Gearbox founder and president Randy Pitchford has decided to address his followers' comments on Twitter. by publishing an incredibly detailed series of tweets on this topic. We have almost everything posted below, but given its length, we will also provide highlights in the form of points.
First of all, please understand that although I have opinions and opinions on this subject, our authority in this area really belongs to our publishing partner, 2K Games. So, even though I have a little influence, I can not force anything (and this boat sailed, so to speak).
Currently, Steam offers a set of features that Epic Games Store does not have. It's a fact. We could probably rank the priority of these features from top to bottom and, although we may disagree on ranking, there is probably an optimal priority for searching for features.
In addition, some Steam features may not be part of Epic's vision, and some features that Steam has never considered can be part of Steam's vision. The vision of how a store should interact with a customer, a developer and a publisher is part of the equation.
Epic has published a short-term roadmap. This roadmap includes an overview of the things they are engaging in. If I were a betting man, I would expect that there are more things going on than what they engage in.
We must also recognize that Borderlands 3 does not exist today, but will exist in September. The store will be different when launching the game. If their stores provide enough features to make the customer experience pleasing to us, it will become a boon for their store.
Epic will suffer (again) if, at the time of the launch of Borderlands 3, the customer experience is not enough. This is a great forcing feature for Epic.
It's also very good for Borderlands 3 because Borderlands 3 will be the biggest, and by far, the new game arrived on the Epic store since its launch and Epic can be sure to invest huge numbers. quantities of resources specifically for the most important features for Borderlands 3..
The forcing feature will make all these features available on a faster schedule than otherwise, which is advantageous for all games from the point of view of the customer and the point of view of the developer / publisher.
It is possible that the EGS does not offer enough functionality for the store before launching Borderlands 3 to be "sufficiently powerful". It's a risk. This is a project that our publishing partner, 2K, was willing to accept. I'm not sorry about this decision or the risk, but it's real.
The question from this perspective is really about the long game versus the short game … What is the best in the long run? I hope to die in the office and create entertainment as long as people want it. So, I tend to think very long game. Some of us think that the game is very short – I understand it.
So the risk that not all features are perfect when launching Borderlands 3 is a risk with which I am comfortable * IF * I believe that in the long run, Borderlands 3 games and future I create will be better served if the Epic Games The store a) exists and b) is competitive.
So, do I believe that? Absolutely … Why? History combined with the values of the company and the situation in the companies. I can explain all that.
First, the antecedents. Now, I have some authority on the subject of antecedents between these companies. I've worked with Valve for many years (20) as both a developer in the Half-Life franchise and as a developer and publisher on the Steam platform.
I've also worked with Epic for about as long, as a licensee of their engine and, more recently, as a retail publisher of their game, Fortnite. I know a lot about these people and businesses.
From a historical point of view, I hope that Epic's investments in technology will significantly exceed those of Valve. If we look at Steam in five or ten years, it may look like an endangered store and other competitive stores will be the place to go.
The competing store that is the leader in 10 years may not be the Epic store, but it is unlikely that Valve and Epic will open the door and pave the way for a competitive and dynamic economy.
The competition in the stores will be quite preferable for consumers and probably also for developers and publishers. The stores that tend to win are the ones that offer the best to their customers. It's very difficult for the interest of customers to be king with only one store.
One can look at other stores, like Origin or U-Play. These are not real competitors to Steam. A Steam competitor must have an installed base and be sufficiently neutral so that all publishers and developers who support the store can trust a fair economy.
This is simply not possible with direct stores controlled by publishing interests. It also does not come from adjacent services that have other priorities (like Discord, for example).
Epic is credible to the extent that it has been providing engine technologies to the industry for over 20 years and we have all come to trust Epic's fair play and good will.
With the engine, Epic technology has improved more and more rapidly in 20 years, more than any other game engine middleware on the planet. They have great credibility in the way they reinvest in their technology for the benefit of customers and developers.
At the same time, as the quality of Epic technology improved, its business success improved. What did Epic do? They used their increased success to pave the way in commercial terms. They reduce license rates for developers and create new ways to become a licensee.
They have increased accessibility to the engine so that people like you can download and learn how to use Unreal Engine to become a game developer – for free. And, when you want to market something, there is a very competitive and fair price for it.
Meanwhile, Valve absorbed an absurd reduction in business turnover – which would be fine unless it did not reinvest it. It is here that watching the values of the company is important.
In addition, the way society is organized and managed is also very important for this calculation. Valve is a private company and, to the best of our knowledge, much of the value generated by Valve has been used to enrich the handful of people who own and manage the company. There is nothing wrong with that, BTW! My things are private too!
Epic's business until recently was private and owned. He is still private, but not as closely as before. This is important to consider.
Whenever Valve earns a dollar, they must make the decision to put it in their own pockets or reinvest it in technology (or whatever). Valve has made significant investments in technology and should be applauded for the innovations that result.
But they also took a significant amount of value from the table and, when they reinvested, they tended to place it in a lot of other activities besides the store generating all of the income.
They could do it because they do not have to worry. There was no viable competitor for Steam. They had no sufficient external force to challenge their share of income and no external force sufficient to motivate sufficient reinvestment of income.
Now, there is an external force that is real. This external force, the Epic Store, represents a very significant threat to Steam. Steam * must * adapt or he will die.
Almost immediately, we saw Steam dismantle its steadfast position on income distribution. Fucking shit! It's a miracle. I think the Valve people are really smart and really great and they are probably also starting to redirect the investments in their store.
If Valve is smart, and they are, they need to preemptively maneuver as many resources as possible to improve the store and prepare for the inevitable Epic Epic challenge with respect to features.
More Valve can maneuver quickly, plus it stays ahead of Epic in terms of features. But if I bet on this point (and remember that I had a very good place with a superb view of this competition), Epic inevitably surpass Valve in terms of features and quality of service.
Epic is configured differently from Valve at the moment. Epic shareholders are * very * motivated not to withdraw the chips from the table, so to speak, but to reinvest these shares in the company. They have an incredible valuation right now, but they are motivated to increase it.
And they have the resources to really make big games that way. All these parts will be fed by a company that does not take money in their system and does not put it in everyone's pocket, but in order to return it in his system.
They recently collected money. Why did they do that? They made more money than ever before? They did this so that the owners could sell some of their equity and put that money in their pockets (which is really cool, that's what should happen).
But what this means is that this business does not enrich its owners by siphoning off profits, but enriching its owners by increasing its value.
This is a huge and significant difference between Valve and Epic. Epic is motivated to reinvest 100% of its profits in activities (such as the store) that will give it more value in the future.
Valve is organized in such a way that it is motivated to decide how much of its profits to distribute to owners and stakeholders and how much to reinvest. Very different.
The fact that they have decided to invest SIGNIFICANT amounts of money Fortnite has earned in creating a store to create a truly competitive landscape is, frankly, a gift to customers, developers and marketers alike. publishers. ALL WE WILL ENJOY this competition.
During the competition, there will be difficulties and setbacks and bullshit that are not going well – that's how it happens. But in the end, we will have an incredible shape, no matter what store you choose. Steam will have no choice but to give up, lose or improve faster than ever. This is good for customers, developers and publishers of Steam.
Because Valve is damn good with an awesome talent, I do not expect that they give up or lose. They will fight for that. And they will hang on. There is even a chance that they come first. Whatever the case, customers, developers and publishers will be better off.
Meanwhile, Epic is the forcing function that will make all of this possible. It's really amazing, but they are the only ones who can really break the Steam monopoly and help fix it. They will bring a balance to the force (yes, shit Star Wars today).
And here we are … It's a year with fewer huge titles than we've seen in years. This is a year when consoles are at their peak and PC storefronts are starting to get agitated. And in a world where EA and ATVI can not really take the risk of helping the forcing feature to come true, Take-Two shows up some balls and intensifies with our game, Borderlands 3, to be the content that catalyzes this moment. Fucking shit. What world.
Because in the end, these kinds of movements in our industry are always rushed content. We need content to move. It took Half-Life 2 to put us (not quite) comfortable to swallow the Steam pill in the day.
And so we will swallow the Epic Game Store pill with Borderlands 3. And some of you will hate that and shout a bloody murder and you will even want it, personally, for that. And you can complain, groan, run for bullshit, but at the end of the day we'll realize that this is the time when digital PC stores are no longer monopolized.
And we will all look back and see how the change has occurred, how the costs to developers and publishers on the stores have decreased and how that value has been passed on to customers. In a few years we will be looking at Steam's current installed base and mocking ourselves with saying that we thought it was an important number when we added up what all the different stores are pushing together.
And we'll unlink the features we're interested in (like friends, achievements, etc.) in the stores and we can just focus on gaming. And we can all play together on multiple platforms. It will take a minute, but it will happen.
And we'll look back and realize that Epic's decision to reinvest their Fortnite $ in this (valuable) step and Take Two with the courage to place Borderlands 3 in this situation in order to make sure that the obligation to meet the needs of the industry are decisive moments.
At the end of this huge Twitter feed, in a follow-up responsePitchford also expressed its satisfaction with Borderlands 3's limited exclusivity period (the shortest so far, as all other games will be exclusive for a full year).
Did this long explanation by Randy Pitchford, President of Gearbox, affect you in any way with regard to Epic Games Store? Tell us in the comments.
Borderlands 3 will be launched on September 13 on PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It will be available in April 2020 via other windows on PC.