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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Explains Their Exclusives Strategy

Gaming article by Robert N. Adams on June 26, 2019 at 9:40 AM
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Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney took to Twitter to explain the company's strategy for acquiring exclusive deals for PC games on the Epic Games Store. The company has spent a hefty amount of time, effort, and money in getting their hands on games exclusively for the Epic Games Store. They've also offered early adopters a new game every two weeks (or sooner) beginning with Subnautica earlier in the year. Now, Mr. Sweeney has explained the reasoning behind the strategy in a series of tweets.

"[W]hy not politely ask for the games to be on Epic instead of yanking them?" began a question from Twitter user @AkiraJkr1 in a tweet thread. "If it was on every store possible, it'd be way better. Just ask the devs instead of yanking the games."

 

This particular question caused Tim Sweeney to take the time to respond to it and explain their overall strategy behind the exclusivity model.

"This question gets to the core of Epic’s strategy for competing with dominant storefronts," Mr. Sweeney began. "We believe exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry."

 

"For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5% of Steam’s scale," he continued. "Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures. This leads to the strategy of exclusives which, though unpopular with dedicated Steam gamers, do work, as established by the major publisher storefronts and by the key Epic Games store releases compared to their former Steam revenue projections and their actual console sales."

"In judging whether a disruptive move like this is reasonable in gaming, I suggest considering two questions: Is the solution proportionate to the problem it addresses, and are gamers likely benefit from the end goal if it’s ultimately achieved?"

 

Tim Sweeney then proceeded to expand on the strategy. If the 88%/12% revenue split entices enough developers to come to the platform, one or both of the following two things will happen: more devs will choose the Epic Games Store and other storefronts will have to adapt their revenue splits to compete. Ultimately, this would result in developers reinvesting more into their own companies and/or lowering the cost of games overall.

"[I] believe this approach passes the test of ultimately benefitting gamers after game storefronts have rebalanced and developers have reinvested more of the fruits of their labor into creation rather than taxation," Tim Sweeney concluded. "Of course, there are LOTS of challenges along the way, and Epic is fully committed to solving all problems that arise for gamers are for our partners as the Epic Games store grows."

What do you think of Tim Sweeney explaining the strategy behind the Epic Games Store snapping up so many exclusives? Do you agree with his reasoning? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!