Epic Games Not Done with Store Exclusives


  • Epic Games Not Done with Store Exclusives

    The exclusives have slowed but only because Epic is focusing on snagging bigger fish.
    A person in the distance stands in the middle of a deserted small town road.

    If you believed that the period of Epic Games Store exclusives was a thing of the past, you would apparently be wrong. Timed-exclusive Epic Games Store releases were slowing down enough that it would be easy to believe that Epic finally decided to stop doing one of the most hated things to hit PC gaming in years.

    Sadly, that isn't the case.

    During a call discussing the newly released Epic Games Store self-publishing tools, CEO Tim Sweeney said that the company is still going after exclusives. The difference now is that Epic Games is focusing almost exclusively on bigger titles and leaving some of the smaller titles in the dust. Sweeney offered these statements to PC Gamer during the call.

    "We're really honing our strategy based on what we observed worked really well in previous launches, and what didn't work really well," said Sweeney. "A handful of major exclusives really moved the needle … and the smaller games, especially games that had a smaller audience that was typically on Steam, we found that a lot of those players weren't willing to move over."
    One of those big exclusives for the Epic Games Store was Borderlands 3. Epic Games Store general manager Steve Allison says that Borderlands 3 sold "beyond the expectations of the developers and the publishers."

    A part of Epic's strategy for exclusives on the Epic Games Store are the titles that Epic will be publishing themselves. This includes several titles such as Alan Wake 2 from Remedy, a new title from Limbo developer Playdead, and a new game from The Last Guardian studio genDesign. There are also some Epic exclusives (timed or otherwise) from publishing partners. These titles include PC Building Simulator 2, new titles from Fall Guys developer Mediatonic, and another Epic published title from a small studio which will be announced at GDC later in March. More will be announced later this year.

    For the titles that Epic is funding and publishing themselves, it would not be unreasonable to believe that they will never be released outside of the Epic Games Store. Though there is some small sliver of hope as Allison says that these Epic published titles will be Epic Games Store exclusives for "a long time." Sounds to me like there's a chance, but I still wouldn't hold my breath.

    Allison also notes that some publishers have decided to run timed-exclusive releases on the Epic Games Store without having any sort of deal in place. One of those releases include Red Dead Redemption 2 from Rockstar Games. Allison says that some studios simply want to take advantage of the "better revenue share" offered through the Epic Games Store before releasing the game through Steam.

    If you are only using the Epic Games Store for the free game offerings, you are still in luck on that front. Epic says that they will continue to offer free games each week at least through the rest of 2023. This was announced alongside the Epic Games Store Year in Review for 2022. Epic revealed that they gave away 99 free games in all of 2022 with almost 700 million copies redeemed by users for the year.

    Also of note from this year in review is the fact that the Epic Games Store saw 230 million accounts logging in at some point in 2022, with there being 68 million active users in December 2022. Total spending across the entirety of the Epic Games Store was down 2% from 2021, while total spending just on third-party PC games on the Epic Games Store was up 18% compared to 2021.

    • cikame
      cikame commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh hell yeah i was looking for some good news...
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