Frozen, but not without results.
Entering 2021, everyone is busy writing a year-end summary for 2020. Epic Games Mall is no exception. On Weibo, its official account issued a Weibo on January 29, detailing the achievements of Epic Game Mall in 2020, its outlook for 2021, and the upcoming optimization of platform functions.
Obviously, from this “year-end summary” reply, we can see that netizens said that “over 160 million PC users”, “daily active users increased by 192% to 31.3 million”, and “PC players spent 700 million on Epic Mall.” “U.S. dollars” and other accounts are not interested. They are concerned about the lack of platform functions and improvements in the Epic Game Mall; it is the 103 games released by the Epic Game Mall in the form of “weekly free” in 2020.
Although the tone of some netizens’ comments is a bit “heavy”, it is not a condemnation of the Epic game mall, but a bit of “hate iron but not steel”. There are also some netizens who kindly refer to the Epic game mall as “e treasure”, and the feeling of “male mother” is full. However, whether it is the feeling of “hating iron but not steel” or the “male mother” type of care, it reflects the recovery of Epic game mall’s domestic reputation and the increase in player acceptance. Nowadays, most of the netizens’ comments under the official WeChat account of the EPIC game mall are in harmony with each other, and there are very few cases of chattering.
This situation was unimaginable when the Epic Game Mall first entered Weibo two years ago. Under the first Weibo sent by the official WeChat account of Epic Game Mall, the top comment truly tells the situation of the Epic game platform in China at that time-“You have to be prepared to be caught by someone when you open Weibo. curse”.
In fact, on January 28, 2019, when Deep Sliver, the publisher of “Metro: Gone”, announced that the game would be monopolized for a year when the Epic game platform was capped, the Epic game platform had already fallen into a “cross-brow cold and stubborn criticism.” “In the circumstances. Prior to this, “Metro: Departure” has been pre-ordered on Steam for several months. After 18 days, players who pre-order will be able to play this game on Steam. However, Epic’s sudden “cutting Hu” made this expectation unwarranted and another year. Although Steam states that pre-order players will not be affected, this does not prevent angry players from making crazy attacks on the Epic gaming platform.
Later, with many new game masterpieces such as “Borderland 3” and “Control”, it was announced that the Epic game platform would be monopolized when the upper limit of the Epic game platform was announced. The online criticism of the Epic game platform has grown louder, and even began to be involved in the corresponding The developer of the game. At that craziest time, attacking the Epic platform and those Epic exclusive games was simply “politically correct.” Manufacturers that cooperate with Epic will be given various names, while those that refuse to cooperate with Epic will be praised as “high-profile.”
There are also some players who return to calm while angry. As we all know, now on the PC side, Steam is almost in a dominant position. Many game manufacturers have also developed PC game platforms, such as EA’s Origin, Activision Blizzard’s Battle.net, Ubisoft’s Uplay, CDPR’s GOG, etc. But these platforms only rely on their own first-party games to be a cornerstone and cannot compete with Steam. And Epic’s sudden shot made many people see that Epic didn’t want to be limited to Unreal Engine and the ambition of Fortnite. If the Epic game platform can stimulate Steam, multi-party competition will promote the development of the PC game market more than an industry monopoly. Although Epic, the challenger’s first move is somewhat ill-fated, it is the exclusive monopoly that was used during the host war. policy.
The fledgling Epic game mall, in the design and optimization of platform functions, naturally cannot be compared with Steam, which has been deeply cultivated for many years-most players are still aware of this. However, the “simplicity” of the early Epic game mall still shocked many players: there is no achievement system, no community, no wish list, no game library grouping, no comment games, no screenshots, and many games do not support cloud archives. There are even problems with the registration and login on my own platform.
Ironically, since the Epic game mall did not comment on the game’s function in the early days, players want to express their dissatisfaction with the sudden “reversal” of “Metro: Escape” before the release, so they can only give the game a negative review through Steam. .
Not only foreign players will criticize the Epic platform, but also domestic players. Due to the lock-up area, domestic players even “hate the Epic platform.” This means that domestic players cannot normally play exclusive games on Epic. Even if the games are obtained through other channels, download speed has become another problem.
The Epic platform is not functional, and the first impression given to players is still bad. Epic is not so much a “brave” who challenged Steam’s monopoly position, but more like a “bad dog” who is dissatisfied with the PC market cake in Steam’s hands and is trying to bite a few pieces.
The Epic platform, which knows that its “player fate” has been “rotten” to a certain extent, the first priority is to repair the relationship with the player, and secondly, to improve the platform’s various functions as soon as possible. There are Unreal Engine and “Fortress Night” and Epic, which is invested by Tencent behind it, thought of a “stupid” and “burning money”, but the most effective way to please players-send games.
The project of giving away free games on the Epic platform actually started at the end of 2018 when the Epic game store was launched, but the frequency at that time was to give away one game every two weeks. After the Epic platform decided to repair the relationship with players, the Epic Game Store changed the frequency of giving away free games-from one every two weeks to one a week, sometimes even two a week.
In the 2019 Epic Christmas promotion, there is even a 12-day game collection event, and every day is a different game.
The free games presented by Epic Game Mall include both old-fashioned “top-tier” games like GTA5 and boutique indie games like “Into the Dungeon”. Later, Epic even gave away free new games that were just released for a limited time, such as “Total War Legend: Troy”.
For domestic players, the first thing Epic Game Mall does is to open up the country and increase the download speed of the game. On the other hand, it opened an official account on Weibo, released various information in a timely manner, and responded to various questions and suggestions from domestic players.
Different from the attitude of other official Weibo players, the official blog of Epic Game Mall is simply humble to the ground. In the face of crazy accusations from domestic players, the official blog of Epic Game Mall has truly achieved “fighting and cursing,” and even honoring players as “dad” or “grandpa”.
They all say “reach out and don’t hit the smiley person.” In the face of the Epic Game Mall with such a humble attitude, coupled with the fact that the benefits from Epic are real, many players have gradually changed their attitude towards the Epic Game Mall. Although there are still many players who disdain Epic and hope that it will “die” soon, there are many players who understand the Epic game mall and sincerely give advice to the Epic game mall.
After two years of operation in such an unobtrusive manner, coupled with the permanent benefits of the Epic platform, only now can I see various suggestions and incentives from netizens on the Weibo of the Epic Game Mall. When players no longer wear colored glasses to look at Epic, games exclusive to Epic have also been “redeemed”. For example, “Metro: Escape”, which has been transformed into a “specially acclaimed” on Steam.
However, bringing the time back to two years ago, there is one point that is worth thinking about, that is, why the “Recruitment Egg” Epic platform dare to directly harden “Big Brother” Steam? Why does “Metro: Departure” risk being criticized and “backstab” Steam. Is it true that Epic is giving too much? Or maybe Epic’s newborn calves are not afraid of tigers?
Indeed, for “Metro: Leaving” and its developer Deep Sliver, the Epic platform is really hard to ignore. As for Epic digging into the corner of Steam as soon as it came up, it was not a hothead, but the result of careful preparation.
On Zhihu, a question titled “What is the purpose of Epic’s crazy sending of games?” caused discussion among netizens. In this question, the official Zhihu account of the Epic Game Mall explained his original intention to send the game. There are three core groups in the game industry: content providers, players, and stores. There is no doubt that Epic is part of the “store”, but the core is content providers (game manufacturers) and players. What a good store needs to do is how to attract more content providers to produce content and retain more players for consumption.
Obviously, the Epic platform attracts players by means of real free games. The Epic platform attracts game manufacturers with a very low rake rate. If developers use Unreal Engine, they will also be supported by the Epic platform, exempting 5% of licensing fees.
Compared to Steam’s 30% rake rate, the Epic platform’s 12% share is actually more attractive to game manufacturers and developers than Steam. This means that game developers can get more profits from behind the “sales” figure. In addition, the Epic platform is monopolized, and the spend is real money. For game developers, a large amount of exclusive fees is an insurance against poor game sales.
Take the 2019 masterpiece “Control” as an example, the cost of this game is about 20 to 30 million euros. However, according to a report issued by Digital Bros, the parent company of “Control” publisher 505 Games, as of June 30, 2019, their transaction volume with the Epic platform reached 9.49 million euros. Combined with another “high-quality game revenue”, the revenue of “Control” is also 9.49 million euros (at this time “Control” has not yet been released), which is in full compliance with Epic’s payment amount. It is speculated that Epic won “Control” for a limited time. The cost of the exclusivity should be 9.49 million euros.
In other words, the game “Control” has not yet been released, and the exclusivity paid by the Epic platform alone has already recovered one third of the cost. Faced with the huge cost of game production today and the erratic preferences of players in the market, few manufacturers and developers will reject the “high price” exclusive fee of the Epic platform.
“Be more friendly to game developers” has always been the main business philosophy of the Epic platform. On the issue of the division of stores and content providers, the Epic platform has an unimaginable persistence. In addition to Steam, the Epic platform is still in 2020, due to a dispute with Apple due to the sharing issue, and the lawsuit has not yet been settled.
The reason is that the Epic platform is dissatisfied with the 30% ratio of the Apple Store and created an additional “Epic Direct Payment” recharge channel for “Fortress Night”. In response to Epic’s sudden “backstab”, Apple’s approach is to directly remove the game “Fortnite”. Unlike on the PC, Epic and Steam compete as stores; in the mobile market, Epic and Apple, obviously one is a content provider, and the other is playing the role of a “store”. Different roles will naturally lead to different thinking angles. From Apple’s point of view, this is nothing more than Epic’s head product “Fortress Night” is starting to price, and from the perspective of Epic’s platform, the 30% percentage is for content providers. , It is really unreasonable.
Tim Sweeney, president of Epic, even used the phrase “over 500 experts from all over the world conduct research on more than 100,000 apps every week” on Apple’s official website. After so-called precise calculations, he posted on Twitter, “Apple The time spent on each APP is only 12 minutes, but 30% of the share is taken away.” remarks. This statement is obviously not rigorous, but there are still many manufacturers who stand on Epic’s side and form alliances to resist Apple’s 30% rake.
The same is the 30% rake ratio. Apple was overtaken by Epic. How could Steam not pay attention to it? At the 2019 Game Developers Conference, most developers disagreed with Steam’s current 30% rake. At the same time, it is also believed that Steam needs to expose visibility to low-cost games. In addition, P agency, known for making historical strategy games, also criticized Steam’s “seven three open” division model at the game conference GameLab held in 2019 as too outrageous.
After Steam ended the “Light of Favor” policy and changed the game review process to transaction money, more and more low-quality games appeared in the eyes of players. Some games with pornography and violence as gimmicks may be smaller and more beautiful The boutique game of ”is easier to win the attention of players, staged a typical “bad money drive out good money” drama. These have also exacerbated the dissatisfaction of game manufacturers with Steam.
The 30% ratio has become Steam’s biggest weakness when the Epic platform attacks Steam. Although Steam’s user stickiness and platform quality are much higher than the current Epic platform, Tim Sweeney, Epic’s president, still dare to clamor-“If Steam can permanently commit to 88% of the developer’s revenue like them If they are divided, they will stop playing new exclusive games.”
Platform functions can be gradually improved, and good game works can attract players to settle in. However, Epic’s share policy is something Steam cannot handle for the time being. Facing the Epic platform’s battle book, now the ball has come to Steam.
Steam has a sense of crisis. Since the official launch of the Epic platform, V agency has moved immediately and changed its previous image of laziness. The changes in Steam in the past few years are not trivial.
When “Metro: Escape” was bombarded by bad reviews from players because of a sudden “abandoning S from E”, Steam quickly adjusted the platform’s game scoring system. The content of this change is mainly to remove bad reviews that have nothing to do with the game itself from the score. If V agency determines that there is a negative bombing behavior, then the evaluation during this time period will not be included in the game score. This change can be regarded as a little bit thin for games like “Metro: Escape”, and quietly gave myself a wave of goodwill.
The new recommendation system of the Steam Mall has also been released, and the review of the game has also been tightened. Many pornographic elements are serious, and games involving campus violence and sexual crimes have been removed from Steam.
But the biggest impact is Steam’s adjustment of its distribution policy. The specific situation is roughly the ratio of Steam to the developer’s profit, which has been adjusted in three stages. The income of less than 10 million US dollars is still divided according to 3/7; for games with income exceeding 10 million US dollars, the proportion of the part exceeding 10 million US dollars is increased from 3/7 to 2.5/7.5; and games with income exceeding 50 million US dollars , The part exceeding 50 million US dollars will be further increased to 2/8 ratio. In addition, Valve clearly agreed that developers can freely share their sales data.
However, in the face of the Epic platform’s share policy, Steam’s new share policy still failed to achieve good results. The views on the Internet regarding this new distribution agreement are still not optimistic. Too harsh conditions make small production games likely to be trapped in the “30%” frame, which is more like a corresponding change to retain major game manufacturers.
Indeed, as the competition between the Epic platform and Steam has gradually heated up, some major game companies have also begun to change their original plans. For example, EA, which left Steam early, decided to return to Steam; most manufacturers such as Ubisoft and CDPR still use the word “profit” first and prefer platforms with better treatment.
Undoubtedly, in the two years since Epic appeared, the PC game market is no longer as stagnant as before. The market encourages competition, not self-monopoly on a single platform.
However, from the current point of view, it is undoubtedly difficult for the Epic platform to overtake Steam. Even to catch up with Steam, it also takes a lot of time and energy. Recently, some foreign media pointed out that although the Epic platform is developing very fast, most users only receive it and do not buy it, and the future prospects are still not clear.
At present, the Epic platform has achieved its goal of gaining market share from Steam and has gained a firm foothold.
But if Epic really wants to “reverse Steam’s life”, it still has a long way to go. At present, nearly half of the early batch of Epic exclusive games have ended their time-limited exclusive games, and they have landed on the Steam platform for sale. However, according to a recent Epic spokesperson, in the next two years, the Epic platform will launch more exclusive games.
Even if one day, the Epic platform has the upper hand in the “battle” with Steam, it is difficult for Steam to be truly “revolutionary.”
After all, the market is happy to see healthy competition on multiple platforms, not after Steam loses, Epic becomes the next Steam.
Author: Point shop