Epic’s foray into the game store market came as quite the surprise to many people. Steam has been by far the most popular means when it comes to game stores, and the creators of the massively popular Fortnite game were probably the last company gamers thought would try their hand at such an endeavor. But it happened, and Epic is already making a wave with the announcement.
Today, one of the largest video game publishers, Ubisoft, announced that Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 (PC version) will not be releasing on Steam on March 15th, 2019. Instead, they have chosen to partner with Epic, meaning the game will only appear in Epic’s Game Store and Ubisoft’s own UPlay service. If that wasn’t bad enough for Steam, Epic has also said that it “will… partner [with Ubisoft] on additional select titles to be announced during the coming year.” For now, games that Ubisoft already has on Steam’s platform will remain there, and some of the future Ubisoft titles (like Far Cry: New Dawn) will still be released on Steam. That the publishers will get to keep up to 18% more of the profits has more than likely been a factor, and it will also set a precedent for upcoming AAA big-budget titles, as Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the first of what could be a veritable exodus from Steam.
Epic’s Game Store had already managed to release Supergiant’s game Hades exclusively the night of The Game Awards, and announced that Journey, formerly exclusive to Playstation, would be gracing their store with its presence. Even Super Meat Boy Forever and Telltale’s next episode of The Walking Dead have shambled or splatted their way to Epic’s store.
When Ubisoft was questioned as to their reasoning, they simply stated that “Epic continues to disrupt the video game industry, and their third party distribution model is the latest example, and something Ubisoft wants to support.”
It will more than likely be a year or two before any real challenges to Steam’s dominance appears, but Epic has certainly started out with the right tools. If things continue in this manner, it won’t be too long until Epic has both the most popular game as well as the most used online store for digital games. Hopefully Steam has some potential ideas to help fend Epic off for the immediate future, otherwise they could be overtaken sooner than anyone expected.
Ubisoft has announced Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Beta, and for those who want to partake, you can sign up here. If you need to know the specs required for the PC version of the game, you can read those here.
Do you think Epic’s Game Store has the opportunity to catch up or even overtake Steam? Do you plan on buying Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, and if so, does it bother you that it won’t be on Steam? Let us know in the comments!