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Thread: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

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    Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Putting that number into perspective, Steam has about 95m monthly active users.
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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by Hexus
    industry-busting proposition
    Yep very much so, trying to change the PC Gaming industry into a console style cesspit of exclusives, higher prices for consumers, less choice about where to buy their games, and open bribes to publishers (not developers...in the main).

    I still find it amazing how many supposedly forward thinking people are tricked by the free games they are being offered via Epic, who completely ignore the huge problem Epic present to the PC gaming community. It may largely be a future problem, but we had this with micro transactions before, took 3-4 years and then our games were filled with them (and still are to this day). The community had an easy way to stop it (don't purchase them!) but we as a whole didn't, and look where that led. This is a very similar thing, only potentially much much worse.

    The only encouraging thing here is the numbers seem to imply a load of people signed up for the free games only, which costs Epic directly, so as long as those same people don't start spending via their store, thats a good thing!

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    I still find it amazing how many supposedly forward thinking people are happy to forget all the evils done by Steam and suddenly leap blindly to their defence when someone finally manages to upset the Valvecart.
    These are usually the same people who are happy to ignore the evils from the likes of Amazon, while bleating about the same supposed evils done by Epic.
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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Steam, Amazon, Fox, whoever are all totally irrelevant.
    All those companies have done bad things, and I wouldn't defend any of it.

    That does not mean Epic can come up with something that is at least as nefarious, underhand and damaging to consumers and be allowed to get away with it. You don't fight a wrong with another wrong!

    The issue with Epic is nothing to do with steam et al, its all about their own practices.

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    Steam, Amazon, Fox, whoever are all totally irrelevant.
    All those companies have done bad things, and I wouldn't defend any of it.

    That does not mean Epic can come up with something that is at least as nefarious, underhand and damaging to consumers and be allowed to get away with it. You don't fight a wrong with another wrong!

    The issue with Epic is nothing to do with steam et al, its all about their own practices.
    How evil for epic to make a real effort of break a steam monopoly, yes they have gone at it aggressively and it appears to be working. Yes they have used some paid exclusivity rights to drive people to them but lets be honest if they just had the same games at the same prices the default steam monopoly would get 99% of the purchases.

    I remember buying games on discs and them forcing a thing called steam to be installed, yes some were valve games but others weren't, its almost like I was forced to install valve software to play some games not made by valve... wait a second are we getting mad at epic for doing exactly what steam did to grow its install base...

    The problem is short term and long term need to both be considered.

    Short term, a handful of games are exclusive to epic, yes this can control prices but a simple solution is if your not happy with the price wait until you are.

    Long term, a genuine competitor to steam with a big enough install base to actually make a difference forcing both store into a price battle, average price of games comes down + earlier more aggressive sales.

    I have nothing against steam, it holds most my games and works well. I have nothing against epic, they have given me a load of free games as well as some excellent bargains in sales, epic now holds my second biggest library leaving the others behind (origin, uplay etc).

    Happy days all round.

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    I still find it amazing how many supposedly forward thinking people are happy to forget all the evils done by Steam and suddenly leap blindly to their defence when someone finally manages to upset the Valvecart.
    These are usually the same people who are happy to ignore the evils from the likes of Amazon, while bleating about the same supposed evils done by Epic.
    I kinda agree TBH.

    Just up front I'm not referring to anyone in particular or implying everyone is the same, but there seems to be an awful lot of people who will jump to the defence of Valve for their failings, and will seize any opportunity to criticise their competition.

    Don't get me wrong, I do understand where people (the sensible ones at least) are coming from about the risk of exclusivity etc. but let's be realistic, that's not exclusive to EPIC is it? We've had platform-specific exclusives for a heck of a long time, and on the other side of the argument is the concerning risk of Steam becoming something of a monopoly, and being able to get away with practices that would be challenged in a competitive landscape.

    However, how realistic is it that a platform could draw people/publishers/developers away from the existing near-monopoly without some sort of a draw?

    Edit:

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    I remember buying games on discs and them forcing a thing called steam to be installed, yes some were valve games but others weren't, its almost like I was forced to install valve software to play some games not made by valve... wait a second are we getting mad at epic for doing exactly what steam did to grow its install base...
    Me too...

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    How evil for epic to make a real effort of break a steam monopoly, yes they have gone at it aggressively and it appears to be working. Yes they have used some paid exclusivity rights to drive people to them but lets be honest if they just had the same games at the same prices the default steam monopoly would get 99% of the purchases.

    I remember buying games on discs and them forcing a thing called steam to be installed, yes some were valve games but others weren't, its almost like I was forced to install valve software to play some games not made by valve... wait a second are we getting mad at epic for doing exactly what steam did to grow its install base...

    The problem is short term and long term need to both be considered.

    Short term, a handful of games are exclusive to epic, yes this can control prices but a simple solution is if your not happy with the price wait until you are.

    Long term, a genuine competitor to steam with a big enough install base to actually make a difference forcing both store into a price battle, average price of games comes down + earlier more aggressive sales.

    I have nothing against steam, it holds most my games and works well. I have nothing against epic, they have given me a load of free games as well as some excellent bargains in sales, epic now holds my second biggest library leaving the others behind (origin, uplay etc).

    Happy days all round.
    Again, past wrongs by Valve et al are not really relevant. I don't even particularly like steam, and I raged against it when it launched and Valve shutdown WON, way back at the start before it was even a store selling HL2.

    The issue is, as I say, all about Epic's current practices. If exclusivity deals really work for them, and the publishers are happy too, do you really think it will stop at some point?
    If it does, then I may be proved wrong, but I can't see that happening. Once a business practice works for a company and makes them money, it's very, very hard to stop.

    That directly hurts consumers and will continue to do so.

    Epic could have competed by lowering prices, or building a better platform, or a better store, or innovating in some way - all things are are needed to counter Valve & steam yes, but they didn't.
    Instead they keep the prices the same or higher, offer no incentive to come to their platform other than "if you want this game, there is no other legal option than to buy it from us".
    It's not like this was the only way to break the steam monopoly, there are many better ways that would not hurt the market or consumers....

    edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    However, how realistic is it that a platform could draw people/publishers/developers away from the existing near-monopoly without some sort of a draw?
    Spot on, but that "draw" doesn't need to be a big stick, could have been a nice tasty carrot (I don't count the free games here really, but i suppose you could say they have done both - draw you in with the carrot and hit you with the high prices & exclusivity stick, if carrying on that analogy )

    Also - yes this happens elsewhere, the console market. And look at the mess that's in - that is already broken - we don't want the PC gaming market to end up there!

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    I kinda agree TBH.

    Just up front I'm not referring to anyone in particular or implying everyone is the same, but there seems to be an awful lot of people who will jump to the defence of Valve for their failings, and will seize any opportunity to criticise their competition.

    Don't get me wrong, I do understand where people (the sensible ones at least) are coming from about the risk of exclusivity etc. but let's be realistic, that's not exclusive to EPIC is it? We've had platform-specific exclusives for a heck of a long time, and on the other side of the argument is the concerning risk of Steam becoming something of a monopoly, and being able to get away with practices that would be challenged in a competitive landscape.

    However, how realistic is it that a platform could draw people/publishers/developers away from the existing near-monopoly without some sort of a draw?

    Edit:


    Me too...
    The bigger issue was the Epic CEO,saying Microsoft opening their Windows game store was evil,and we should get behind Valve and GOG,as Microsoft would push exclusives....then years later he basically is doing what he accused Microsoft would do!
    Well I am happy Microsoft has its own store,as the pass gave me some nice games for a few quid to try out.

    He talked about competition being bad,until he got his fingers in the pie. Then he told an industry website companies like his would determine where gamers purchased gamers,and they can moan,but should deal with it,ie,customer choice was irrelevant,as their platform was perfect. Then his own company told our own MPs,they don't make money and European data protection laws did not apply to them. They have massive investment by Tencent,ie,the same company which is an integral part of the social credit system in China.

    Then on top of that,they went bribed games which were crowdfunded,specifically people wanting Linux keys(Steam) and ones with no DRM(GOG). The problem is Epic store does not do Linux,or appears to really support DRM free options. Their regional pricing was a pile of rubbish too,and the store is not globally available(it's very focussed on certain regions). So when they pulled games from other platforms,it lead to situations where games could not be bought in many countries(China being one of them ironically enough) or either doubled in price. Not so relevant to the UK,but EA's Origin for the most part is just better implemented.

    A lot of people defending Epic, criticised other stores too,but since Epic is giving them free games,they are glossing over their flaws(I would suspect many also play Fortnite too). If they truely didn't want Steam as a monopoly,why are they not using GOG,Origin,UPlay,Desura,Discord,etc - there are tons of alternate storefronts to Steam which are available.

    I suspect many here wouldn't be using EGS if there was no free games and no Fortnite,otherwise they would be using all the other stores much more actively too. In many cases,if a game was on GOG and Steam,I would actively go for the GOG version. How many here would have done that??

    Yet,you never see them defending them as much as they do for Epic. People chose to use Steam it appears and still seem to be doing it,probably because it is still probably one of the more polished stores out there. Just look at things like Steam workshop for example,big picture mode,the integrated Steam streaming on many Samsung TVs,etc. It's shocking that despite so much money,none of these competitors can actually have a similar feature set....Valve sat on its arse,because frankly the competition just made basic storefronts. The question is how long can companies keep giving away free games?? Eventually the platforms need to compete on their own merits. Is Steam really the high point...what low standards we have!

    The problem,is as much as Steam is bad enough,and I hate the whole concept of essentially renting games,the Epic store,the software and the way they operate make Steam look better. This is coming from someone who has had an Epic account for years,ie,had one for things like the UT4 pre-Alpha,etc and has some games on the Epic store too. This is just another Steam clone,which is just worse in almost everyway(and their security and CS historically have been a bit crap too). You would think with such hindsight,these competitors with so much money behind them could avoid all the mistakes Valve made and simply do a better job.
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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    That does not mean Epic can come up with something that is at least as nefarious, underhand and damaging to consumers and be allowed to get away with it. You don't fight a wrong with another wrong!
    You either go after all of them, or none. You can't single out one for doing what the others have already done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    The issue is, as I say, all about Epic's current practices. If exclusivity deals really work for them, and the publishers are happy too, do you really think it will stop at some point?
    Does it have to stop?
    I still see games coming out on Origin or Uplay only and they're clearly doing well enough out of it. I haven't done it personally, but you can still add any Origin, Epic or Uplay game to Steam as a Non-Steam Game, if you so desire, so the 'exclusivity' applies purely to who your money goes to...

    But then, I don't see people complaining that only OCUK have the exclusive editions of a Noble gaming chair, or that Scan have exclusive rights to a particular VR headset, or anything... so how is it different with game distribution platforms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    If it does, then I may be proved wrong, but I can't see that happening. Once a business practice works for a company and makes them money, it's very, very hard to stop.
    It already is stopping, or at least changing:
    EA brings former Origin exclusives to Steam.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    It's not like this was the only way to break the steam monopoly, there are many better ways that would not hurt the market or consumers....
    There are 61m users who don't seem very hurt about it...

    Besides, as mentioned, Steam are already starting to pay attention and make changes to the way they do things, so this Epic evilness does seem to have actually helped the market and the consumers.
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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    I understand people having issues with various store fronts and the bad things they do, what I can't understand is anyone being so obsessed and passionate about defending epic, or any of them for that matter.

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Snip
    Oh I don't disagree with that, it's just the double standards from some people that surprises me. And nor am I defending Epic of any of their own shadiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    In many cases,if a game was on GOG and Steam,I would actively go for the GOG version. How many here would have done that??
    Me; no DRM is better than any DRM.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    The problem,is as much as Steam is bad enough,and I hate the whole concept of essentially renting games,the Epic store,the software and the way they operate make Steam look better. This is coming from someone who has had an Epic account for years,ie,had one for things like the UT4 pre-Alpha,etc and has some games on the Epic store too.
    Again I agree. It's really not a case of one being evil and the other being great. Like so many issues, it's just not as simple as that. And I think my Epic account was created around the same time!

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Percy1983 View Post
    How evil for epic to make a real effort of break a steam monopoly, yes they have gone at it aggressively and it appears to be working. Yes they have used some paid exclusivity rights to drive people to them but lets be honest if they just had the same games at the same prices the default steam monopoly would get 99% of the purchases.

    I remember buying games on discs and them forcing a thing called steam to be installed, yes some were valve games but others weren't, its almost like I was forced to install valve software to play some games not made by valve... wait a second are we getting mad at epic for doing exactly what steam did to grow its install base...

    The problem is short term and long term need to both be considered.

    Short term, a handful of games are exclusive to epic, yes this can control prices but a simple solution is if your not happy with the price wait until you are.

    Long term, a genuine competitor to steam with a big enough install base to actually make a difference forcing both store into a price battle, average price of games comes down + earlier more aggressive sales.

    I have nothing against steam, it holds most my games and works well. I have nothing against epic, they have given me a load of free games as well as some excellent bargains in sales, epic now holds my second biggest library leaving the others behind (origin, uplay etc).

    Happy days all round.
    Again, past wrongs by Valve et al are not really relevant. I don't even particularly like steam, and I raged against it when it launched and Valve shutdown WON, way back at the start before it was even a store selling HL2.

    The issue is, as I say, all about Epic's current practices. If exclusivity deals really work for them, and the publishers are happy too, do you really think it will stop at some point?
    If it does, then I may be proved wrong, but I can't see that happening. Once a business practice works for a company and makes them money, it's very, very hard to stop.

    That directly hurts consumers and will continue to do so.

    Epic could have competed by lowering prices, or building a better platform, or a better store, or innovating in some way - all things are are needed to counter Valve & steam yes, but they didn't.
    Instead they keep the prices the same or higher, offer no incentive to come to their platform other than "if you want this game, there is no other legal option than to buy it from us".
    It's not like this was the only way to break the steam monopoly, there are many better ways that would not hurt the market or consumers....

    edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    However, how realistic is it that a platform could draw people/publishers/developers away from the existing near-monopoly without some sort of a draw?
    Spot on, but that "draw" doesn't need to be a big stick, could have been a nice tasty carrot (I don't count the free games here really, but i suppose you could say they have done both - draw you in with the carrot and hit you with the high prices & exclusivity stick, if carrying on that analogy )

    Also - yes this happens elsewhere, the console market. And look at the mess that's in - that is already broken - we don't want the PC gaming market to end up there!
    The wrongdoings of Valve are completely relevant if people are going to pick fault with Epic as if Valve were innocent.
    If EA feel the need to bring their exclusives to Steam, it says plenty about the iron grip Steam effectively has on the market.
    Not Epic, nor ANY alternative store will be able to compete on equal grounds.
    Steam is just the automatic default.
    Exclusives are the only way that Origin, Uplay etc get any moderate attention.
    Epic have done a lot wrong, but so have Valve in the past.
    If actions now make someone decide to avoid Epic completely, they are complete hypocrites.

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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    Oh I don't disagree with that, it's just the double standards from some people that surprises me. And nor am I defending Epic of any of their own shadiness.


    Me; no DRM is better than any DRM.


    Again I agree. It's really not a case of one being evil and the other being great. Like so many issues, it's just not as simple as that. And I think my Epic account was created around the same time!
    That is the thing - all these people talking about "competition" didn't bother using GOG,etc so it's funny now they are railing around EGS. Yet,there are plenty of better stores/launchers which they never bothered with. EGS is one of the worst competitors in general polish and features....things such as basket were not even implemented in the store. Things such as cloud saves were not available for a long time. Competitors such as the Discord games store,etc were doing things EGS wasn't implementing. This is not an excuse if you are company with so much venture funding. The moment any of this is brought up.....but...but...something....something Steam,etc. Yet,I never saw any such defence of GOG,Origin...in fact the criticisms made them better IMHO.

    The issue is Valve made a lot of mistakes,and any new competitor has the advantage of seeing how not to do things,but all I see is companies making low cost,half arsed efforts,which baffles me. None of these companies are small - they make billions of dollars a year. The Epic CEO also needs to stop motoring his mouth off....I honestly think he annoyed MS so much,that is why they have actively avoided releasing their games on EGS,ie,the Halo Remastered collection being one of them.

    If Hyundai wants to challenge Lexus,they would need to make an end product which is as good or better than Lexus to catch the market. Lexus had to be better than Mercedes and BMW in terms of quality to compete. You can try and give dealerships financial incentives,give big discounts,etc but it does not work longterm. It's no point saying 10 years ago,Lexus did XYZ,if they still have a product which is buggier,has problems,etc. The issue is how long can Epic keep giving away free games,etc - I am not sure how viable it is as a longterm strategy especially due to the venture funding they got.

    The same goes with AMD - AMD got screwed over by Intel/Nvidia repeatedly,but in the end as much as we had sympathy for them,they had to compete on the merits of their products. In the end AMD too,had to invest in better products,so it could increase revenues instead of selling very cheaply. Compare it to other storefronts and launchers,EGS still has some way to go for me, so if a game is available on GOG,Origin,Steam,etc I would probably buy it on them as a preference,until EGS improves its infrastructure.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 24-06-2020 at 10:36 PM.


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  16. #14
    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    That is the thing - all these people talking about "competition" didn't bother using GOG,etc so it's funny now they are railing around EGS. Yet,there are plenty of better stores/launchers which they never bothered with. They are defending one of the worst competitors in general polish and features....things such as basket are not even implemented in the store. The moment any of this is brought up.....but...but...something....something Steam,etc. Yet,I never saw any such defence of GOG,Origin...in fact the criticisms made them better IMHO.
    I certainly did. I own games that launch through the following platforms:

    GOG, MS Store, Origin, Steam, uPlay, Epic, Rockstar, Humble, Wargaming, Twitch, Itch.io, Blizzard and Discord. On top of this I've bought games which activated on those platforms from Amazon, Gamivo, Games Planet, Game Billet, Fanatical, Daybreak, Frontier, Green Man Gaming, Race Department, Rebellion, Voidu and WinGameStore. I have 2 criteria when buying games:

    1. No grey market key scrapers like G2A.
    2. Price.

    I use IsThereAnyDeal.com to add a game to my watch list and set a target price I'm willing to pay. If it hits that price I buy it from wherever is selling it at that price. Games are a comodity product in that it's the same product whereever you get it from. I don't care which launcher I have to click on to get into the game as they take up a trivial amount of disk space anyway compared to the games themselves. I don't need any other features or value adds, I just want the game. If a game is a timed exclusive on Epic (or anywhere else,) and they don't hit my target price I'll wait until their year is up and buy it from whereever does do so.

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    I certainly did. I own games that launch through the following platforms:

    GOG, MS Store, Origin, Steam, uPlay, Epic, Rockstar, Humble, Wargaming, Twitch, Itch.io, Blizzard and Discord. On top of this I've bought games which activated on those platforms from Amazon, Gamivo, Games Planet, Game Billet, Fanatical, Daybreak, Frontier, Green Man Gaming, Race Department, Rebellion, Voidu and WinGameStore. I have 2 criteria when buying games:

    1. No grey market key scrapers like G2A.
    2. Price.

    I use IsThereAnyDeal.com to add a game to my watch list and set a target price I'm willing to pay. If it hits that price I buy it from wherever is selling it at that price. Games are a comodity product in that it's the same product whereever you get it from. I don't care which launcher I have to click on to get into the game as they take up a trivial amount of disk space anyway compared to the games themselves. I don't need any other features or value adds, I just want the game. If a game is a timed exclusive on Epic (or anywhere else,) and they don't hit my target price I'll wait until their year is up and buy it from whereever does do so.
    The problem is too many didn't,so all you will have is Steam and EGS. GOG for example is financially struggling so I am worried about there longterm future. Personally features are important - for one thing EGS didn't implement cloud saves for a long time,so I didn't buy a single game on there until they did. Also mod support is important for me,and EGS integration for quite a while was patchy. Also the ability to run games offline due to the nature of mods getting broken by automatic updates....GOG especially for me with no DRM was useful,when my internet crapped out for months. I hate the whole concept of needing an internet connection to run single player games,especially RPGs,and it gets in the way of modding too if using 3rd party managers too. It sucks when you are on holiday.There is also Linux support,which is non-existent on a number of them. After all the crap with Windows 10,I decided to have a secondary Linux build,and after trying Proton it's surprising how many games run.

    To put in context,I tend to only install new launchers if I have to run a specific game,and if I stop playing it the launcher gets uninstalled. All of them to some degree probably are running analytics. I currently only have Steam and GOG Galaxy installed. I had Origin,Epic Launcher,Bethesda,Battle.net,Daybreak games and UPlay before(might be a few others),but finished the games on them(or got bored with them),and uninstalled them,and some moved to Steam. The two I have,are the ones with the widest spread of games I run currently,and most of my mates are on them too. Very useful if we are playing games together.

    Plus the other thing is I like to have a light OS install,so cut down on as much crap running as I can,so if I can have as many of my games in a few select launchers as possible,then I do that as all of them have rubbish running in the background. Personally I would rather have none of this crap DRM. I actually don't like how Steam and Battle.net made needing an internet connection for a single player game fashionable. The pirates don't need any of this.

    Like you said games are commodities,so if a launcher/gamestore is going to worse in specific features I want,then it needs to be cheaper. For example if am going to buy something which costs £150 from Currys,and it costs £153 from John Lewis,I will probably just use the latter.When Steam started nearly 15 years ago,I didn't jump onto it,as I waited a while to see how it panned out. I hate being a beta tester for any platform. One of the things which can be patchy is how security is handled and many new platforms usually have big problems at the start. Having tried the Bethesda launcher,that was just terrible. You know how terrible it is when,it by mistake it deleted over 50GB of files due to a bug,etc. It also would sometimes not be able to find the game installed if not on the C: drive,etc. Thank goodness,that is off my system. Worst launcher ever!

    Personally what disappointed me,is that EGS wasn't actually as cheap as I expected.

    EGS gave away vouchers,etc but the problem is their regional pricing sucked arse for ages. This is how some of the more legit key resellers do - they buy keys from other regions,add a small margin on top and resell them.So GOG,Steam,etc don't region block keys,and I believe both of them allows devs to generate keys outside Steam,so they actually get zero cut of the game sale price(this was confirmed by an Indie developer),so that is another thing which means shops can offer lower prices than Steam or EGS directly. Plus people do use VPNs to try and get cheaper games,if that is your cup of tea.

    Also when it comes to timed exclusives,I wait until its available on all platforms,then each store can battle it out,and the price will drop. The same if they do timed releases on consoles first and PC second,I wait longer and pay less for it. I am not paying more for the PC version of the game than a console!

    But at the same time,the MS XBox pass also meant,that I didn't buy some shorter games on either Steam or EGS anyway. I don't mind internet renting for shorter games. I won't be playing them again!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 24-06-2020 at 11:38 PM.


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    Re: Epic's free game vault campaign precipitates 61m active users

    Some great points raised here and have read sage comments from people like Cat for many years but for the first time I have to disagree. I don;t like either Epic or Steam. People use steam because lets face it - it works. They found out long ago a passive income from a games marketplace was better for their bank balance than taking years to perfect a couple of games. We all 'think' it's good because up until recently we haven't had any real benchmark to put it against and the offerings on the whole have been universal from all publishers so we get it all in one place.
    Epic came along like a rich oligarch and decided to use some of their unreal royalty cash to develop a new service - driven primarily by the developers that use their unreal engine complaining about the steam royalties. As stated above they HAD to do something different and that was to bring back (mistakenly IMHO) exclusives and when that didn't work they dug a trench threw a load of cash in it and started to offer decent bribes (free games) to come on board.
    Where I disagree with Cat and others is the competition simply hasn't caught up in terms of polish. I love the thought of no DRM but GOG pitched itself early on as a retro games site that re-wrapped classics in a dos emulator that worked well on modern machines. To me they have not moved past this despite their modern offerings as the budget they are operating with simply cannot match steam / Epic.
    The last issue is people want stuff for the least possible without thinking about the consequences - how has cdkeys become so successful? Why do so many people advocate using vpn's to get the Argentina copy as it's £10 cheaper....
    As ever the consumer that should dictate the vehicle we purchase from is bamboozled by convenience (steam) freebies (epic) exclusives (many stores that we use once just to get a game and not use again) etc. We forget the main criteria that so many have spoken about above in no particular order - Ethics (Epic current flavour of the month for a hammering - steam was no better possibly worse in early to mid years) Profit splits ( Steam has abused their monopoly for years and we sucker punch Epic for trying to change this - If you don't know the figures look them up) Choice (where steam genuinely wins but others can't seem to match, currently reminds me of Amazon) DRM (GOG are way way ahead here but be honest how many of us use them?)
    New models however are coming - resale of digital games is now allowed in France and it's a matter of time before this becomes the norm and all our purchases hop on the Blockchain bus enabling re-sale. As this reaches critical mass we will see a model shift and new players enter like Robot Cache. What the future holds nobody knows but Steam, Epic and all the others better have a long term plan or they will be usurped by the new generation of consumers and the models that blockchain allows.

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