Over the last few months, Epic Games has been poaching plenty of games from Steam for its own store with timed exclusivity deals. In some examples, Epic Games has thrown so much money at developers that their games are profitable before they even launch. This strategy won't remain in place forever though, in fact according to Tim Sweeney, Epic Games would stop exclusives much sooner if Valve were to match the Epic Games Store revenue split.
Replying to questions on Twitter, Epic CEO, Tim Sweeney, said that he sees the 30% revenue cut on other stores as the “#1 problem for PC developers, publishers, and everyone who relies on those businesses for their livelihood”. When another user approached asking what Epic Games would do if Valve slashed its revenue cut, he replied: “If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.”
Sweeney then added that this would be “a glorious moment in the history of PC gaming”, which would have “a sweeping impact on other platforms for generations to come”.
If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) April 25, 2019
This wouldn't be the first time that Epic Games has talked about dialling back on exclusives. During GDC in March, one employee claimed that the company would dial back on buying exclusivity for games previously announced for Steam. However, Epic Games walked back on that idea, stating that it would leave those decisions up to developers or publishers instead.
Of course, there is no sign that Valve is going to cut its current revenue split policy. However, we do know that Valve is continuing to push ahead with feature development for Steam, an area where Valve is still vastly superior. Later this year, Steam will be getting a UI overhaul. Beyond that, Valve is also working on providing Steam developers with tools for hosted multiplayer servers and anti-cheat software.
KitGuru Says: It would be easier for Valve to just scale back its revenue cut but it seems more likely that we'll see Valve adding more value to its platform in other ways. How do you guys feel about the Epic Game Store/Steam situation?