Developers can now self-publish their games on the Epic Games Store, the Fortnite and Rocket League publisher’s storefront for PC games. It’s a milestone for the store, as it has steadily gained features over recent years to better compete with Steam. It could be a big deal for some developers, too, as it simplifies the process to publish and find a new — and possibly, bigger — audience than they might on Steam’s very crowded homepage, which sells a mix of games and Valve’s own Steam Deck.
Epic’s requirements for game submissions differ from Steam’s in one big way: by requiring that online multiplayer games support PC cross-play. In other words, the Epic Games Store release of a game must entitle you to play it online with people who own it via other stores, like Steam or through the Xbox PC app.
It’s ultimately a good thing to enforce this from a consumer perspective, even though it’s likely a lot of work for developers to implement. Arkane Studios is setting a good example, as it recently announced that Redfall will support cross-play on PC, and is going a step further with cross-platform support between PC and Xbox consoles.
Like Valve’s Steam, Epic asks for a one-time $100 fee to self-publish a game (alternatives like itch.io remain free), although the revenue split with the Epic Game Store shakes out more in the developer’s favor compared to Steam. Epic collects 12% of revenue from games sold, compared to Steam’s much higher (but relatively industry standard) 30% revenue share for most games. In 2018, Steam adjusted parts of its revenue sharing plan, rewarding top sellers earning beyond $10 million a larger cut of the revenue.
Epic also announced its Year in Review 2022 results, where it shared that the 99 free games it gave away last year were worth $2,240. It also confirmed that it will continue to give away free games in 2023. So, that means my colleague Owen Good will continue telling you about the new games each week.