Steam and Epic Games have always been at odds. They are the two most important computer game stores in the industry, although traditionally Valve’s veteran platform (it has been in business for twenty years) is the one that takes most of the cake. It is much more complete and accessible, but Tim Sweeney’s competitor, launched in 2018, is more than willing to put up a fight.
It has been gaining space among players thanks to its exclusive offers and, above all, thanks to its rotating free games that often have extraordinary quality, with streaks of giving away Triple As that have made the platform grow very remarkable. It has also been improving aspects in which it was far behind Steam, such as wish lists and achievements, interactions with social networks. Still, Epic still has a ways to go, as features like mod integration in the store demonstrate.
However, Epic has decided to hit the table and has included in its Store the possibility for small developers to directly upload their titles to the store. It will cost 100 dollars, which makes this feature equal to that of Steam, and only imposes two restrictions: the Epic Games Store cannot be uploaded to the Epic Games Store for games involving real people, and requires that games allow cross-play with other PC stores. Is there where Epic makes the difference, since SteamWorks only works with Steamand the cross play it is not a mandatory requirement for Valve.
Games by and for everyone
Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic, has very strong words for his immediate competitor: “Steam is a real problem for the industry. They have a classic blocking strategy where they build these services that only work with their store, and they use the fact that who have the majority of the market share to encourage everyone to submit games with broken gameplay experiences to other stores. We ran into this problem early on with a number of multiplayer games coming to the Epic Games Store.”
Sweeney explains in an interview for PC Gamer that “because Steamworks didn’t work on our store, these games either had a reduced set of multiplayer features, none at all, or were limited to a much smaller audience when the Epic Games Store launched, so a lot of multiplayer games were really broken.” “. And he gives a key example: “Do not forget that Call of Duty experienced a debacle when it was launched in the Windows store a while ago: you could only do matchmaking with other Windows Store players, and that’s not how PCs should work.”
For this purpose, and after facilitating cross-play on its part since the end of last year, the Epic Games Store makes the Epic Online Services API available to developers, although they can also use their own. Epic also allows console crossplay, but it’s not required. As they explain, the approval process will consist of a person playing 20 minutes in each title to see if it is executed correctly, conforms to the rules and the description is faithful to the content.
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