tech2 News Staff Jan 13, 2019 12:42:55 IST
For nearly a decade, Steam has been the go-to place for anything and everything related to PC gaming. Publishers like Ubisoft and EA have made some efforts to promote their own online marketplaces and communities, but Steam was simply too big to challenge. Today, things are changing.
At the time Steam started catching on, Valve — Steam’s owners — were still making great games (the last Half-Life game came in 2007) and the store sold virtually every PC game that mattered. As with any app/game store, Steam took a 30 percent cut of the revenue from every game sale.
As the gaming community has grown and internet speeds increased, big-name developers and publishers have started shying away from Steam and have started promoting their own game stores. Why give away revenue to a third-party, right? Notably, we have EA’s Origin store, Ubisoft’s UPlay store and Activision-Blizzard’s Battle.net.
These studios are responsible for blockbuster franchises like Battlefield, Destiny and Assassin’s Creed. EA has already dropped Steam completely and no longer sells its games on the store. Activision-Blizzard is still selling some titles, but last year,dropped Steam support as well. Joining that mix is now Ubisoft, who announced that The Division 2, a much-anticipated multiplayer shooter, will not be coming to Steam either.
According to Polygon, Ubisoft has instead opted for newcomer Epic Games’ Epic Games Store. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Epic Games is the creator of, you guessed it, Fortnite, and of course, Unreal Engine. The sudden windfall from the epic (pun intended) success of Fortnite has prompted Epic Games to launch its own store and offer developers a more generous 88 percent cut of the revenue.
Epic is also offering gamers a free game every few weeks, it’s recently revised its return policy to a no-questions-asked one and is spending time wooing indie developers to its platform.
Valve, on the other hand, hasn’t made a proper game in years and suffers from numerous community management issues such as scams, fake reviews and the like. To be fair, those issues are the bane of any sufficiently large community platform.
While Valve still appears to be minting money, it’s no longer the go-to platform for established as well as up-and-coming indie developers. Valve appears to have taken note of this and has now modified its policies to allow developers of popular games to keep a larger share of their revenue.
Interestingly, the Better Business Bureau rated Epic Games an 'F' for its customer service.
The Division 2 will arrive on 15 March.
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