Announcing the Epic Games Store was anything but subtle, much like its aggressive pricing policies, making it clear that Steam are heading for trouble. Is Double Damage's decision just an isolated example or a sign of what's to come?
According to the developer, their upcoming title Rebel Galaxy Outlaw will launch exclusively on Epic's new platform. The game will remain an Epic exclusive for 12 months, after which it's expected to launch on GoG and/or Steam.
Double Damage wrote a lengthy, and quite educational, post on the issue though, explaining their reasoning to the letter. Well, more like to the per cent, because Epic's generous revenue split of 88/22 per cent is definitely a game changer, badum tss.
"So, before Valve and the 70/30 split it was pretty darn rough to be an indie", the company wrote. Double Damage stressed that it was Valve who changed the game for the better and added, "We think it’s safe to say that a large percentage of the games made today wouldn’t exist without it."
Now, however, Epic are making it even better with an 88/12 revenue split, i.e. 88 per cent going to developers and 12 per cent to Epic. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is less than half of what Steam charges and while some bigger companies could take it on the chin, the difference between 30 and 12 per cent could, and quite likely will, mean the world to indies.
Double Damage also praised Epic's efforts in bringing developers and game communities closer together, which made the decision even easier. There was talk about refunds too and the Epic Games Store offers "two no-questions-asked refunds per player within two weeks of purchase".
The company insists this is not a war on Steam or anything of the sort, saying, "We’ve all got big Steam libraries that aren’t going anywhere." However, business is business.
Of course, Double Damage is but a single indie studio and it's way too early to ring the alarm, but it's a reminder of what could happen should Valve sit on their laurels. Fighting Epic's evolution can only be done by Valve evolving too and the best part is that the gaming industry will be better for it.
You can find Double Damage's statement here.