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IGS Manager
2019/05/22 18:15
Epic Games Store had its very first sale in its storefront that started on May 16 and will last June 13. That’s quite a long time, other storefronts like Steam usually have big sales for a week or two. Epic is doing everything to make things different for them and be a much more appealing store, it’s not just the duration of the sale this time but Epic will slash $10 for any game $14.99 and up that they will cover that for the developers and publishers, and this does not even include the percentage that’s discounted yet. Now that’s very generous.

Sounds appealing yes? If you’re not aware of what they’ve been up to in the recent weeks then you’ll most likely jump ship from whichever storefront that you’re using. What’s not appealing is how they seem to muck up every good thing that they do with something bad.

For context let’s break down what they’ve done so far. Epic has been swiping up exclusives to their storefront for months now. Exclusives are fine, we’ve seen them in consoles for a long time. They’ve been popping out in the PC space, some of EA’s games are in Origin, Bethesda locked Fallout 76 in their launcher (Thank the heavens for that), Ubisoft has their own thing with Uplay, etcetera, etcetera. What’s not fine with how they’re doing it is they swipe up exclusives with little time before launch. So people who are getting the game on a certain storefront, usually Steam, will be forced to get it from Epic Games Store or just forget about it for a year and get it when the exclusivity dies off. It’s good that the developers are getting more money though, with the deal and the 88/12 split that mostly benefits them more than it benefits Epic.

Okay maybe that’s fine. But is the store good? Is the launcher good?

At first, no. Of course storefronts and launchers are like that. There’s bound to be some hiccups along the way, but you fix it down the road. With all the launchers, with all the stores that’s available in 2019, it makes you wonder why Epic had such a barebones launcher and storefront. I have no doubt they’ll improve on that, they do have a plan and neat features are already in the way. Epic had all the resources to burn before launch though, it’s a strange decision.

Now we have this sale. It’s a big sale, it’s really good for both developers/publishers and the consumers. At least that’s how it looks. And like everything else, it was rocky or still is rocky. Some accounts were blocked for buying multiple games. They have this really old system where you can only buy one game at a time, so if you wanted to buy multiple games you have to check out several times. Then you get tagged for suspicious activity. Very nice.

Also some developers are having this shady price change. Supergiant Games, I love you guys but the price changing during the sale was really a bad impression. But is Supergiant the only one at fault here? Apparently there’s something with communications that was not clear enough. It is as if the developers and publishers are taken aback with the sale and they were pretty ill-prepared for it. Some games straight up got pulled; Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, Oxygen Not Included, and Borderlands 3 were still available when the sale went live and some customers were able to get it for a lower price, but then their pages were removed soon after. Currently only Bloodlines 2 returned with its pre-orders halted, with a Coming Soon box replacing where the pre-order button should be. Epic decided to change the pricing display 2 days after the sale went live, the damage was done however. It seems developers and publishers can opt out of the sale according to an Epic Representative… but why like this? It’s like Epic never talked with them beforehand or changed their site’s system to cater to this event. It’s their first big sale after all. Surely they had a plan, sometimes not all plans go off without a hitch, however this is a huge snag and another bad rap for their already wavering reputation.

I’m sure Epic will bounce back eventually, but it seems like it won’t be doing any of that anytime soon. They need to learn after their mistakes now and improve on their store and launcher, this should be their priority rather than snatching games as a store exclusive first. Competition is good as they say after all, but Epic is barely at the level to compete with just exclusives to back them up.

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