audience, EFT's potential market is very niche, and much of their success is a result of being really the only game of its kind to execute properly. You're not going to be able to build a Steam challenger on the back of a very good but very niche game like EFT with just 200k+ sales.

    Steam was built and promoted on the back of Half-Life, which was the Guinness World Record holder for most FPS sales. The only real challenger to Steam is from Epic, which built their store on the back of tens of billions of Fortnite revenue. Both Half-Life and Fortnite are games with wide audience appeal. What's EFT's lifetime revenue thus far? Maybe $10m USD? A fantastic success for an indie game, but it isn't the billions needed to get a competing store going. GOG has had some amount of success, not even close to Steam or the Epic Store, but still arguably successful, and still GOG is from a company with half a billion in annual revenue from its own hit games, and again games with wide audience appeal that brought in billions of revenue over their lifetimes. Microsoft can't even get traction on their own store, and they own the platform.

    So yeah, games can be successful without using a major store. It is potentially an uphill battle, but can be done if the game is well executed and fairly revolutionary. Creating your own successful store though needs to be on the back of some mega hit game which brings in the millions of customers. EFT is great, but isn't in the same league as a game you can build a successful store around.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  14. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Speaking of game engines Steam offered modders access to the Source engine for $995 plus royalties. This was at a time when Unity didn't exist and the Unreal Engine was hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum.

    https://www.salon.com/2002/04/16/modding/
     
  15. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    And that was a steal at the time. Unreal licenses cost 6 digits back then. A small hobbiest/indie's only real alternatives were to roll your own or tinker with source code from ID Software, such as the Wolf3D source.
     
  16. PutridEx

    PutridEx

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    Bad Idea. Epic did it because they had the backing of a demi-god being, called fortnite.
    People hated on them at the start, but it's working, even though they lack many features.

    The developers loved them. It's hard to say no for a deal that guarantees your game isn't a flop. And almost guarantees a nice, juicy profit.

    Gamers "good will" is quite literally valueless.
    They tout it at you like it means the world, win their love and all will be okay. Until it isn't.
    Look at Projekt red, they had all the love in the world, until they didn't. Just like that. One F***up is all it takes.

    A lot of people love to pretend that's what they care about, but when the truth is staring at you in the eye, with a deal, you'll accept reality. Gamers/customers love is nothing compared to cold hard cash.

    being obsessed with making them "love you" not just regular good PR/reputation is a road to disaster.
     
  17. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Maybe they shouldn't have lied continuously for a long time. Just an idea...
     
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  18. koirat

    koirat

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    There was Torque there was CEL and personally I was using Ogre with newton dynamics physics engine.
    Naturally there was always problem with editor.
     
  19. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    i haven't made a single mobile game in Unity and, if you check the WIP forums here, on most other gamedev communities, and in Steam you'll find Unity to be the most commonly used engine on any platform. You've probably played a bunch of games made in Unity without even realizing it.
     
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  20. pekdata

    pekdata

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    Antstream certainly isn't dead. Google Stadia on the otherhand seems like just one of the many google projects buried in silence after hype.
     
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  21. PutridEx

    PutridEx

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    https://store.steampowered.com/curator/39750107-Games-Made-With-Unity/#browse
    Check top sellers in this list
    The biggest hit on steam of late is made in unity :)
     
  22. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    It doesn't matter where your game is, you're going to have to figure out how to attract people to play it.

    Stories of Steam doing that for you just by being there are about a decade old. That arose from a confluence of circumstances unlikely to be repeated, and was never going to last.

    How does being on Steam remove exposure?

    It gives you global reach, you're within clicks of a potential audience, and they have at least one attempt at finding and exposing you to an interested audience.

    I agree that it's ridiculously saturated and it'd be better if it wasn't. It's still a really useful platform, though. The thing is that you need to learn to use it, rather than just throwing your stuff at it and hoping for the best.
     
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  23. pekdata

    pekdata

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    Well the problem is it's saturated. I miss the old days of BBS shareware/freeware. The games were mostly junk but there were always gems in that group.
     
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  24. DeidreReay

    DeidreReay

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    Yeah ... Basically where you going to go? You want to really try to get paid steam or perhaps EPIC (which is catching up with ammount of monthly players and takes a smaller chunk of cash) ... Cause trying to host your own brings its own set of issues and work.. Where would you get realy players? not just a few hundred or a couple thousand... Steam has that 150 million a month players.. Find your players get paid let them take their chunk.. Can not think of a better way to really try and reach people..
     
  25. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I don't really disagree with either of your overall points, just want to point out that it's not really working.

    Epic 2019 - 251M spent in store (non-Fortnite)
    Epic 2020 - 265M spent in store (non-Fortnite)

    That's a 6% increase in sales in a year where gaming revenue was smashing records (15% overall, but that link points to 31% increases for PC games). Barring changes, once the free games and money-hatted exclusives stop, one can expect their revenue to drop as well.
     
  26. PutridEx

    PutridEx

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    I can't really predict its future, but personally I've noticed my brother doesn't even use steam anymore. He buys all his games on Epic. Although personally I'm sticking with steam so far, more features & steam is more open with its data. The latter is really important to me personally, I find that stuff interesting. I have doubts if epic will ever show concurrent players of a game but who knows.

    We'll see how it performs in the future, will be interesting.
     
  27. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    I'm the opposite. I only use the Epic launcher to handle Unreal Engine. Never bought a game there, not even the free ones. I do not support their business practices.
     
  28. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Then just use itch.io, which has loads of just that?
     
  29. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    That's in just two years, in a store that didn't exist before, had a tiny catalogue and despite many people being vocal about how "Epic Store is evil and is an evil plot of China". Or something.

    Sounds like an achievement to me.

    I like Epic Store more than Steam at this point, because Epic Store does not have steam community. Steam would've became a better place if they killed off the social part completely (and if they returned the old launcher).

    Epic Store at the moment is also a good idea to grab a new release cheap, becuase they're frequently throw coupons at people, and those stack with discounts. That's how I got death stranding and RDR2. Death Stranding is one of the games that failed to properly implement Regional Price adjustment, so without coupons + discount I would've never gotten it. Then there are free games.
     
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  30. MDADigital

    MDADigital

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    Launching SteamVR games on epic store is hacky. Much more native feel on Steam.
     
  31. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    SteamVR automatically boots up for games that use VR even if they are not on steam store. That pretty much is the main reason to keep steam around at this point. At this date they also act as OpenXR provider.

    Sadly the stuff like SteamVR Home isn't that great.
     
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  32. MDADigital

    MDADigital

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    If the game is bough on epic it will not be in your steamvr library, there were more issues too just don't remember from top of my head
     
  33. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I don't even use steamvr library. It is inconvenient and awkward to use.

    I'm running Virtual Desktop, which has its own launcher for major games from steam and oculus. Stuff that doesn't register in the launcher can be started normally --> you just bring up the desktop in VR, fire it up and switch back to VR.
    Or you can fire it up before putting the helmet on. If it boots up steamvr or oculus, you're all set to go.

    So with VR title on epic you just click it on epic in VR and you're done. Jumping between VR and desktop is one button press, by the way.
     
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  34. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Sorry, 6% in a year when most others were doubling and tripling that doesn't strike me as an achievement, no matter how you spin it. All of the emotional statements for or against are kind of irrelevant. The data shows very poor growth.

    We'll see what 2021 holds though.
     
  35. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Just looking at growth alone it may not seem that impressive but for all we know it could be skewed towards an audience that wants to only spend a few dollars or less on games in which case it would be understandable that most of them didn't come to the Epic Store where most games cost $20 or more.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  36. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I believe that while focusing attention at 6%, you're overlooking the fact that it is 251 million usd. On a store that didn't exist before. That's a definition of success in my book.

    Meanwhile we have gog which doesn't get anywhere close to that number.
     
  37. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    When you say free to play are you referring to Fortnite, or possible other games? The 251 vs. 265 is from third-party games.

    That aside, I'm confused as to what you're saying. Are you saying there could have been more free to play growth than the hard numbers imply, which are only considering non-free to play games?

    Yeah that's fair, the number itself is big. But the lack of growth implies to me that it's mostly because of the moneyhats for popular games like Borderlands or recent Ubisoft or Square Enix stuff. These big games can be expected to pull in big numbers. GoG has none of that except their own games, and we had plenty of discussion about CyberPunk already :p

    Considering how much they pay for some of these exclusives, I'm not entirely convinced they're making money, and as a result I'm not convinced it's "working." But again, who knows what the future holds. I've seen a couple things recently that indicate a shift in direction that might produce some actual organic growth.
     
  38. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/free-games

    Here are the entirety of games on the Epic Store costing $10 or less.

    https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-...te&sortDir=DESC&priceTier=tier0&pageSize=1000

    Meanwhile Steam has so many games costing $10 or less that there are Top 250 lists for it.

    https://steam250.com/price/5-10

    Growth by itself isn't important. You have to take into consideration what the growth will be spending. If Store A attracts 500 people but they all spend $60 per month that's far more attractive than 1,500 people only spending $10 per month.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  39. angrypenguin

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    I suspect it was skewed towards an audience who was already spending all of their available disposable income on games related stuff. Not much growth there, as compared to the audiences of people who spent a bunch of their money doing stuff like going out, and suddenly found themselves stuck at home with loads of time to fill. Without data on who was spending and why it's all speculation, and could either way.

    In any case, Epic does not need to beat Steam to stay relevant. They just need enough people to be happy using both.
     
  40. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I still don't really understand how that relates to the idea of 6% vs. higher growth...

    ...and separate from that, one might argue that getting more customers at a lower tier is more valuable because it might allow for greater growth down the road as those users spend more...though I don't know how we infer Epic's getting big or small spenders based on the data we have (significantly more "PC customers" in 2021, but I don't know how that's defined).

    I hope I didn't derail things too much. Just to restate, my original point was basically that Epic's still in the "loss leader" stage of their store, and it remains to be seen whether it will actually work without the moneyhats and the free games. If they have to purchase exclusives and give away free games into perpetuity for people to use their store, it's not working.
     
  41. angrypenguin

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    I agree with you that we can't know if their strategy will work out until we see the results, but it's worth pointing out that almost this exact model has been working for consoles for years now.
     
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  42. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Frankly, I believe whether Epic Store makes money or not is not gamer or game developer's concern. It is epic's concern. A gamer would only care about games being accessible in convenient way, and a game developer would care about his game being sold.

    Currently, epic store in general offer higher quality stuff than steam, and supposedly paid some developers for exclusivity. It is also a go to store if your game has been developed with Unreal Engine, because when you publish Unreal game on Epic Store, they waive royalty fee. And on top of that Epic Store takes smaller cut than steam.

    I'm also not sure whether maximizing profits is one of Epic's. Because when you care about profits first you do not do stunts like offering quixel for free and do not go around giving away grants.
     
  43. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    My point is growth by itself doesn't say anything. We need to know how many additional sales were brought by that growth and the overall value of those sales. Since we don't have that info the next best thing we can do is look at the contents of the stores and speculate on what people will buy.

    The Epic Store is almost entirely high dollar items and while they have a consistent weekly giveaway they don't have many traditional sales outside of special occasions. Meanwhile Steam has a wide selection of items including many low dollar items and they have frequent sales where mid-to-high dollar items become low dollar items.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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  44. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    On other hand steam doesn't really do any giveaways, does not quite give out coupons, and when they do, those do not stack with discounts.

    Typical steam strategy during a sale:
    "Spend $10, to earn virtual holiday item"
    Or...
    "join a team, spend $XYZ to pompify your team's robopholomombus to qwertly zzyng the hhhamaborp."
    https://www.pcgamer.com/steam-grand-prix/

    Typical epic strategy during a sale:
    "Here's a $10 coupon. Buy a game to earn another $10 coupon"

    Basically, at the moment steam appears to be trying to rope users into marketplace trading madness via cards, gems, emoticons, backgroudns and so on.
     
  45. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    And social aspect is a massive win win in this situation, for which Epic will always struggle to really take off without it. Thas my take on that.

    I don't see issue having social aspect and we'll curated game. Otherwise, potential buyers will feel disconnected after the purchase.

    Sure there people, which don't care about it. But most people are none solitary being, social creatures. Should be not forgotten.
     
  46. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Back when Steam was getting started this argument would have been sound as there were relatively few free ways to create communities, but today we have Discord, Reddit, etc. Satisfactory, for example, was an Epic exclusive yet it has a subreddit with 129,000+ members.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/SatisfactoryGame/
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  47. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Used in conjunction with creating one's own content and providing an equivalent product, sure, but as far as I know the only entities we've seen that have been solely doing moneyhats or the like have been Stadia...and we know how that's going.

    Now recently Epic has purchased a couple devs, like Valve used to do, and this seems like it'll lead to the industry standard of providing one's own permanently exclusive content. I can see that working.

    "It's not your concern" is a really strange response to arguments as to whether or not a store is "working." And arguably it is at the very least to a gamer's concern (and thereby the dev's, when looking at where to sell), because it might determine if that content is available 5 and 10 (or more) years down the road.

    Last year I played through KotOR again. It was great. I really enjoy the Bioware formula of an intro world you can kind of explore before branching things out. I like the gameplay, though it's a little annoying that levels and skills come so infrequently. I also liked the fact that I was able to play this 15-year-old game on my Steam account and that, 15 years from now when I want to play it again, Steam will probably still be there and with it my game. That matters. That's why it's a gamer's "concern."

    About the store itself, the only thing I would point out is that while the average of the games is generally higher quality sure, they're all the same games as those on Steam (apart from the timed exclusives), so there's less benefit to Epic there. It's not like McDonalds vs. [insert local high end restaurant] where you're getting things you can't get elsewhere. I think Ubisoft is the one exception to that.

    And I agree, maximizing profits is probably not their current goal, it's to get market share. But are they getting market share is the question, and the fact that there was so little growth implies to me that they're not (though Ryiah's posts suggest I should be less certain of this).
     
  48. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I see it as a massive loss, as I'd rather not support community or platform where some users think that sending death threats to game developers is appropriate.

    But. That's my personal opinion, and not necessarily a very rational one. I dislike communities. I'll be forced to deal with them eventually, though.

    Like @Ryiah said, these days it is possible to set up community elsewhere.

    Because making store work might not align with your goal of selling more copies and earning more money.

    Your concern as a developer is "whether the game will sell well" and "whether the API is convenient".
    And for a gamer the concern is "whether the game will remain available" and so on.

    Maximizing profits of the STORE itself is problem of the owner of the store, and not yours. Additionally maximizing profits might not align with your goal of earning more money. Because one way to increase the profits is to increase the cut the store takes, for example.

    Up to the UI upgrade I would've supported steam wholeheartedly, but currently my opinion is that their goals might be quite different from both gamer's and developer's goals, and they might be on their way of becoming another EA. But that's how I feel about it. At the same time, Epic was throwing money at charity cases, which included funding their competition. That could've been a PR stunt, but it pretty much worked gave them much more positive impression. Once again, that's how I feel about it.

    So basically, growth and profit of the store does not necessarily translate into sales and profits for you. For example, if one platform has more customers but more competitors, you might fare better on another platform, even though that has less customers.

    Going back to OP's question, trying to set out on your own while skipping existing platofrms is not a very smart thing to do. However, whether you should use steam or something else is not clearly defined. You almost certainly should use on of the existing large platforms, though.
     
  49. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I still don't think this tracks. Things like availability and quality of a store are intrinsically related to whether or not gamers use it, and that is in turn intrinsically related to how profitable it will be for the developer. If gamers can't trust that a store will be around in 5 years, they will be less likely to invest in the store, and in turn developers will make less money. What part of that do you disagree with?

    The quality of Steam is kind of an aside but I don't have the slightest clue how you compare Steam to EA. From the gamer's perspective they have content, sales, and discoverability. From the developer's perspective they have a huge customer base and tools for interacting with them which, as much as you clearly don't like that sort of thing, seems to be pretty strongly recommended in most of the GDC videos I've watched about "succeeding" as an indie (though it isn't always explicitly through Steam). And those aren't getting worse but rather better.

    When even Microsoft is doing so, any perspective that isn't "yes, use Steam" seems biased. And by the same token I'd say "yes, use Epic" if it's not one or the other. But that doesn't mean it's "working."
     
  50. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    What led you to believe growth is the primary factor in determining the longevity of a company? Personally I trust Epic Games to stay around for a long time. They're a very old game publisher and up until a few years ago they were still selling their old DOS games when just about everyone else had long abandoned that platform.

    In fact Epic Games just recently acquired additional funding. A $1.73 billion investment bringing their estimated value up to $17.3 billion.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/06/fortnite-creator-epic-games-is-now-valued-at-17point3-billion.html

    Meanwhile Valve is only worth about $12 billion.

    https://mddailyrecord.com/valve-net-worth-2021-2022-2023
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
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