Developers can now publish their own games on the Epic Games Store, the Fortnite And Rocket League publisher’s storefront for PC games. It’s a milestone for the store as it’s been steadily gaining features over the past few years to better compete with Steam. It could also be a big deal for some developers, as it simplifies the publishing process and finds a new – and possibly larger – audience than on Steam’s terribly busy homepage, selling a mix of games and Valve’s own Steam Deck.
Epic game submission requirements differ from Steam’s in one big way: by requiring online multiplayer games to support PC cross-play. In other words, the Epic Games Store release of a game should entitle you to play it online with people who own the game through other stores, such as Steam or through the Xbox PC app.
It’s ultimately a good thing to enforce this from a consumer perspective, even though it’s probably a lot of work for developers to implement. Arkane Studios is leading by example, as it recently announced redfall supports cross-play on PC and goes a step further with cross-platform support between PC and Xbox consoles.
Like Valve’s Steam, Epic charges a one-time fee of $100 to self-publish a game (alternatives such as itch.io remain free), although the revenue split with the Epic Game Store skews more in favor of the developer compared to Steam. Epic collects 12% of revenue from games sold, compared to Steam’s much higher (but relatively industry standard) revenue share of 30% for most games. In 2018, Steam adjusted parts of its revenue-sharing plan, rewarding top sellers who made more than $10 million with a bigger cut in revenue.
Epic also announced its Annual overview 2022 results, where it shared that the 99 free games it gave away last year were worth $2,240. It also confirmed that it will continue to give away free games in 2023. So that means my colleague Owen Good will continue to tell you about the new games every week.