"Do we have the right to buy a Toyota at a Ford dealer?" Epic’s Tim Sweeney Defends Epic Games Store Exclusives Politic

Jan 21, 2018
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"The whole thesis here is that stores should be free to compete, and gamers and developers should be free to use stores of their choosing, which is exactly what is happening here today.

Surely competition between stores is healthy, especially when it results in significant savings for developers (30% vs 12%), which can then be reinvested in future games or passed on to gamers.

Love us or hate us, we are certainly fostering economic competition between stores, out of a firm belief that this will ultimately benefit all developers and gamers. A store can only succeed in overturning the 30% fee precedent if it provides solid reasons for everyone to use it, developers and gamers alike. Free game giveaways, better prices, and exclusives are the big things here.

Compare to how Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, and others fund unique content to provide reasons to use their services. If everyone offers the same exact selection, then the most established store typically stays dominant for decades.

Is there a consumer right to buy any product in any store of your choosing? Do we have the right to buy a Toyota at a Ford dealer? A Whopper at McDonald’s? No; stores compete on selection as well as price and features.

I’ve been following this very closely and understand that people who prefer to buy games on Steam prefer not to deal with a second store. But developers will never escape Steam’s 300% to 500% markup on operating costs if all games are on Steam at equal prices.

Steam has veto power over prices, so if a multi-store developer wishes to sell their game for a lower price on the Epic Games store than Steam, then:
1) Valve can simply say “no”
2) Pricing disparity would likely anger Steam users, leading to review bombing, etc"

More at the link.


For my concern, I just hope steam align with a 8 to 12 % cut on the retail price, and like that all games can be released everywhere
 
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Sep 21, 2018
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Plenty of dealerships sell used cars of other brands. You can easily buy a Toyota at many Ford dealerships. They are used Toyotas which someone traded in to that dealer.

Keep digging though Tim.
That's not quite the right argument to make either though I get your meaning. You can't order a 2019 Toyota at the local Ford dealership which is the argument he's presenting. You also can't walk into Wendy's and order Taco Bell.
 
Jun 29, 2016
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Sweeney has it right when he talks about Amazon and Netflix being services. Steam, the Epic Store, and all these other launchers are services, with the privilege of providing whatever content they see fit. What they're not are fully--or mostly--open agnostic storefronts, selling products regardless of how the buyer intends to use them.

The majority of PC game players decided with their wallets that Steam's style of walled garden was acceptable. Legitimate competitors coming for the big dog was inevitable.
 
Apr 17, 2007
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That's not quite the right argument to make either though I get your meaning. You can't order a 2019 Toyota at the local Ford dealership which is the argument he's presenting. You also can't walk into Wendy's and order Taco Bell.
You can buy 10 of the same nike’s at different stores so he’s wrong.
 
Jan 16, 2013
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That's not quite the right argument to make either though I get your meaning. You can't order a 2019 Toyota at the local Ford dealership which is the argument he's presenting. You also can't walk into Wendy's and order Taco Bell.
But that argument doesn't make sense. Because Toyota does the R&D and manufacturing of the Toyota vehicles. They don't go out and get some guy that's doing all this work and going to release a new car for Ford, and Ford has been advertising it and taking pre-sells on it. But then suddenly Toyota goes and buys that vehicle out but promises to give those that bought the vehicle at the Ford dealership the same car but with Ford emblems on it.
 

Vawn

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I can't blame them for not wanting to give their profits to another company. I wouldn't either.
 
Sep 11, 2014
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Which one of these games were made by Epic?
Aye you he’s right and wrong at the same time. Like others have said you either for unchecked competition or not. If you only like competition when it benefits you, the consumer, your just as scummy.


This whole thing is sleazy, but good things come out of this. Competition yields pros and cons.
 
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Apr 17, 2007
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Aye you he’s right and wrong at the same time. Like others have said you either for unchecked competition or not. If you only like competition when it benefits you, the consumer, your just as scummy.


This whole thing is sleazy, but good things come out of this. Competition yields pros and cons.
Do you even know what the word scum is? This competition does nothing for me as a consumer, yet we're scum? So everyone who chose to buy a cheaper car are scum because they don't like to pay for the higher priced car?
 

strange headache

Gif and Meme Champion
Jan 14, 2018
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Do we have the right to buy a Toyota at a Ford dealer? A Whopper at McDonald’s? No; stores compete on selection as well as price and features.
That doesn't even make sense. If Epic wants to sell their games on their store, that's their prerogative. First of all, the car market works differently than the games market, as car companies have their own production line as well as service and dealership networks. As car manufacturers generate most of their profit from selling options to your car and aftermarket service, it's only natural that they want to put their hand over production as well as vendor management. Games don't work that way, because development is often separated from distribution and handled by different companies.

What they are doing is essentially paying McDonald's for the rights to their BigMac making it an exclusive item in their stores for a certain time, hoping that McDonald's customers will keep eating at their place. It's like bribing Coca-Cola into only selling their products at Walmart rather than all the other stores because they only want people to shop at that place. Imagine your trusty gameshop telling you that you can't buy a particular game because the shady shop next door bought an exclusive vendor licence.

What Epic is doing is merely in the interest of their own financial profit. Sure, throwing your money around to make exclusive deals might benefit some developers and publishers in the short term, but in the long run they are artificially crippling their market reach.

Lastly, the reason why many people prefer to buy their cars at Toyota rather than Ford is because of brand trust. If people are satisfied with your product, they are more likely to return. Epic on the other hand tries to bind customers through store exclusivity. Coercing your possible customers like that, rather than fostering customer loyalty through offering a good product and healthy business practices, is the exact opposite of creating brand trust.
 
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Jan 4, 2016
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I'm with Tim.

This is putting some positive decision making back into the hands of the creators, rather than being forced to release on Steam and dealing with all the pitfalls that come along with that storefront.
 

Woo-Fu

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Jan 2, 2007
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If it were fine and dandy he wouldn't have to make up bullshit analogies that don't even fit. If it were fine and dandy it'd be obvious and we'd all be on the fine and dandy bandwagon. Are we? Nope, some of us are on the "oh look, money-hatting developers for timed exclusivity." bandwagon.

And let's be clear here, if it were really competition you could buy the game on either service, presumably the one you preferred. Paying for exclusives removes the potential for you to pick the better platform for you, which in a lot of cases isn't going to be Epic's store.

The good news though is that those developers/publishers can make good use of that fortnite money Epic is handing around, so while it won't put a dent in Steam it will perhaps reach a critical mass needed for viability and fund some new games while they're at it and get Steam to rethink some of their policies/pricing.
 
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Kadayi

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#32
The fundamental problem with Tims mindset is a simple one. He doesn't understand why people like Steam and why it's succeeded despite other digital stores having arisen already and none of them being able to dent its standing. He talks about the Epic Launcher as a Service, but he doesn't seem to comprehend why people prefer their games on Steam from a user perspective . It's not just about Steam being the established market leader, it's about the added value that steam as an experience brings. From being able to categorise your games library, havinga player profile, manage your friends, track your achievements, keep tabs on upcoming games etc etc. All of the everyday engagement aspects that make it compelling to the enthusiast crowd seems to have escaped him entirely. I'm amazed that he thinks I should care about the developer's profit line, over my experience. as a user. it's all very well to say more money means better games in the future, but that's speculation at best. They could just as easily piss it away on hookers and blow. I'm certainly not against developers making more money, and I do hope Valve review their share again (the 20% deal seems pretty good for AAA, less so for Indies..) but nothing he's said is going to make me swap cotton for silk regardless of how many free games or timed exclusives they grab. I can wait. Build a better user experience Tim, then we can talk.
 
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Fbh

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OK but Toyota made their own cars and McDonalds makes their own Hamburgers. If epic wants to make their own games that's great but just going to other devs and paying them to not release their games on Steam is shitty.

Tim is absolutely right. GAF needs to buy a clue. You’re either for free market capitalism or you aren’t. It’s not a situational deal.
It's similar to free speech, I don't have to agree with what someone is saying to defend their right to say it.
I support Epic's right to do what they are doing. Doesn't mean I can't express my displeasure for it or that I can't decide that I do not want to spend my money on their store.

I don't even mind their store too much, if a game I was really hyped about was exclusive to it I'd buy it. But for something like Metro I have no problem buying it a year and a half from now on Steam for like $20 with possibly a bunch of updates fixing bugs and other issues
 
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Jan 16, 2014
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#37
Tim 'Fuck you I got mine' Sweeney.

2) Pricing disparity would likely anger Steam users, leading to review bombing, etc"
Like Subnautica which was given away for free on the EGS during the Steam winter sale, which is 94% positive.

What about What Remains of Edith Finch? 95% positive.

This guy talks utter bollocks.
 
Dec 16, 2011
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In a capitalist society, you do what you can to make a buck. It's just the way of things. The consumer always has their voice, and things will shake out through "voting with dollars". I don't have any plans to download the Epic client, because I don't like the way they're going about their business - and I don't have any interest in another launcher. I'm very happy with Steam and GOG. Maybe that changes one day, but for now, I'm not a fan.