Steam has announced their own game streaming service today. The service is currently in prototype for Android, Raspberry Pi, and Steam Link devices. It will allow you to stream your games from any device as long as you have a strong internet connection rather than Steam Link which was only for home networks.
With Steam being the biggest distributor for PC gaming, it has a strong advantage against Epic, Discord and potentially Google’s streaming service. More announcements on the service will be announced at GDC next week.
Feel the HEAT! Yakuza Kiwami is releasing on Steam on February 19th. This continues the trend of SEGA porting their titles to the PC. The port was announced during E3 2018 alongside Yakuza 0 and Valkyria Chronicles 4. Catherine “Classic” (the original released on PS3 and Xbox 360) was released on Steam earlier in January. SEGA usually doesn’t release other titles besides Sonic to PC. These may be signs of the company changing their release methods to consoles and PC rather than consoles exclusively.
After writing about Valve offering more money for successful games yesterday, Epic Games (Creators of Fortnite) is planning to launch their online store that will give 88% of revenue from game sales to developers. In comparison, Sony, Microsoft, and Valve offer 30% of revenue to developers.
Thanks to the massive success of Fortnite, Epic has the money to offer these to developers according to founder and CEO Tim Sweeney. According to Forbes magazine in July 2018, Fortnite has made over $1 billion in revenue.
Another amazing deal Epic is offering: Any games that uses Unreal Engine 4 will not have to pay royalty fees to Epic if it’s sold on their game marketplace. Unreal Engine is used many many triple A games, including Kingdom Hearts 3, Fortnite, Injustice 2, mobile games, and more. It’s considered the definitive game engine for many users. This could give potential new studios or indie developers a chance to save money for game releases if they are sold on Epic’s marketplace. Any game is allowed on Epic’s marketplace, it doesn’t have to use the Unreal Engine.
In addition, Epic is also planning to launch their “Support-A-Creator” program. It will help support content creators on YouTube or streamers connect with developers. Developers can share a percentage of their revenue with video producers who make content about their games. Epic will cover the first 5 percent.
When will it launch?
The Epic Games store will launch on PC and Mac in 2018 so it’s coming soon. It will launch on Android in 2019 and they are planning to launch for iOS in 2019. There are no plans for the console platforms. The store is planning to launch with a small selection of handpicked games. Developers are free to use their own digital right management.
This marketplace will dramatically change the PC gaming marketplace. The opportunity for publishers and developers is insane. I’m unsure on how it may shake the other marketplace but game developers will begin to look to Epic to sell their titles. It’s rare to see a company using their wealth to support companies, especially in the gaming industry which is highly competitive. I look forward to 2019 and how everything may change.
When you sell your game on Valve, the company takes 30 percent of your revenue for using it as a platform for distribution. It’s a common practice for business such as PlayStation and Xbox but Valve has been criticized lately for their user review system and lack of marketing support for new games. Steam is packed with thousands of games and nearly impossible to filter through them all. It’s difficult for developers to sell their game if they don’t understand Steam’s algorithms. They weren’t able to contact a Valve personal support and developers felt that the company didn’t “deserve” the 30 percent in revenue. To potentially earn developers’ trust again, Valve is offering them more money based on the success of their games.
Stated on November 30th, Valve stated
Starting from October 1, 2018 (i.e. revenues prior to that date are not included), when a game makes over $10 million on Steam, the revenue share for that application will adjust to 75%/25% on earnings beyond $10M. At $50 million, the revenue share will adjust to 80%/20% on earnings beyond $50M. Revenue includes game packages, DLC, in-game sales, and Community Marketplace game fees. Our hope is this change will reward the positive network effects generated by developers of big games, further aligning their interests with Steam and the community.
Valve is also allowing developers to speak about their game sale on Steam.
Who does this benefit?
A lot of big brand name titles such as Fallout or Call of Duty will see bigger profit margins. However, smaller companies and developers will still have difficulties presenting their games to a mass audience. There are too many games on Steam, especially because any game can be on their market.
The changes are to incentivize more companies to put their games on PC only through Steam. With more companies hosting their own platforms such as Blizzard’s BattleNet, Ubisoft’s Uplay, EA’s Origin, and Discord, Valve has more competition. While their competitors have less selection, it’s easier to search and find a game you enjoy.
The profit changes won’t hurt Valve too bad. It’s rare for a title to make that much on Steam alone unless you’re a huge publisher. The mass majority won’t even make $10 million but bigger companies may just place their games on Steam to save money.