Epic Games Store - 88% split goes to devs


#721

https://www.gog.com/forum/general/games_that_treat_gog_customers_as_second_class_citizens_v2/page1


#722

Necropolis: Brutal Edition
Multiplayer/Coop is missing from the GOG version despite it being advertised during the pre-order campaign. Harebrained Schemes promised to add these features at a later point, but instead decided to drop further development of this game altogether.

Ouch.

Well if they are competing directly with Steam, I’m not sure Steam knows that. Epic came out of the gate clearly swinging in their direction. Discord seems inclined to join the fray, so I guess if GOG wants in on the game they need to respond too. If they don’t have the margin to play with maybe they should stick to niche and purely catering to the No DRM only crowd.


#723

There’s another one with Linux issues. Most of the issues I wouldn’t even care about if they were in the explicit store page (multiplayer, non-english languages, …), but some are serious bugs that should get the game de-listed.
Since GOG’s way to handle the former is “you, the customer, figure it out by yourself within 30 days”, I find it hard to bother going there.
Then they also make you do the math on “wallet funds to compensate regional pricing” and I really stop bothering.


#724

It’s not that simple.

First, Epic’s Store is also providing incentives for developers who use Unreal Engine. The UE per-sale fee is waived for copies sold through Epic’s store. So a 90/10 split on Discord effectively becomes 85/15 vs 88/12 on Epic’s store.

Second, Epic has been working directly with developers for years. It’s one of the reasons why their engine is so highly used. Discord is much less mature at developer relations so it can also easily be a simple matter of trust.

Finally, Epic’s store has Fortnite. Discord is popular, but not as popular as Fortnite.

Releasing games on multiple stores is already a lot of overhead for developers. If they want to experiment with a new store offering a better cut, and only choose one such store, Epic is still a clearly better choice for most developers than Discord.


#725

That seems to be the underlying assumption by the devs choosing to launch exclusively on Epic. Does anyone have numbers on the conversion rate between Fortnite players and store purchases?


#726

The previous discussions resulted in accusations and little common ground, but tt’s also pretty early to try and do any sort of analysis on whether or not the Fortnite players will just turn around and buy the other games there.


#727

Oops, sorry. Wasn’t trying to reignite the debate.

I guess the devs obviously believe sales will happen or they wouldn’t have gone exclusive.


#728

Remember what I was saying earlier about Steamworks? Thay Necropolis situation is a good illustration of the dynamic I was talking about.


#729

Not entirely, developers also have the cost of needing to get used to the engine and the game needs to fit the engine. I’ll leave the comments on how adaptable it is to game devs, but, from what I’ve read, it fits some games a lot better than others.
It’s probably nearly always better than -30%, though.


#730

I’m talking about games which already use it in the first place. Not suggesting that people switch to it just to save on that cut.


#731

Great article overview:

http://savygamer.co.uk/2018/12/15/the-epic-store-an-epic-blunder-or-an-unreal-opportunity/


#732

Awesome link, thanks for sharing.


#733

So far Epic’s strategy for dealing with the Gordian Knot of curation/visibility/eyeball management is to reject 99% of games and focus on ‘the 1%’. The only games currently on the store are extremely safe bets. Sequels to successful games, developers with a proven track record and marketable products, indie games with significant development and marketing budgets

Well this would suck. This requires other storefronts to do the vetting for them if they keep that up.


#734

That article makes some good points - like noting that 200m Fortnite players doesn’t mean that there is a ripe market of 200m PC users, the ability to sell Steam keys directly - but this is a bit off

“We will get more money from every sale, we can spam you more easily”. Seems to me that users don’t directly get any benefit from developers having a larger share of revenue, especially when it comes at the expense of a great many useful platform features. As for Epic by default handing over email addresses to developers, if users wanted developers to have their email address I’m sure they’d be able to manually sign up for a newsletter. I think this apparent disregard of GDPR (which requires marketing emails to be opt in, rather than opt out) plus Epic’s 40% ownership by Tencent, might raise some serious questions about what is going to happen to user data from Epic Store, especially given Tencent’s close ties with the Chinese government.

First thing, I am not sure about the spamming thing. For instance, every vendor in Paypal receives the email of the customer as part of the transaction. How else can you contact your clients over the Internet?

The author certainly takes for granted that he will get automatically registered in a newsletter, his identity tracked with cookies etc… which would certainly run afoul of the GDPR. But that would be a choice of the developer, hardly the responsibility of Paypal.

A number of studios - Firaxis and Bohemia Interactive amongst them - ran into trouble this year by installing adware via their Steam apps. Was that on Valve or on those studios? Or both?

Second thing I didn’t buy from that article is that the prevalent reason for the unrest against Steam and Valve is just self interest in the way described. I think there is some well justified anger at Steam processes regarding algorithmic clobbering of games. There may be a bit of an overreaction too, unless somebody can produce hard numbers of revenue lost, the Fantasia brooms were dangerous but eventually Mickey got on top of it.


#735

This should be both. When I purchase through Valve, I am Valve’s customer even if in the end I am also the developers customer. They shouldn’t be able to just raise their hands and say not us. They’re lucky it was two legit companies doing that and not some indie who sold games for no other purpose than that.


#736

The article was hot garbage, but they got this part right.

In the Paypal example, the email address is being given for transactional purposes. In Epic’s case it’s being given purely for adverting. The exact wording Epic is using is:

“The game you are purchasing is licensed by XXX YYY. Click here to not receive emails from them with the latest information about similar products and services.”

They are clearly asking for consent for sending advertisements unrelated to the purchase you’re making. They’re also using intentionally misleading language by the unnecessary and unexpected negation. And the default value is to receive spam.

It’s just a blatant GDPR consent violation.


#737

I love that aside


#738

Here is a third party interpretation of the GDPR, which is consistent with my understanding

The consent must be bound to one or several specified purposes which must then be sufficiently explained. If the consent should legitimise the processing of special categories of personal data, the information for the data subject must expressly refer to this.
There must always be a clear distinction between the information needed for the informed consent and information about other contractual matters.

Last but not least, consent must be unambiguous, which means it requires either a statement or a clear affirmative act. Consent cannot be implied and must always be given through an opt-in, a declaration or an active motion, so that there is no misunderstanding that the data subject has consented to the particular processing. That being said, there is no form requirement for consent, even if written consent is recommended due to the accountability of the controller. It can therefore also be given in electronic form. In this regard, consent of children and adolescents in relation to information society services is a special case. For those who are under the age of 16, there is an additional consent or authorisation requirement from the holder of parental responsibility. The age limit is subject to a flexibility clause. Member States may provide for a lower age by national law, provided that such age is not below the age of 13 years. When a service offering is explicitly not addressed to children, it is freed of this rule. However, this does not apply to offers which are addressed to both children and adults.

I can see that actually the way it is framed - opt in by default - is running afoul of the GDPR. I haven’t yet tried to buy anything from the EPIC store either.


#739

You seem to be disagreeing with me while posting as proof a bit of text that I agree with. So there’s a disconnect somewhere.

There’s no such thing as “opt-in by default”! We already have a good term for that concept, it’s called “opt-out” ;)

But yes, it being opt-out is one problem. Using misleading language by inverting the meaning of the checkbox is another, though a little less clear-cut. Tricking people is not informed consent.

I got a free copy of Subnautica just an hour ago, to verify the phrasing and it being opt-out.


#740

Not really disagreeing but trying to establish a common ground wrt the interpretation of the GDPR.