SteamSpy creator and Epic's director of publishing strategy Sergey Galyonkin, has been more involved with Steam than most, but the irony of SteamSpy's name now, in the wake of the Epic Games Store launch, is certainly not wasted on him.
Having been a reliable and trusted source of Steam statistics for many a developer since its launch in 2015, SteamSpy's name now suggests something way more sinister. "It wasn’t my intention when launching or naming SteamSpy, but in retrospect, it makes for a great four-years-in-the-making joke", Galyonkin said.
When it comes to the gaming industry, Steam has been a gift from the gods to developers and players alike, kickstarting what will surely go down in history as a great age for games. It then stands to reason that launching a similar platform must bring tangible improvements, and then some, just to compete.
Thankfully, Epic have got Galyonkin, whose years of work must've proven to be a goldmine in developing the Epic Games Store. He stressed, however, that the main part of the work was talking to developers, learning about what they like and don't like about particular services.
Galyonkin found that Steam can present users with too many things competing for attention, which is why Epic are "trying to minimize the store presence on game pages and [...] adding a global Twitter-like newsfeed, so developers can update their players about recent changes to their games and their future titles."
Moreover, developers are not only looking at higher revenue split, the Epic Games Store aims to provide them with a more comprehensive set of tools. Galyonkin said it won't feature SteamSpy-like functionality at launch, but the team are working hard to include as much as possible, as soon as possible.
Interestingly enough, Galyonkin's research revealed that none of the developers he talked to wanted forums, which they consider the breeding grounds for toxicity, which is why Epic decided against the idea. "That’s why we won’t have forums on Epic Games store and will start with a ticketing system, so gamers can message devs about their problems instead of review-bombing them”, said Galyonkin.
You can find the full interview here.