The founder and president of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford, decided to address the comments of his followers on Twitter. by publishing a series of incredibly in-depth tweets on this subject. We have published almost everything below, but given its length, we will also provide the highlights through bullets.
First, understand that although I have thoughts and opinions on this subject, the authority here is really in the hands of our partner publisher, 2K Games. Then, although I may have some influence, I can not force anything (and this ship has sailed, so to speak).
Currently Steam has a lot of features that the Epic Game Store does not have. That's a fact. Probably we could clbadify the priority of these characteristics from top to bottom and, although we can be a bit of a disagreement in the ranking, there is probably an optimal priority to go after the characteristics.
In addition, some features that have Steam may not be part of Epic's vision and Steam features never contemplate part of the Steam vision. The vision of how to interact with a client and a developer and editor is part of the equation.
Epic has published a short-term roadmap. This roadmap includes: If I were a gambler, I would expect more things to happen than they are committing.
We must also recognize that Borderlands 3 does not exist * today *, but will exist in September. The store will be different when the game is released. It will become a great thing if they bring enough features so that the customer experience is excellent for us.
Epic will suffer (again) if, when Borderlands 3 starts, the customer experience is not good enough. This is a tremendous function of strength for Epic.
This is really good for Borderlands 3, as Borderlands 3 will be the biggest game, by far, new to the Epic store since its launch and you can be sure of investing large amounts of resources, for the most important functions for Borderlands 3 .
The forcing function of that will, in turn, make all those features available in a timeline faster than would be possible, and this is good for all games, both from the perspective of the client and from the perspective from the developer / editor.
The EGS may not complete the full functions of the store before Borderlands 3 is launched to be "good enough". That is a risk. It is one that our publishing partner, 2K, was willing to accept. It is not about making decisions, but it is real.
So the question in that angle is really about long game versus short game … What is the best long term? I hope to be in the office, creating entertainment as long as people want me to do it. So I tend to think the game very long. Some of us think that the game is very short, I understand it.
The Borderlands 3 releases are a risk I feel comfortable with * YES * I think that in the long term, Borderlands 3 and future games will be the most attended if the epic Games The store a) exists, and b) is competitive.
So, do I believe that? Absolutely … Why? The history combined with the values of the company and the situation in the companies. I can explain all that.
First, history. Now, I have a bit of authority in this history topic between these companies. I worked with Valve for many years (20) as a developer in the Half-Life franchise and as a developer and editor on the Steam platform.
I've also worked with Epic for almost the same time, as a licensee of its engine and, more recently, as a retail publisher of its game, Fortnite. I know a lot about these people and these businesses.
From a trajectory point of view, my expectation is that Epic's investment in technology will substantially exceed that of Valve. When we look back on Steam in five or ten years, it may seem that an extinct store and other competitive stores will be the place to be.
The competitive store that turns out to be the leader in 10 years may not be Epic's store, but Valve and Epic's movements have probably been at this time; They are opening the doors and paving the way for a vibrant competitive economy.
Competition in stores will be absolutely better for consumers and probably also for developers and publishers. The stores that tend to offer the best to their customers. It is very difficult for the customer's interest to be king with only one store.
One can look at other stores, such as Origin or U-Play. Those are not real competitors for Steam. A Steam competitor must have an installed base and be sufficiently neutral in alignment so that all publishers and developers who support the store can rely on a fair economy.
That simply is not possible with direct stores that are controlled by publication interests. Nor will it come from adjacent services that have other priorities (such as Discord, for example).
Epic has credibility here because they have been supplying engine technology to the industry for more than 20 years and we have been able to trust and trust Epic's fair play and goodwill.
With the engine, Epic's technology has improved and improved at a faster pace for 20 years than any other game engine middleware on the planet. They have great credibility as to how to reinvest in their technology for the benefit of customers and developers.
Meanwhile, as the quality of Epic's technology improved, so did its success in business. What did Epic do? They used their greatest success to lead the way in commercial terms. They reduce license fees for developers and create new ways to become licensed.
They increased the accessibility to the engine so that people like you can download and learn how to use Unreal Engine to become a game developer, for free. And, when you want to launch something commercially, there is a very competitive price and just for that.
Meanwhile, Valve has taken an absurd cut in revenues, which would be fine if they had not reinvested it. This is where looking at the values of the company is important.
In addition, the company is very important for this calculation as well. Valve is a private company and, as far as we can see, a large amount of the value that Valve has generated has been used to enrich a handful of people who own and manage the company. There's nothing wrong with that, BTW! My business is private, too!
Epic's business, until recently, was private and very close. It remains private, but not as much as before. This is important to keep in mind.
Every time Valve makes a dollar, he has to make a decision about whether to put his own pockets or reinvest it in technology (or whatever). Valve has made significant investments in technology and must be applauded for the resulting innovations.
But they have also taken a significant amount of value from the table and when they reinvested, they tended to devote it to many other activities in addition to the store that is generating all the revenue.
They have been able to do this because they have not had to worry about that. There has not been a viable competitor for Steam. They have had sufficient external strength to challenge their share of revenues and no external force sufficient to motivate sufficient reinvestment of revenues.
Now there is an external force that is real. This external force, the epic store, is a really important threat to Steam. Steam * must * adapt or perish.
Almost immediately, we saw Steam crumble his previously unwavering stance on revenue share. Holy shit! That is a miracle. I think the people at Valve are really smart and really cool and are probably starting with a redirection investment in their store.
If Valve is smart, and they are, they should preemptively operate as many resources as possible to improve the store and prepare for the inevitable Epic challenge for Steam from the point of view of the features.
The faster you can maneuver the valve, the longer it can stay ahead of the Epic features. But if I bet on this (and remember that I have a pretty good seat with a great vision of this competition), Epic will inevitably overtake Valve in terms of features and quality of service.
Epic is configured differently from the valve at this time. Epic shareholders are * very * motivated not to remove chips from the table, so to speak, but to reinvest those shares in the company. They have an incredible valuation at this time, but are motivated to increase it.
And they have the resources to really make big plays towards that. All this is going to be fed by a business that is not taking cash out of their system and putting it in the pockets of the person, but putting it back into their system.
Recently they raised some money. Because they did that? Have you been making more money than ever before? They made it so that the owners could sell part of their capital and put * that * cash in their pockets (which is totally good, that's what should happen).
But what it means is that this business is not operating to its owners to divert their profits, but is operated by their owners to increase their value.
That's a big difference between Valve and Epic. Epic is motivated to reinvest 100% of its profits in activities (like the store) that will make Epic more valuable in the future.
The valve is organized so that it is motivated to make decisions about how much of its profit it should distribute to its owners and stakeholders and how much to reinvest. Very different
That they have decided to invest SIGNIFICANT amounts of money that they have made of Fortnite in the creation of a store to create a real competitive landscape, frankly, a GIFT for clients, developers and publishers. ALL OF US WILL BENEFIT from this competition.
During the competition, there will be some difficulties, setbacks and things that are not going well, that's how it goes. But, ultimately, we will be in an incredible way no matter which store you prefer. Steam will have no choice but to surrender or lose better than ever. This is good for Steam customers, developers and publishers.
Because Valve is very good with incredible talent, I do not expect them to give up or lose. They will fight for it. And they will endure. There is even a possibility that they are reaching the top. In any case, customers, developers and publishers will be better.
Meanwhile, Epic is the force function that will make all this happen. It's really amazing, but they're the only ones who can really interrupt Steam's monopoly and help fix all this. They will bring balance to the force (yes, Star Wars shit today).
And here we are … It's a year with fewer titles than we've seen in years. It is a year in which consoles are in the maximum life cycle and PC stores. And in a world where EA and ATVI can not really be the ones that risk the forcing function, Take-Two shows some balls and advances with our game, Borderlands 3, to be the content that catalyses this moment. Holy shit. What world
Because, at the end of the day, this type of movement in our industry always rushes from the content. Content is needed to move. It took Half-Life 2 to get us (not quite) enough to swallow the Steam pill in its day.
And we're going to swallow the epic Game Store pill with Borderlands 3. And some of you will hate it and scream the bloody murder and even blame me, personally, for it. And you can curse and moan and shelter and stalk my shit, but at the end of the day, when we look back on this moment, we realize that this was the time when digital PC stores became apolitical.
And we're all going to look back and see how the change occurred and how costs were reduced for developers and publishers in stores and how that value was pbaded on to customers. Within a few years, we will look back to the current installed base of Steam and we will laugh at how we thought it was a large number when we added up all the different stores that we are putting together.
And we are going to have a dissociation of the characteristics that matter to us (like friends and achievements and others) from the stores and we can only focus on the games. And all of them can play together, multiplatform. This will take a minute, but it will happen.
And look back and understand that Epic's decision to reinvest their Fortnite $ in this (valuable) step and take the guts to put Borderlands 3 in this situation to be able to meet the needs of the industry at crucial moments.
At the end of this mbadive thread of Twitter, in a follow-up response, Pitchford also expressed his satisfaction for the limited exclusivity period of Borderlands 3 (the shortest in terms of all the other games will be exclusive for a full year).
Is this long explanation of the Gearbox president, Randy Pitchford, anyway with respect to the Epic Games store? Tell us in the comments.
Borderlands 3 is launched on September 13 at Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It will be available in April 2020 through other PC stores.